Small businesses definitely have their advantages. They’re lean, nimble, and offer a niche product or service that big businesses sometimes can’t. But they can also feel detached from its customers if they’re not taking the right measures. And just because you’re small doesn’t mean your business has to act that way. Taking a few notes from big businesses can have a big impact on how your customers perceive you – and your level of professionalism.
How can emulating big businesses help both you and your customers? Here’s where you can start:
- Keep track of your customers’ buying habits
Big businesses are great at collecting customer insights, and using those insights to market directly to their audience. Building customized profiles based on what and when your customers purchase, in addition to their payment preferences, can give you a fuller picture of who each buyer is.
- They win: As you learn more about your customers through tailored profiles, they feel like you genuinely know them and their habits.
- You win: See a complete view of your customers’ purchase history to make better decisions on growing your business.
- Provide scheduling flexibility
Playing “phone tag” and responding to email threads are small time. And let’s face it: these antiquated modes of communication don’t bode well in a technologically-driven world. So let customers schedule like the pros do it. Allow them to generate appointments from your website, emails, or social media pages for not only a polished look, but also a better customer experience.
- They win: Customers can schedule or adjust appointments online and receive automatic notifications of changes for ease of use.
- You win: You and your staff can block personal time, breaks, or days off in your calendar and set automatic lead times so you can generate more business while maintaining control of your schedule.
- Automate follow-ups
Doesn’t it feel super professional when you get a reminder regarding a service you had scheduled, or follow-up email after your appointment? It’s good to know that everything is organized and automated behind the scenes – even if your customers may not be. This is where big companies shine, and where you can, too.
- They win: By ditching the stress of having to personally manage services and appointments, customers can rely on you and your business even more.
- You win: Sending automatic follow-ups and reminders not only saves you time and resources, but also helps prevent no-shows.
- Build a positive online reputation
Your website can be your secret weapon – or your downfall – depending on a few factors. Some of those include whether or not it’s optimized, mobile-friendly, and dialed in for selling services.
Surprisingly, only 61% of small service-based businesses we recently surveyed have a mobile-friendly website. But they are taking advantage of what this brings to their business: More than half allow customers to purchase/sign up for products and services online and 75% plan to increase business generated online in 2017. Additionally, an online store or point of sale software developed for service-oriented businesses can help you hone sales and keep customers coming back.
- They win: Your customers can shop your services easily and anytime from their computer, phone, or tablet for a top-notch experience.
- You win: Sell your services like never before with online product catalogs, website integrations, and social plugins – and gain recurring customers.
Achieve big goals as a small business
By taking notes from what big businesses do well, you’ll help your small business amplify its success, add value to your sales, and give your customers more of what they want. Share with us how you’ve emulated big business strategies to take your small business to the next level.
Want to take the next step to growing your small business? Get started here.Business & Finance Articles on Business 2 Community