Friday, November 27, 2015

Customer relations

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     to help you better manage your small business

     Customers can be a gold mine. Doing more in customer relations can bring them back again and again. As a plus, they will refer others to you. 

     Example: Frank is a caterer. He helps each client make the most of their affair by showing them how to take it to the next level. It can be much more than food. This sometimes means suggesting a black tie affair or setting up a big tent with a dance floor and band to create spectacular gatherings. Frank's operation has moved from simple backyard events to managing large affairs for corporate clients. 

      Example: Eve is an accountant. She sees many of her clients only once each year--at tax time. She began spending more time with each client, showing them how to simplify their bookkeeping and educating them on the tax implications of what they are doing--and what they could do. This has solidified Eve's relationship with clients, expanded the amount of work she does with them, and attracted more clients. 

     Example: Ed runs a garden center. During spring and summer, Ed regularly hosts an event, free and open to the public, showing people how to lay pavers and bricks, how to build walls and fences, etc. He brings in representatives from suppliers--they are glad to contribute their time. These events have built Ed's reputation and expanded his customer base far beyond its previous reach. Even local landscapers and contractors attend the sessions and refer others. 

     Example: Gina operates a women's clothing and accessories business. She sells to walk-ins and through her website. She attracts customers through regular posts on social media. Every time a customer spends more than $100, Gina sends a personal thank you. When someone spends more than $500, she sends them a gift certificate. 

     Create good customer relations with your clients. Educate them. Show them how you can do more. Make sure they understand all you can do.

     Offering free information is basic to good customer relations. This separates small business from the big box stores and chain stores. Put tips and info on your website from time to time, and frequently post on social media. Show your customers you care. 

     Good customer relations can build your business. Remember, your customers talk about you in the community and on social media. 

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