“Operating a small business is no easy task. A small business can deploy its website to position itself online with a strong, professional destination. The website gives customers the impression that the business wants to engage more with its customers,” – Forbes.com
Scale is inherent in nature. The largest life forms include huge Sequoia trees on land and enormous cetaceans in the oceans. Biological life also manifests itself in the smallest of bacteria and single-celled creatures. Similarly, business enterprises find expression in small, medium, and large-scale commercial operations. Each of these enterprises has a duty in terms of engaging and keeping customers over the long-term. A small business operation can create and sustain a steady stream of customers in the interests of attaining its commercial objectives. We will examine some of the techniques in the paragraphs below.
Small businesses have inherent advantages in terms of being nimble and sensitive to customer choices. This is made possible by the fact that fewer customers enable the business to connect directly with the enterprise. This ability enables small businesses to create immediate strategies that hinge on engaging and keeping customers. For instance, a small paper products manufacturer can elect to engage its customers through innovative product lines and fresh creations. This ability to generate custom creations is important in the age of mass manufacturing. Moreover, the business can choose to pay close attention to the voice of the customer, thereby reacting to evolving customer choices in short order. Further, this ‘ear to the ground’ approach to conducting business enables said manufacturer to expand its customer base and reduce latency in business decisions.
The generation of useful content and its positioning on a primary online destination enables small businesses to remain relevant in the minds of customers. This technique is useful because posting fresh content (such as online blogs) boosts business ability to reinforce brand recall. For instance, a small business that manufactures and markets custom wallpaper can work on engaging and keeping customers by creating a blog on its website. The content can include images of new wallpaper products, how-to product guides for customers, the aesthetic aspects of tasteful wallpaper, spotlighting the long-term utility of wallpaper, among others. We note that this technique essentially helps the manufacturer to connect with customers on a regular basis, thereby preserving and expanding its brand value.
Small businesses may not have access to hefty marketing budgets, but a creative approach to marketing enables these entities in terms of engaging and keeping customers. For instance, a small floriculture enterprise can choose to print and distribute flyers among its regular clientele. The costs involved in this marketing project are minimal but the outcomes can include widespread word-of-mouth publicity. The business can subsequently gain a larger number of customers, thereby amplifying the effects of said campaign. An interesting variation of this technique emerges when the business packages its products in custom wraps emblazoned with its contact co-ordinates.
Freebies represent an age-old technique designed to create customer interest and generate repeat business. Therefore, small enterprises can utilize freebies and token gifts in a concerted attempt of engaging and keeping customers. For instance, a fledgling software products business can enthuse customers by offering free software upgrades to buyers that shop for a certain dollar value. This technique allows the business to win the goodwill of customers and generate significant volumes of repeat business. In addition, said upgrades enable the business to establish a presence in customers’ software ecosystems, thereby creating the promise of future transactions. Further, the gratis upgrades can help lock-in customers, thereby guaranteeing a steady revenue stream for the software manufacturer.
Efficient customer service empowers small businesses that are interested in engaging and keeping customers. We note that this technique is critical for small entrepreneurs because flawless service helps to retain customers in competitive markets. For instance, a small groceries business can work to deliver the goods to the home addresses of its regular clientele. The customers will likely appreciate this gesture and may undertake a long-term decision to source groceries from said enterprise. The obvious aspect of customer convenience is the crux underlying this tactic. Further, this technique enables the business to upsell its products and upgrade the quality of merchandise being delivered to its customers. We note that these tactics will enable the groceries business to retain and expand its list of steady customers.
Social media represents a veritable marketing machine in the connected age we live in. Serious entrepreneurs have realized the importance of social media in engaging and keeping customers. Consequently, small brands and businesses can leverage these platforms to retain pools of customers. For instance, a small baked products business enterprise can create a branded handle on social media and connect with its customers. We note that this technique enables the business to dispense with expensive advertising budgets and communicate with its customers through social media. The business can spotlight new products and exotic baked creations in its pursuit of engaging and keeping customers. Regular updates can whet customer appetites and create a steady sales momentum for the business. Further, the ubiquity of social media indicates that the business can incrementally expand its commercial footprint in said online channels, thereby expanding its business remit.
Personal friendships can enable small businesses to achieve their goal of engaging and keeping customers. We note that this tactic is a legacy of small, localized communities that had limited scope of access to market goods. This technique enables small entrepreneurs to establish commercial relationships with clients, thereby ensuring steady revenue streams. The elements of trust and familiarity enable small business operators to engage with customers and clients, thereby negating competing marketing pitches. For instance, a manufacturer of furniture and wood products can build a pool of customers over the years. These commercial relationships can enable the manufacturer to defeat economic cyclicals and be assured of steady custom at all times. In addition, the promise of quality products can help said business operator to expand the ambit of business.
Top-notch product quality and high standards of service allow small businesses to accelerate the achievement of business goals that centre on engaging and keeping customers. We must bear in mind that customers remain interested in the best return on their valuable dollars. Impeccable product quality helps to establish trust that spurs repeat business opportunities. For instance, a bespoke apparel maker can market its superior product quality to the clientele. The flawless delivery of the promise of quality lays the foundations for long-term commercial relationships that overcome the evolution of market trends. Satisfied customers may recommend their choice to friends and family members, thereby enabling the business to expand its customer pools. We note that this tactic enables small businesses to gain scale at the expense of the competition.
In the preceding paragraphs, we have surveyed some of the techniques that enable businesses to engage and retain customers. Every business owner should take pride in their customer pools; a combination of said tactics can help small businesses to achieve desired business outcomes. Establishing trust remains one of the linchpins of these techniques. Intelligent entrepreneurs may also choose to replicate best sellers and to boost popular product lines in a bid to expand their market share. These techniques lend themselves admirably to multiple combinations and every business must explore such tactics to remain relevant in modern markets.