GROWING YOUR BUSINESS: Stay in touch with customers

Growing your businessby Dan Beaulieu
Business consultant

Sure, you see your customers all the time. You see them when you do their landscaping or when they come into your restaurant for a meal, or when they come in for their monthly spa treatment, or when they call you to set up the annual snow removal arrangements. I know that you see that at those times, but what about the rest of the time?

It is always important to stay in touch with your customers even when you are not actually providing them services or products.

Whether you own a hardware store, or a dry cleaning business, or a restaurant, it is important to stay in front of your customers, even when you are not in front of them.

Now, I am not suggesting anything as obnoxious as calling them up once in a while, nobody wants to make that call or especially, to receive that call.

But there are many other ways to stay in touch with your customers. What we call “soft touches”

First of all, there is always advertising in local newspapers like this one. The rates are very economical; and the readership is local enough so that if you are a local small business, you are advertising to your customer base. Advertising locally is a very good way to stay in front of your customers.

The monthly newsletter is one of the best ways to stay in front of your current customers, but even better, it is a way to reach out to new potential customers. By using inexpensive software like Constant Contact, you can easily compile a list of your customers, as well as some target customers.

Create an attractive template and then send one out once a month. It does not have to be long. In fact, it should not be too long. The newsletter can be made up of a message from you, the owner, some tips about your product or service.

If you are a landscaper you can provide some short seasonal tips on what has to be done to your lawn at this time of the year. If you own a restaurant, you can give out some recipes, or better yet, highlight some new tempting dishes you are offering this month.

The newsletter can also provide some special discount coupons to urge your customers to use your services during that month. You can also provide a little humor: a tasteful anecdote or joke and maybe even a quiz or trivia question. The key is to make the newsletter pleasant and attractive enough that people will look forward to receiving and opening in when it shows up in their email box.

One of the keys to s successful newsletter is to have an ever growing list of current and potential customers. With your current customers ask them to sign up for your newsletters. Offer them incentives like “Valuable Special Discounts” just for signing up. Don’t push, be subtle and friendly about it, make it fun and appealing. Put a sign up email address in your advertising if you advertise, put it on your flyers and your invoices.

The more people who consistently open and read your newsletter the more potential customers your will have. And that’s a perfect way to stay in touch and, yes, to grow your business.


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