1) Excellent service. Good customer service is probably the number one area that affects your bottom line. You can offer the lowest price in town, but if you offer a sour greeting when someone walks in the door, those prices won’t mean a thing.
According to the latest statistics:
• 55 percent of customers would pay a higher price for better service.
• 70 percent of buying experiences are based on how customers feel they are being treated.
• 92 percent of companies reported decline due to customer disappointment form inconsistent service.
• A 10 percent increase in customer retention results in a 30 percent increase in company value.
Treat your customers as if each one is special, respond quickly to rectify complaints, and continue to perform service with a smile. Word gets around quickly in small business circles; don’t let that word be your ruin.
2) Great marketing. The right marketing not only builds your brand, but it can also increase sales and engage your customers. Marketing helps you sell your products by letting the world know that they’re for sale. You can offer low prices, but unless people know you exist, you can’t sell a thing. Social media platforms offer excellent exposure with less cost. Social media also offers personal interactions that can lead you to customers you never thought you’d reach. Don’t assume that “open” sign on your door will automatically lead everyone through it.
3) Incentives. Small businesses who don’t offer credit card payment options can do well, but can they continue to grow and thrive? We know that credit card processing fees are high for merchants, but accepting credit is essential. You can have all of the customer service skills in the world, and people may just love your marketing tactics, but if they don’t have cash on hand, you’re going to lose out on that sale.
On the other end of the spectrum, people who do have cash on hand would appreciate a little discount by paying with the green stuff. But if you don’t take credit cards in the first place, those incentives go out the door with the crowd.
By offering a cash discount, you can solve both problems in one fail swoop.
• A cash discount program allows you to pass the credit card transaction fees along to your credit paying customers. Go ahead and accept the plastic; it won’t cost you anything extra.
• A cash discount program allows you to give your cash paying customers a discount when they choose not to pay with a credit card.
The combination of these three things can make, or break, your business. Take the time to learn more about how to make them work for you.