The global economic recession may be no more, but a lot of businesses still have a very conservative approach to their operations as a way of safeguarding their enterprise from the instability the future may bring. But for most of these “frugal” enterprises, operating leaner is anything but a downgrade – in fact, it’s a commitment for them to be exceptionally creative in achieving their goal of competitiveness.
Speaking of competitiveness, of course, the aspect of customer service deserves much attention because customers bring in the profits. Many are inclined to think that with a smaller budget, very little can be done – that’s not true. Again, creativity and resourcefulness are very important, and there’s a multitude of ways to keep expenses low while still amping up the business’s customer service. Here, business gurus share their top five tips.
- Teach employees how to properly interact with customers to net in those sales and up-sells. Have them present a more professional attitude – really knowing what the products are for, the different ways they can be used at home, and how to cater to the unique needs of certain customers.
- Come up with special events for the business establishment. Bookstores can hold storytelling sessions just like at The Shop Around the Corner in “You’ve Got Mail,” bars can have game nights, craft stores can have special demonstrations – there are all sorts of events to effectively appeal to the desires of customers and secure profit without spending excessively.
- Consider other ways of meeting customers’ needs. Liz McIntyre, the owner of Brown & Hopkins Country Store, maintains a blog and provides her customers various recipes to try using some of the products sold at her store – her customers are known to check out her blog frequently for dinner and feast ideas. Blogging can be done for absolutely free, and furthermore, it’s a great way to increase the business’s relevance to the lives of its target audience.
- Freshen up the establishment. A fresh coat of paint on yellowing signage, a new arrangement of furniture, new scents, and a different location for product displays – all these may seem insignificant at first, but they can certainly create a new, positive experience for customers.
- Offer special services to special customers. This is a small-town business approach, but everybody appreciates the “fuzzy” feeling that special services bring like being able to call the store, tell the owner what they need so they can prepare the payment, drop by the store, and be off, or special delivery for sick patrons. Such operations never fail to increase loyal customers who then serve as reliable endorsers of the business.