In the era of Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Home Depot, and countless other big stores, it can indeed be a struggle for the small business owner to keep their doors open. After all, who can compete with those low prices and huge selections?
- Respond to customer complaints quickly and fairly. Perhaps their gripe is legitimate. Perhaps if you listen and make a change based on that complaint, it will be an area of improvement for your business. For example, a customer at my Teachers Pay Teachers store rated a product a bit low because it did not include a variety of problems (multiple choice, open ended). I listened, added a better variety of questions, and relisted the product. (I also sent the revised one free of charge to that customer.) Guess what? The product is now selling better than ever!
- Smile a genuine smile and greet your customer by name. Even if you do your business on the phone or internet, that smile can show through in your voice and writing!
- Go out of your way for occasional special requests. Obviously, we cannot honor every single special request, but sometimes we can. For instance, I’ve had several customers request a one or two page add-on to an item they have purchased. The fifteen minutes it took me to create and send the add-on was well worth it. Why? Those customers came back for other purchases!
- Answer correspondence and get back to your customers in a timely manner. When customers have a question, answer it right away. They will appreciate it and return another time.
- Offer unique opportunities. Offer special deals to loyal customers and find ways to gain new customers. One way I have built a fairly large base of followers at my TPT store is by offering a 50% discount for the first 24 hours on new products when they are added to my store. Only followers receive the email notifying them of new products.
- Use social media. This was a difficult thing for me, and I am still learning, but it is necessary in today’s world! So, embrace it. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, and now Tsu are just a few. It works. There are many tutorials available online to help you find your way.