You will agree with me that there are not enough people in the world to sufficiently stock every business place equally. But what we see is an unbalanced swarm of people towards some vendors or companies while the less patronized places remain deficient.
In the game of business, the consumers are the real bosses and in order to be able to attract high customer patronage, it must be your daily task to find out what triggers customers to move towards you and stay faithful. In this post, you will learn some of the ways you can capture your customers' attention and make them always want to be with you. But first, what are the factors that make a customer buy from you in the first place?
Factors That Attract Customers To YouAmongst others include:
- The relative price of your products.
- The value for money.
- Quality and durability.
- Special value addition.
These are been shown to be important factors that affect how much customer traffic you attract.
The Relative Price Of Your ProductsEveryone as experience on how the price of a commodity has influenced their choice or what to buy and who to buy it from. Lower prices generally attract many people who cannot afford the higher-priced products.
It is quite reasonable to expect the price of a commodity to be high if the cost of production is high. Generally, high-priced commodities tend to have more value, desired aesthetics, durability and quality.
It does not, however, mean that all high-priced products will always be as valuable as their price suggest. It still does not translate that all low-priced goods will lack the desired quality. Like I already pointed out, many factors including costs of production, transport and distribution ultimately affect the price of goods.
Being construed by the price factor, the customer can change to suit the amount he is willing to spend even to his extreme limits. But one thing your customer will never tolerate is having the product perform way less than the amount they spent or the claims you give.
The Value For MoneyIs the value derived from your product commensurate with the price? It may not be a straightforward way to determine whether a product is worth the price but one indirect way to find out is to know your goods even though you may not be the manufacturer. And once they find out that the specifications and the quality value you told them matched their experience with the item, they are more likely to return to you.
Many consumers will go on to patronize higher-priced products if the product satisfies their needs, meet their demands and fulfils all the claims the product emphasized. And of course, if they can afford to pay for it. On the other hand, when the claims of the trader about a given item do not meet how the consumer experienced it, the likelihood that they will return reduces by a very large proportion.
Quality and DurabilityBrands that are known to have good quality and durability with good after-sales warranty services tend to do better in the competition. Many vendors or managers may not be manufacturers. You may just be a wholesaler or retailer of one or more goods. But notwithstanding, by offering after-sales services like the real manufacturer or producer would, you stand a higher chance against your local competitors. You can utilize the after-sales of the producers and be willing to assist them in cases of return or complaints to the production companies, if necessary.
Quality and durability are what made many companies stand out today. Take, for example, the Apple iPhone still as many customers worldwide who are eagerly waiting for their next upgrade. This is because of the experience in terms of quality and durability when they tried the iPhone for the first time.
Special Value AdditionThis is the last one in this section, after which we go on to te 10 great things your customers wish you can do, to keep them with you.
Value addition in this context may refer to services which are outside the primary purpose of the business, rendered to the consumers at little or no cost for the sake of promoting the company's product. These enhance customers' loyalty and serve as incentives for customers.
Let's go on to the 10 things you can do to keep your customers' patronage.
10 Things To Keep Your Customers
These are 10 things to create a friendly environment that draws your customers to you like a magnet.
Customers feel happy and satisfied when in addition to the services they came for, you gave them an additional sense of welcome. By smiling at them, it automatically stimulates their interest in what you have to offer. It also gives them the confidence that they are going to derive the most value from your services. This makes them want to keep patronizing you.
- Smile Warmly and Often
Check out this post on how to be happy at work.
No matter how busy your place has become, customers still want to be treated individually. They want undivided attention. Though this may be difficult in certain cases you have to find a way out even if it has to do with hiring an extra sales-person.
- Listening To Them And Answering Their Questions
You must try to make eye contact with them one at a time. This makes them feel that they are not wasting their time in your shop and keeps them coming to you.
There are times when you may not remember certain details about their order(s). You must take the time to find out what they had said earlier. And this must be done politely, still on eye contact and with your usual bright countenance. Although it is good to try to keep track of almost everything they say, forgetfulness is inevitable. But when you do forget, politely clarify what they said earlier. As much as possible, you are attentive enough to avoid forgetting details of their order too soon because that would give them the impression that you have not been listening all along.
- Asking Them Questions Politely
It is not enough to be the only nice person in your shop. Very many customers would stop coming when they notice that your employees are displaying a negative attitude. Only a handful would stay just because of the confidence they may have built on you over the years, but you don't deserve to lose your new customers too.
- Train Your Employees To Do The Same
When customers stop coming to your shop, know that you may have done something the wrong way. Even though some of them may have left, there are always others that are more patient enough to tell you what you are probably doing wrong because of the bond you have created with them before.
- Listen To Their Complaints
It's beautiful knowing that they are trying hard to remain with you but it is also important to know that they can still leave. When they express their dissatisfactions, you must note them and find ways to promptly address them.
No matter how successful your business may have become, you must not make your customers feel any less important. Building customers' patronage is a great thing but destroying everything you have done is disastrous to your business. You have to stay nice to them at all times irrespective of how insignificant they may seem. The fact is they are never insignificant.
- Make Them feel Important
Knowing customers beyond their market demands at your shop consolidates your relationship with them. You should get to know what they do, where they live and their interests. This may all in one single day, but you should try to learn something new about your customers each day you meet them. By learning about your customers, you build communication, trust and loyalty.
- Build A Cordial Relationship
By offering promotional offers, free bonuses, vouchers, and other stuff like that, you reinforce their interest in your products. These may seem small in relation to what they are obtaining at a fee but they magically make them keep patronizing. You would often laugh when you hear customers talk about how much they love the small candy they received after purchasing your product(s). Just candy? That is a special value addition.
- Special Value Addition
The truth is whether you like to hear it or not, there is always a competition. Read about how to handle competition here. It may not be visible at the moment but it's there. Business owners tend to forget about the competition when they realise that they are on top of the game already, or when they are operating a form of monopoly, that is, they are the only one in the line of business.
- Think About The Competition
If you begin to treat your customers badly, that will soon become your greatest weak points from which old and new competitors will surface. There are enough weak points already. You wouldn't want to create new avoidable ones. Would you?
Several times, we encounter customers that seem to know more than they should. This is commoner in businesses that focuses on service-rendering. You must understand that sometimes customers may have gone ahead to research about their issue before consulting you. So you must give them a chance to say what they know even if they may be wrong. Few other times, they may actually be right. But in all cases, you must try not to feel intimidated or angry about it.
- Give Them A Chance To Say What They Know
Always try to update your knowledge about the service(s) you offer. Also, realise that sometimes the actual solution may already be in what they say. By listening to them and acting maturely, they are reassured for your competence.
Conclusively, there is nothing more interesting to a business person than hear your customers say to you "you made my day". You must always try to make them happier than they were before they came. This is the ultimate value you can give to them.