Whether you are operating a brick-and-mortar business or running an online venture, knowing your customer base should be your highest priority. We are not talking about data mining but rather relationship building.
Enough With Numbers
Granted, our society conditions us to be treated as block of data, a unit designed to consume. A quick online search will show the many ways our habits and wishes are tracked and used to dangle more glittering goodies before our insatiable eyes.
Sadly, most people are now used to being treated as a number. For the dedicated business owner, this sad fact offers a perfect opportunity to stand out from the crowd of analyzing and number crunching competitors.
More About People
Imagine entering a place of business, be it a website or an actual storefront, and feeling welcomed as a person instead of a wad of cash on a pair of legs. It is more than a different experience; it feels nice!
Granted, our ever-evolving technology can perform amazing feats of service; but if a person feels as if she or he is being perpetually scanned and evaluated with the purpose of generating a sale, perhaps technology has overstepped its omnipotent bounds.
Particularly for small and medium-sized business, a large percentage of customers patronize them because they are not another shiny and efficient merchandising center. People appreciate being recognized and greeted by name, but not because it was read off their credit card.
Enjoying Your Work
There is a saying by Confucius that says the person who enjoys their work has a vacation every day. Imagine a job that entails corralling customers, driving them down aisles to stock up, lining them up to separate their cash from them, and finally sending them out the door to accommodate the next herd. That does not sound at all enjoyable.
Now picture working in an environment where you recognize a good number of the customers that pass through your doors.
You remember that last month, Fred celebrated his 65th birthday. He loves it when you kid him about being too old to date anymore, particularly when his wife, Alice, is by his side. She always giggles and tells Fred he's in big trouble now.
Later in the day, Jack comes in. You haven't seen him for over a month and are delighted when he whips out his phone and shows you pictures of his vacation in Hawaii. He even brought you a bag of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts.
You also met a new family that just moved into the neighborhood and gave them a tip for your favorite local eatery, along with a business card that gives them a free dessert with their meal.
Getting the Job Done
While the entire day cannot be a social gathering, getting to know customers is a great way to encourage them to come back again. Shopping is touted as a pleasurable experience, but the satisfaction from buying goods and services can be fleeting.
Interactions with favorite clerks, waitresses, and other workers assisting you are often memorable and adds greater fulfillment to the entire experience. Keeping your focus on the person as well as their needs puts you a step ahead of your competition.
Using Technology to Stay Connected
As mentioned earlier, technology can be an incredible aid, if used appropriately. For instance, CRM software, Act! for example, is an excellent way to stay close with your clients as well as suppliers and business associates.
Because we too recognize the importance of staying up close and personal with our clients, this software is perfectly designed to help you track major and minor events of your entire customer base. You may be able to remember dozens of names and connect them to the right faces, but no one expects you to memorize birthdays, anniversaries, and other pertinent items that lets a person know they are much more important to you than just another sale.
Try Act! for free now!