Attention Small Businesses: Get Involved for Better Customer Service


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Customer service is often about the individual, which manifests when customers have a specific concern that you work with them to solve. But other times, you’ll need to address your audience on a wider scale. If you really want to make an impact on your customer base, you’ll find ways to get involved in the community.

As you well know, small businesses keep the economy of our communities running. They create new jobs, give money back to city funds, and contribute to the stability of the economic market. However, these businesses are being pushed out by larger chain stores that offer cheaper prices.

The only way small businesses can stay competitive is by offering excellent customer service. As small business owners and their employees get more involved in the community, customers recognize their value, even if their prices are a little higher.

It may cost some money upfront, but getting involved is one of the best things small businesses can do to show their customers they care.

Here are some of the best methods for doing so.

1. Donate Money

If you’ve had a particularly good year, use some of your funds to help a worthy cause in the community, such as raising money for a child with a handicap or donating to a community center.

If you don’t have a lot of money to give away, you can still help out by starting a community crowdfund campaign. This helps get community members involved in supporting a worthy cause, as well as recognizing your company’s involvement.

2. Serve on a Community Board

You’ll get to know the community and build up your reputation as you serve on a board that’s aligned with your interests. It will lead to more personal connections with customers and increase your networking.

3. Volunteer at Local Events

There’s a lot of power in volunteering for both you and your employees. It’s a great marketing opportunity, and it lets you get to know customers on a more personal level.

4. Sponsor Sports Teams

Offer to purchase the equipment and uniforms for a local sports team. It’s a great advertising opportunity, since customers will see your brand printed on the back of the uniforms when the teams play, and it will also improve customers’ perceptions of your company.

5. Host Events

Not only will event organizers be thrilled at your willingness to offer your organization as a meeting place for the event, but they’ll also bring you more business. You can mingle with customers one-on-one, which will allow you to develop relationships you couldn’t otherwise create.

6. Start a “Shop Local” Event

These events are geared towards raising awareness about the benefits of shopping locally. Businesses that participate generally offer special discounts and promotions amidst informational sessions speaking to the benefits of shopping at local businesses.

7. Offer a Scholarship

High school students and their parents are always looking for scholarship opportunities, and you can provide such. Design a contest that students can engage in to qualify for a small scholarship to be used towards education.

8. Promote Holiday Food Drives

During the holidays, more and more community members are looking to offer food for the needy. By getting involved with this food drive, you can promote your reputation among customers and increase your connections.

9. Hold a Contest

This is a great way to get your employees directly involved in building relationships among community members. Create a contest in which employees compete to raise money for a local charity or participate in another charitable act that requires them to spend time with customers outside of work.

10. Offer Free Services

Businesses that give services rather than products can offer to do some free work on the occasional weekend in order to support their community. A building contractor, for example, could offer to design a community center for free to show goodwill and investment in the area. This may take away some of your free time, but it will go a long way with your customers.

Larry Alton
Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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