We all know your business has certainly changed over the past six months. So have your customers. Every person who buys from your business has been through the same degree of COVID-related confusion and turmoil. Many have emerged with different consumer behaviors than they had before.

Just how different are shoppers today than they were before the pandemic? Research will tell us that  consumers have migrated to online buying, become more attached to businesses they trust, and unfortunately have reduced their buying frequencies. The good or bad news is that these changes are not going away either. In fact, they’ll probably be part of the next normal.

Yet customers will always depend on small businesses like yours, which makes it vital for you to strengthen your relationships with new and long-time buyers. How are you going to build relationships with your customers today? Here are a few key strategies to boost your customer-business bond.

  1. Develop more meaningful relationships by using customer data.

I have been preaching for a long time that it is so important for businesses to capture the names and contact information of their customers. Simply by obtaining this information, it will allow you to not only know who they are but to provide various other opportunities to keep in touch and nurture them so that your business stays in their minds. You can also survey your list to find out what their likes and buying preferences are, send them special loyal customer discounts and notify them of up coming special sales. If you have never captured your customer’s data before, I strongly suggest you start right away.

However, you don’t just want to stockpile data. Rather, you want to use it to make meaningful relationships on a more personal level. For instance, your customer data could help you group together similar clients, or separate them according to their preferences and needs. You can send gifts and birthday cards. Your customers are much more likely to pay attention, feel appreciated and become loyal to your business.

  1. Make it safe and convenient to do business with you.

With concerns over the possibility of contracting COVID-19, more consumers are taking preference to contactless transactions. This makes them more likely to adopt to emerging contactless strategies.

You don’t have to go as far as inventing a pay reader that identifies customers by their palm prints, but you should consider other types of touchless buying solutions. For example, some retailers have installed self-service checkout kiosks or have the customer use their smart phones. Others allow customers to buy online and have curbside delivery brought to their vehicles. 

Think like a customers from their concerned point of view. What can you do to demonstrate that you’re taking their safety to heart? The more secure customers feel when patronizing your your brick-and-mortar business, the more likely they’ll be to become repeat buyers.

  1. Give customers a way to help themselves.
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Nothing’s quite as frustrating for your customers if they are unable to problem-solve an issue related to your product or services. Sure, you’ll always have customers who need a one-on-one interaction, but it’s important to also provide alternative ways for your customers to help themselves. It saves time for both your customers and your team members. 

There are lots a ways to do it too. I’ve helped a number of my small business coaching clients revise their websites and social media apps to include helpful content to answer many of their questions or concerns through images, videos or text copy. We identified the most frequently asked questions and provided answers right on the website and apps. In some instances, we also added chat and helpdesk functions. This way, you won’t need to pay your team members to be available round the clock.

  1. Offer little customers surprises.

Have you ever gotten a free beverage or dessert at your favorite restaurant? It may have made your day-or week. Little surprises like those don’t have to cost a bundle to wow and surprise your customers and keep them happy and engaged.

Find out what other businesses are doing to delight customers. Some might offer unexpected discounts at checkout for repeat customers, add little extra treats like free car washes coupons, stress balls, or swag in packages before sending them out. Even a handwritten thank-you note from the employee or business owner could be a nice touch.

Yes times have changed, but people haven’t stopped buying. They just crave a different level of relationship with your businesses. Show your customers that you understand where they’re coming from and that you care about them and they’ll be more likely to keep coming back. Even during these unusual times. Now that would be Magical!

Want help? Reach out to me and let’s schedule a FREE Discovery Strategy Session Call and get your 2021 year off to a great and profitable start.

Contact the Coach at info@johnformica.com or (704) 965-4090 today!