CRM: customer relationship management
As a small business owner, maintaining good relationships with your customers is extremely important. Small, local businesses rely heavily on word of mouth marketing, and because of that, doing simple things to boost your CRM will help you maintain and grow your customer base.
Here are simple things you can do to boost your CRM:
Start a conversation with a smile. This is probably the most basic thing on this list. It's so simple; yet why is it when I go into some stores it doesn't happen? In fact, I've been in some stores where the workers made me feel like it was a burden having me there. Having this attitude as a small business owner can be a huge downfall. No one wants to visit a store where the people aren't friendly. So smile, and start a conversation, even if it's just asking how they are, or complimenting a piece of clothing or accessory.
Make an effort to remember names. Making an effort to remember a customer's name, especially repeat customers, shows them that you care about their business and appreciate them as a customer.
Create a loyalty rewards program. Create a program that rewards repeat business. This is a simple way to entice customers to return to your store by offering an incentive to shop there. Just make sure that the reward is something that people will find to be worth shopping repeatedly for.
Make your customer's opinions count. If a customer comes in and has a specific request or opinion about your shop. Make sure you listen, and write it down. If it's something that is possible for you to change, get their phone number and call them when that change has been implemented to let them. It will make your customer feel like their opinions really matter. Even if it's something that you can't do, get their name and number and tell them that you'll look into it.
Incorporate technology in your business. Use CRM software to keep track of purchases and customer information. Use the technology to make their experience easier. For example, if you own a beauty salon, keep track of things like what color dye you used on your customers the last time they were there. When they come in you'll be able to quickly recall what you did for them and you can make adjustments as needed. That way there will be no guessing and your customer won't end up with a color/style they hate.
You can also use email software to send out newsletters to let your customers know what's happening in your store. Set up automatic birthday emails that send a coupon to your customer on his or her's birthday. This gives them an incentive to come into your store.
These are just a few simple things you can do to boost your CRM. What methods do you practice?