Most local businesses operate via word of mouth. Once you have one satisfied customer, s/he is likely to tell others about how great your product or service is, and this leads to a chain reaction, making your business more and more popular. When you’re working in this way, your clientele tends to be limited to a certain geographical area.
Through website development, you can expand your reach, especially if you give clients the option of purchasing what you sell online. However, you may be concerned that, by growing your local business, you’ll lose the personal connection that you develop with your clients. How do you grow, yet maintain great customer relationships? How do you preserve that down-home atmosphere that separates small businesses from larger ones?
Usually, the thing that separates small businesses from larger ones is the fact that they can give you personal attention. If you don’t like something about the product or service they’re selling, you can ask for alterations or you can ask for something else to be made as per your specifications. You can tell them what you want and they’ll give it to you.
If you’re expanding your business by going on the internet, you can still give customers the opportunity to have their product customized. If the range of products that you offer doesn’t satisfy the customer, they should have the opportunity of choosing a customization, either over the internet or by calling you and telling you exactly what they want. This will help you to grow your business without losing contact with your clients.
Another thing that separates small businesses from larger ones is that small ones stay in touch with their clients more and receive feedback on a regular basis. If you have fewer clients and you’re bumping into them in your small town, they’ll probably tell you how your product is working out for them and whether they think it needs any changes.
When companies get larger, they conduct surveys in order to get feedback but they can only manage to get it from a limited number of clients. Not everyone has the time to fill these out and many people assume that it’s not going to make much of a difference anyway.
As a small business going on the internet, you can invite more feedback from your clients on a regular basis. You can ask them for product reviews, invite them to leave comments on your blog or social media pages or send them follow up emails to find out if their purchase is working out for them. This helps to replicate the great customer service all your local clients receive.
Contact us for more great ways to make sure that your growing local business doesn’t lose the personal touch.