Customers are often quick to spot a business that only cares about the bottom line. But the businesses that make it obvious that the customer matters? Those are the businesses that tend to get lots of repeat business. So how can businesses show customers that they aren’t just there to make another buck? Here are four ideas for small businesses to show customers how much they care.
Support a non-profit that customers care about.
Some businesses are built entirely around the idea that, for every sale, a donation is made to a charitable cause. The shoe company TOMS, for example, donates a pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair of shoes purchased. But small businesses don’t have to build their entire sales philosophy around charitable giving from the get go to show customers how much they care.
Consider a special event that donates a portion of all the proceeds to a local non-profit. Ideally, you should choose a non-profit that your target audience cares about or a charity that’s related to your industry. For example, a photographer specialising in children’s photography could make a donation to a children’s hospital or an organisation researching childhood ailments. If you still need inspiration, consider a charity related to the season. Give to an environmental organisation around Earth Day, for example.
Go beyond what’s necessary for customer service.
Good customer service is a must for businesses to thrive — but why stop at just good? Customers remember the businesses that went above and beyond. Don’t just fix the problem the customer comes to you with, but offer a coupon for their next purchase for their troubles. Reward employees that go above and beyond, like the cashier that helps the mum with the crying baby unload her cart, to encourage others to do the same.
Offer personalised service.
Customers remember the businesses that make them feel like they are more than just a number. Besides just remembering the names of your regulars, brainstorms ways to integrate personalised experience into your business. Consider software that will help track a customer’s preferences. For service providers, take a few minutes to ask a few questions to tailor that service to the individual, like finding out about a client before taking their picture or cutting their hair.
Go environmentally friendly.
More and more people are becoming aware of environmental issues. Some businesses have noticed and done things like ban plastic straws in the name of leaving less plastic in oceans and landfills. Try switching to environmentally-friendly packaging and letting your customers know about the switch. Consider using biodegradable paper bags instead of plastic. Brainstorm ways to reduce your trash. Both your customers and the environment will thank you.
Customers are more likely to return to a business where they felt cared for, not like just another number. That customer care can show in a number of different ways, from customer service that goes above and beyond to donating a portion of profits to a charitable cause.