Showing Customer Appreciation as a Beading Business Owner

Although Christmas time is often referred to as the season of giving, there's no rule that says you can't show your appreciation for your customers prior to the end of the year. As a beading business owner, you know how tough things can get, especially during an economic slump. This makes it even more important for you to show your gratitude toward your clients and keep them coming back for more.

Customer loyalty is more than just putting a smile on their faces and hosting a sale. It's crucial to try to establish a relationship with each of your clients not only to maintain a high retention rate but to bring in more sales in the future. Have you ever thought about how many of your customers refer your beading business to their friends? It may happen more often than you think, especially if you're constantly showing signs of appreciation for their business.

There are a couple of ways that you can show respect for your customers as well as easily maintain your client retention rate over time. Even though it may seem like it requires an unnecessary amount of effort, think of the pay-off--happy customers means more references, which can result in more sales for you. Here are a few ways you can reward your loyal clients and keep everyone coming back for more.

1. Incorporate customer rewards into your business plan. Oftentimes, entrepreneurs aren't thrilled at the idea of practically giving away money through discounts and coupons, especially when it's already hard to stay afloat as a self-employed individual. However, Entrepreneur.com says that utilizing the coupon tactic can help you reach out to a whole new niche audience--consumers who may be strapped for cash.

This doesn't necessarily have to translate into a losing situation for you either. You can increase your customer retention rate by offering discounts to those who sign up for your email newsletter or spend a certain amount of money at your small beading business. This is an effective tactic to keep customers interested in your company, and it's also a great way to gather information on your target audience.

2. Hold events for your most valuable customers. If you really want to focus on maintaining your client retention rate, consider holding special events for your loyal customers. You can do this by offering allotted discount shopping hours or a get-together that can keep individuals in the loop about the happenings within your company.

Although this may seem like it's singling out a particular group of consumers, think of it this way - VIP clients who have a great time are likely to talk about it afterward. This buzz may encourage other consumers to be more diligent about shopping with you in the future, resulting in additional sales.

3. Get personal with your clients. Inc.com says that even though you might think of your customers as just one large target market, every person wants to feel special. Think about how you feel when you walk into a store and employees greet you with familiarity. On that note, try to remember your customers' names. Greet them as soon as they come in and spend a little time catching up.

''The best salespeople spend 80 percent of their time listening, not talking,'' Marc Willson, a retail and restaurant consultant for the Virginia SBDC network, told Inc.com.

Even if you find it difficult to get to know each of your clients on a personal level, putting forth the effort can have a positive effect. Clients recognize when they're being treated with care, as opposed to as just another sale. The power of a smile and a light-hearted conversation can go a long way.

4. Pay attention to the little things when it comes to customer service. Although the stresses of being an entrepreneur can quickly mount, it's important to keep your consumers a priority at all times. It can be tough to put forth a positive attitude on a bad day, but doing so can let your clients know that your beading business is doing just fine and it's worth coming back to. Remember to show your enthusiasm and passion for your business on a regular basis. This will get both your employees and consumers excited about what you have to offer.

Although it can be hard at times, try to be a listener. Make note of your customers' feedback, both good and bad, to help your small beading business grow over time. By taking a few of these tips into consideration, you can maintain your bottom line and improve your customer retention rate. 


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