The average American spends about $700 around the holidays, totaling more than $465 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. That’s a lot of money being put into circulation in our economy, and if businesses play their cards right, it could mean an abundance of revenue.
The problem is, there are unlimited options for consumers and they have all of the contact information they need for any and every business right at their fingertips. That means that business owners need to implement strategies for keeping customers happy throughout the year, in order to create loyal customers who advocate for their business. Loyal customers don’t come easily, but they are worth their weight in gold. Even though repeat customers only make up roughly 20% of a business’ total customers, they account for about 80% of total revenue.
So, what can you do to keep your customers happy throughout the new year?
Communicate Openly & Stay Engaged
What does it mean to ‘stay engaged’ with your customers? It means that you’re always keeping the lines of communication open-going both ways! Of course you are happy to answer the phone for your customer any time, but are they also hearing from you? Businesses should be engaging with their customers on a regular basis, whether that’s monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly. Depending on your industry, customers should be hearing from your business as frequently as necessary to keep the communication open. It’s important to make sure your business stays at the top of your customers’ minds so they know to turn to you whenever they have a job to be done. Examples of effective customer engagement would be:
- An email letting your customers know about upcoming changes to your business or services.
- An SMS text message informing customers about a special you’re running.
- An email reminding your customer they’re due for another service.
- A message asking your customer for honest feedback.
You get the idea, your engagements with customers should be meaningful, worthwhile and beneficial to both you and them.
Everyone loves a good deal. If you’re planning on running any specials or offering coupons for your services any time soon, it’s best to start advertising now. People are looking to get their carpets cleaned for their family gatherings, they are searching for someone to tune-up their heating system this winter and change their oil. The point is, consumers are searching for your business and if you can show them that you offer a great deal along with your top-notch service, they’re sure to be happy. Your holiday specials don’t need to be anything crazy that will put a dent in your business. You could engage with customers and provide small-scale incentives to bring them back through your door. These deals could look like:
- $10 off your next HVAC tune-up or repair!
- 5% off your next oil change!
- Have the carpet cleaned in 3 rooms, and the 4th one is on us!
Release a New Product or Service
If you’ve been working on a new product or service, now is the time for your big release! The new year is an exciting time of year for everyone, including businesses. We know you’re busy, but that’s part of the excitement. Everyone is interested in “the next big thing” and if your business has something in the works, let your customers know! It doesn’t have to be huge. Maybe you’re offering a longer guarantee on your HVAC system tune-ups, or you’re using a new type of carpet cleaning product. Even if it doesn’t sound all that exciting behind-the-scenes, there’s always a way to amp it up and market it in a way that will have your customers eager to try it out!
Focusing on communicating with your customers and going out of your way to serve them and make their lives easier will keep your business ahead of the game!
For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. If any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add, please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!