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Every business owner strives to get new customers, and just as importantly, they strive to keep those customers once they get them. There are many ways to attract new customers and keep them loyal. Businesses who make this an integral part of their plan are much more likely to be successful.
Create Brand Image and Association
Modern customers tend to be visual customers. Brand image is important for customers to recognize and identify a business. Branding means not only creating a recognizable and memorable image or slogan, but also a positive association with this image or slogan for customers to connect with.
Creating a brand begins with the image. This is best done with the help of professional graphic designers who can create unique and meaningful images for your company. This design should then be consistently displayed across all marketing and contact materials. This may mean the design needs to be flexible and simple enough to appear in a variety of materials and in a variety of sizes.
Successful branding connects this image or slogan to an idea or feeling related to your company. This connection is important for modern businesses. It creates the impression for first time customers and revives that impression each time the customer returns to the business. This consistency in brand image is what makes it most successful. Customers may see just a logo, but they develop a set of expectations, assurances and emotions that go along with it. When done well, this branding can greatly deepen customer loyalty and retention.
Ensure Quality and Consistency in Contact
Customers today are flooded with a near constant barrage of marketing imagery and messages. This sheer inundation makes it even more important for businesses to stand out in how they connect with customers. This isn’t as easy as making sure you keep up your blog and create a good email listing. In fact, many younger customers are craving connections that some may consider outdated.
The strongest and most surprising connections a business can make with customers are face-to-face or direct connections. Customers have a desire to feel important to the business and not just another name on an email list or face in the store. This means ensuring that staff are well trained in direct customer interaction. It may mean putting forth the extra expense to talk to customers directly instead of using an automated system. Making a personal connection to the client and then following up electronically is often much more meaningful than reaching a customer first or only through electronic media.
Direct mail is one system of customer interaction and connection that some consider outdated in a realm dominated by email and the internet. It is this very domination of electronic media that makes direct mail marketing important to the modern customer. It can be done with the help of services that specialize in printing in the Chicago area or wherever your business may be. A customer may get hundreds of marketing emails each day, the vast majority of which never get opened, but they may receive only a few pieces of physical mail. The physical mail has become the method that stands out and makes customers feel more appreciated. Sending email is basically free. Mailing a real envelope, flier or brochure takes investment. This means something to customers, and 39 percent of customers try a business for the first time due to direct mail advertising.
Personalize the Business for Clients
Each customer will value a business more when they feel that business is thinking directly about them. This means that personalizing contact and content for customers is extremely important. A niche business or one that caters only to a small customer base may do this naturally. For larger businesses or those with wider appeal, it may take more work to ensure customer contact is personal. As much as possible, focus teams of staff on individual client types or groups so that there is a greater chance of recognition and understanding. Anytime a business or representative of that business is able to make a connection the customer does not expect, that customer’s loyalty is deepened.
Give Customers Options
Choices are incredibly impacting for customers. Choice creates the sensation of ownership and privilege in any situation. It may not be something the customer thinks upfront, but it is an important subliminal feeling. This goes far beyond just the choice of products or services. These things must already be important. The business is distinguished by the other choices the company may offer that set them apart from competition. For example, a company that offers a variety of payment plans and options, especially in a business or industry in which such options are less common, may highly distinguish itself.
Customers also love options when it comes to coupons, discounts and other sorts of promotional offers. The more choices a customer has when it comes to interacting or transacting with the business, the more likely they will be to revisit it and enjoy the experience.
There are many ways to stand out in business and create meaningful and lasting connections with customers. Businesses that succeed in this will likely both profit and remain in business for a long time. It is never too late to improve how the business works in this area or begin creating a stronger brand image.