Perhaps a local business is defined by reputation. A bad word can spread through a community and do irreversible damage, or it can enable your very success. A local reputation is like a brand at national level and can make you very influential in your local market, if you get it right.
There are now several ways of keeping in touch with your consumer base cost effectively and retaining a customer should be the number one goal, especially for an established local business.
Most businesses think the only time they need to be communicating with a customer is when they want to make a sale, this is a falicy that could pertain to an undesirable image of greed and ensure mistrust. Why would you want potential or existing customers to only ever hear from you when you want something from them? Don’t you think that keeping in touch with your consumers even when you have NOTHING to sell, will help to build trusting relationships and increase conversion rates for when you DO enter sale mode, or will they will choose you over your competition as a result of past actions or even lack of?
Communicating can be as simple as an email, a newsletter or a birthday card. It let’s your customers know you care and they are much more likely to choose you over your competition whenever they need your product or service and is known as TOMA or top of mind awareness. Once you have a relationship with a consumer, you can sell to them over and over again. Most of your marketing should be spent on a customer retention program, if you don’t have a good one yet alone one at all, your competition will snatch them from you as soon as they can. If you are in control, do not let that go or you can bet some of your market share will too.
Communication however is not just a customer retention program, although incredibly vital of course. Communication is a system applying internally and externally. Speaking, but also listening. Successful businesses listen first and sell second allowing them to cater a consumers needs accordingly. Allowing them to keep up to date and be first to act – even if it just simply means a tweak to a service in your market people are craving for or a certain desired price plan or referral program.
Communicating with your consumers whether it being listening or speaking is essential not just to survival, but is a vital component pertaining to growth. Remember it is an eco system that requires balance, but also take note as technology grows so quickly and old medias become more obsolete, the WAY in which we communicate is also significant – it is no longer just what we say but, how we say it.
Are you seen as an up to date local business?
Can you reach your customers? How? What does the answer say about you?
Are you online and if so, just exactly how online are you? Facebook? Twitter? Google?
If you aren’t up to date in the way in which you reach consumers. If their words aren’t heard, could the phones stop ringing? Or do you communicate enough with your customers that it would never happen?
We may be able to help you to keep your exisiting customers loyal and find new clients via new and pre exisiting medias.