Any small business needs a constant flow of customers to survive in the highly competitive marketplace that we are in. To a large extent this flow can be controlled by enhancing the customer’s experience with the company. If it is a service, make it exceptional. If it is a product, match the needs of the customer to the relevant product. This is easier to do for a company who identifies their potential customer, then gives them a superlative experience in handling the sale. If you have a satisfied customer, he will return adding to the constant flow.
How to identify your potential customer
This can be tricky, but there are techniques that you can apply. Ask some basic questions such as who uses the product or service that you provide. For instance a cab rental service may not have a single demographic that you can narrow down on, however if you are selling android apps the demographic is likely to be a young person who owns a smart phone. The niche that you are in will define how you identify the demographic information common with your customer base. Some ways to get the information you need include market research, customer surveys, and open contests.
Collect all the raw data that you can and then have a professional analyze it for trends. Some may be easy to identify and capitalize on, for instance holiday rush to buy red roses and sweets on Valentine’s Day. Others may need an expert to point out the fact that while your teenage customers play the most video games, it is the parents who buy the games for them.
Why you must have the records handy
Once you have identified the age, gender, general employment type and location of your potential customer, make records of them all. This will help you approach them in a controlled and effective manner which is the key to building good customer relationships. Make sure that you have records of existing customers easily available to help them with their follow up purchases. The very fact that they do not have to waste time explaining what they need, every time they shop with your company, will make it handier for them to buy from you.
Update your customer database regularly and ensure that you back up the information. There is nothing quite as frustrating as not having a backup to a crashed hard disk drive. The ideal way to store the data would be online on a commercially hired server, but even those have been known to crash. So protect your data to keep those records handy.
Keeping your existing customers satisfied is mandatory, not optional
The easiest way to lose a customer is to not give him the level of satisfaction that he is used to receiving when dealing with your company. Remember you have set the bar with your first performance and the customer will expect at least that level of satisfaction, if not better, on his subsequent interactions and purchases with your company. So maintain a steady level of commitment to the satisfaction you deliver to all your customers, consistently over a period of time.
Sarika Periwal writes about marketing and media for small businesses. She writes for 522 Digital – Alexandria, VA, which is a digital marketing agency that works with small businesses to help grow their online audiences.