Customer Retention for Small Businesses

Customers; without them, your business is nothing. But don’t let that deter you from working on your customer retention. Whether you’re just starting a business or have been running a company for several years, you should understand that it is your customers who keep you in business.

Getting your service or product into the hands of the right customer can (and will) make all the difference. When running your business, you should always keep in mind that your most vital asset is your customer. And getting to know each customer will help your business grow.

Customer Retention for Small Businesses means always making your customers happy

Why is Customer Retention Important?

Retention: When someone becomes a customer, your company turns its focus to satisfy them so they want to return and also refer your company to their family and friends.

We’re not saying that finding new customers isn’t important. What we are saying is this: how do you plan on keeping those new customers around? So, in this regard, customer retention should be your primary focus.

Customer retention is the unsung hero of the successful business. Its flashier sister, customer acquisition, usually steals the spotlight, but retention is what ultimately builds the foundation of a company that is positioned for growth. After all, it’s much easier to fill a bucket than a sieve.

Keeping your customers happy should be your primary goal. And, by doing this, your customers will keep coming back. Not only do they keep coming back, but they will also start recommending your products and services to their family and friends. If you remember to always take care of your customers, they will be your most powerful resource. So, don’t just focus on getting new customers but also focus on retaining the customers you already have. 

Building Customer Relationships

The key to any good relationship is communication. Keeping open lines between yourself, your employees and your customers is crucial to your success. Without this communication, those customer relationships that keep you in business will fall short of where you need them. And remember that without your customers, you will go nowhere.

You must meet the standards that the customer expects from you. This could mean products or services rendered. Make sure that everything your business does is for the customer. Not only will this help with the retention of current customers, but this can also bring in others that your clientele tells about your wonderful company.

Four Ways to Make Customer Retention Work

Because customers are the key to keeping your business running, you need to understand how to find and keep them around. Here are six proven ways to find and retain your customers.

Know Your Business

Sometimes the simplest thing is the answer. And this starts with knowing what your business is and why it is essential to your customers. Examples of this are clothing stores (people need clothes) or restaurants (people need to eat). While these may seem simple and not close to your business, they can start you on the right path.

No matter the product or service you offer, you started your company knowing that it would fill consumer needs. Don’t forget what these needs are. They will also help define who your clientele is. Once you know these things about your company, you can grow your customer base and focus on customer retention.

Now is also the time to reflect on your pricing and quality. Make sure that what you are offering, whether it is product or services, is of good value for the cost. Don’t overcharge or undersell your business. High-quality products mean a higher price, so make sure you value your business as it should be.

Visibility Is Key

From using social media platforms to creating an inviting storefront, you need to make sure that customers can find you. Social media is a great word-of-mouth system to get the ball rolling. Once you have customers purchasing or requesting your services, you can make bigger plans for getting seen.

custom signs for any business from name tag, inc.

PRO TIP: Use custom business signs around your office or store to display hours of operation. You can also customize these signs to help customers understand and know your policies and procedures. Choose colors that are complementary to your business so that everyone will see them.

Stay Happy

You can make your customers happy by focusing on their experience with your company. Don’t put all of your focus on only the product or service they are buying. Connecting with your customers on an emotional and personal level is essential.

Building your customer relationships is what customer retention is all about. Help them to understand you so that you can understand them. If you do, they will be more likely to recommend your products or services to their family and friends.

But don’t forget about your employees. If the workers in your company are happy, your customers will start to reflect that. And happy people spend more money.

It’s All About the Buzz

custom top ribbons for business cards may help with customer retention

Think custom ribbons for fancy business cards that will attract new customers. Use professional desk wedges on office desks that show the retained customer how much you care. Even the little details like matching name tags for staff will show your customers how put-together and organized your business is. These details will help create a little buzz about your dependability that will grow over time.

At the end of the day, what really matters isn’t how much a customer pays you today, but what their entire lifetime value is.

Never use a one-size-fits-all approach in your marketing plans. Remember that customers want to buy from a business that treats them well. To do this, you need to listen to every customer. Treat them as the individual they are; don’t lump your customers into a bundle just because they are all interested in your product or service. By doing this, you guarantee that they will keep doing business with your company.

How to Help Employees Feel Safe Wearing Name Tags

Achieve your company’s potential with employee safety and quality name tags.

Name tags are essential to your company’s success. When you have your employees wear name tags, it leads to better communication, quality performance and overall growth. However, some employees think wearing a name tag puts their safety at risk. If you want your company to achieve its potential, you must help employees feel safe wearing your company’s name tags. By resolving their concerns, you will have a team of loyal employees to help you grow your business.

Two restaurant employees wearing name tags with first names only, which is meant to help employees feel safe wearing name tags.

Why You Want to Use Name Tags

Employee identification improves multiple aspects of your business simultaneously. Here are just a few examples.

Customer Service

Name tags help employees provide excellent customer service. Acting as ice breakers, they encourage communication between your customers and employees. After all, a name tag is essentially an unspoken introduction. When employees introduce themselves by wearing a name tag, customers feel welcome in your office or store. Name tags also give customers permission to approach employees with a question or problem. As customers interact with your employees, your team gains valuable insight into what customers need and how to help them.

Branding

Your brand distinguishes you from your competitors. The more customers see it, the stronger your brand becomes. Take advantage of company name tags by customizing them with your business logo. With each employee sporting your brand, it becomes visible throughout the entire office or store.

Productivity

Employees work best together when they know each other’s names. Instead of trying to remember who so-and-so is, they can focus on company projects and ask each other for help. Being on first name terms also creates a friendly, supportive work culture that reduces stress levels and increases job satisfaction. If you want your team to work at maximum capacity, give them name tags to help them remember who their colleagues are.

Why Employees May Worry About Name Tags

Some employees do not like to wear name tags because they think it puts them at risk of identity theft. In this digital age, it is easy to find someone’s social media accounts and other information just from knowing their name and where they work. Scammers can also contact human resources and ask for an employee’s information. No matter how people may try to steal your employee’s identity, the consequences can be devastating. If someone steals your employee’s identity, they can end up in a serious financial crisis. Such damage can take months, if not years, to recover from.

Another reason employees may not want to wear name tags is because they are afraid of being harassed. Name tags allow customers, co-workers and vendors to ask for them by name. Some of your employees may have experienced workplace harassment in the form of customers coming to the store and asking for them specifically. If this is the case, your employees are more likely to object to wearing a name tag.

Where You Come In

As an employer, it is in your best interest to resolve your employees’ safety concerns about wearing name tags. When employees feel safe at work, they are happier, more loyal and more productive. They experience lower stress levels and take risks to come up with creative solutions. If you want your employees to do their best, then you need to make them feel safe wearing name tags.

An employee goes over paperwork with a client. He is wearing a name tag because his employer knows how to help employees feel safe wearing a name tag.

There is a direct correlation between happy employees and happy customers. When employees interact with customers, their attitude sets the tone for the customer’s experience. If employees are happy, then customers will enjoy doing business with your company.

You don’t just want to make your employees feel safe; you want to keep them safe too. If your employees’ fears are realized and they have their identity stolen, you could be held liable. To prevent your company from getting into legal trouble, make sure you know how to protect them from identity theft and other fraudulent activity. By keeping your team safe from scammers, you protect your company’s financial future.

With so much to gain from using name tags, it is worth every effort to make your employees feel safe wearing them. You will not only have better customer service and higher productivity but happy employees as well.

Increase Security Using Name Tags

Change the way your employees view name tags by pointing out how identification keeps them safe. Once they see how name tags increase workplace security, they should feel a lot better about wearing them. Here are a few ways name tags create a safe work environment.

Prevent Trespassing

Name tags help staff members and security personnel identify if someone is allowed in the facility. All they have to do is look and see if the person is wearing a company name tag. Because your employees are used to seeing their co-workers wear name tags, it will only take them a second to notice if one is missing. Their quick response to any abnormal activity will keep everyone in your workplace safe.

Know Who Visitors Are

Visitor ID badges protect employees in multiple ways. They let your team know if visitors are in a restricted area and allow your team to identify visitors by name. If an employee is harassed or suspects a visitor of inappropriate activity, they can report it.

Pro Tip: To make visitor IDs most effective, include the visitor’s first and last name.

Make sure your employees can identify vendors and other people who come to your facility regularly. These are the visitors who will become the most familiar with your workplace and your employees’ routines. By creating photo IDs for these regular visitors, your team knows who they are and can quickly report safety issues.

Give Your Support

Whether or not your employees feel safe to wear company name tags depends on how you react to their concerns. Show them you have their backs by providing the emotional support and assurance that they need. You can also put training sessions and practices in place to reassure your employees that they are in good hands.

Listen with Empathy

When employees tell you they are worried about wearing name tags, put yourself in their shoes. Let them know you understand their concerns and want to make them feel safe. By validating their concerns, you gain your employees’ trust and put their minds at ease. Knowing you have their best interests at heart, they will continue to devote their time and talents to your company,

Set a Good Example

A great way to assure your employees that it is safe to wear a name tag is to wear one yourself. Confidently share your name and title with everyone who comes in and out of your facility. Make sure managers and supervisors also wear identification throughout their workday. By having company leaders show they are comfortable telling strangers their name, your employees will become comfortable with it as well.

Empower Your Team

Support your employees by giving them the knowledge they need to combat any identity theft they may experience. Educate them on how to recognize identity theft, what to do if it happens and ways to minimize the financial damage. Employees will worry less about identity theft if they know more about how to handle it. Once they have the training they need, they will gladly wear their name tags.

Take Precautions

Wearing name tags is unlikely to put your employees in harm’s way. However, it is smart to take precautions for the sake of making your employees feel safe and to avoid any legal issues. Do your part to keep employees safe, and they will put their name tags on without complaint.

First Names Only

A 0.75 x 2.75 inch metal name tag with a first name and initial for a last name to help employees feel safe wearing name tags.

One easy way to help employees feel comfortable wearing name tags is to use first names only. While you are at it, go one step further and give employees the option to use a nickname for extra protection. Using first names or nicknames helps prevent identity theft and creates a casual, relaxed environment that your employees will appreciate. If you end up with two employees with the same first name, the solution is simple: add an initial for their last name. You will still protect your employees’ identities while eliminating confusion.

Name Tag Accountability

Require each team member to turn in their name tag before their last day of employment. This prevents them from posing as a current employee and getting access to unauthorized areas. And by taking such safety measures, you make your current staff feel safe at work.

Increase Security

Another way to help employees feel safe is to make sure your building is always secure. Hire security personnel, set up cameras and use alarms to alert of trespassing. Keeping the building under surveillance prevents employees from worrying about who is seeing their name tag. If they suspect someone is a threat, they know security guards and other resources are available to protect them.

Show You Are Anti-Harassment

Talking openly about your company’s anti-harassment policies is a great way to make your employees feel safe. Such transparency shows that you stand by your policies and are not afraid to have your employees hold you accountable.

Review Company Policies

Help your employees feel safe by making sure they are familiar with your anti-harassment policies. Ask managers to go over these policies with their team so that everyone knows what they are. Communicating your company’s stance on harassment will make your employees feel safe and help them recognize harassment when they see it.

Reporting Process

To protect your employees from workplace harassment, you must have a clear, effective reporting process. Once you have one, train each employee on how to use it. Make sure your training covers various scenarios, including customers or vendors who continually ask for a team member by name. Knowing how to respond to such situations will reduce your employees’ concerns about wearing name tags.

Enforce Consequences

When a customer or employee is guilty of harassment, follow through with the consequences you outlined in your company policies. Doing so will make it clear to your team that such behavior will not be tolerated. As you show your company’s zero tolerance for such behavior, your employees will have no problem sharing their name with complete strangers.

Supportive Work Culture

One reason workplace harassment is not reported is because some people don’t like getting others into trouble. You can eliminate this issue by asking your employees to stand up for each other. Teach them what to do when they see someone harassing a team member. Or, teach them how to respond when the same customer frequently comes and asks for a specific employee. By encouraging your team to watch out for each other, you create a positive work culture where employees feel safe.

Secure Your Company’s Future

Give your company the best chance at success by making your employees feel safe to wear name tags. Your employees will work productively knowing their identity and well-being is in good hands. As they interact with customers, your employees’ positive moods will make customers feel welcomed and appreciated. Improved customer service and better work performance are not all you will gain from having employees wear name tags; you will also enjoy greater brand recognition and assure your company’s longevity. If you face other concerns besides identity theft and workplace harassment, know you have name tag experts who are always here to help.

How To Connect with Your Customers

Every great business person knows that the best way to keep their company around is to connect and engage with their customers. People buy from other people, they request services based on experiences and they look for companies that they can trust.

You learn a lot of information and how to connect with your customer by merely listening to them.

“I think it’s important for brands, especially brands [that] are really consumer-centric, to stay connected. Customers tell you so much from their behavior and how they shop with you.”
Jessica Alba, founder and CEO of The Honest Company

What is Relationship Marketing and How to Use it to Connect With Your Customers - Neil Patel

The first and most popular way to connect with customers is social media.

Using LinkedIn, Twitter and every platform in between, it seems that everyone is on social media. Even businesses have joined in on the social parties. Facebook groups, Snapchat filters and Instagram nametags are all ways to connect online with your customers. Each platform provides methods for both consumers and businesses to interact and grow together. 

Social media outlets are where the masses are, so you, as a business, should be there too. Utilize this tool and take advantage of everything they have to offer. Try sharing fun and silly tidbits about your products. Or send individual messages quickly to your customers. No matter what, use everything provided by your chosen platforms to improve your connection with your customers.

BUT BE CAREFUL. Not all platforms are suitable for every business. It has been said that everyone is on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean your business will thrive by using it. Consider all of the pros and cons of using social media before setting up accounts everywhere. Remember that there isn’t an easy or direct formula to matching your business to the right social platform. That is something that you, as a business owner, will need to figure out.

Social media is a great tool to use when connecting with your customers, but only if you use it properly. Make sure to do your research and that you have time to spend on each chosen platform. Think before you post, and make sure you are listening to your audience. Tools such as social media only work when used properly.

Focus on the customer’s experience with your company.

We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon

Customers want to buy from a business that treats them well. So, don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach. Make sure you are listening to every customer. Treat them as the individual they are; don’t lump your customers into a bundle just because they are all interested in your product or service. They aren’t looking for a bundled experience; they are looking to be given an individualized experience.

You can make your customers happy by focusing on their experience with your company. Don’t put all of your focus on only the product or service they are buying. Connecting with your customers on an emotional and personal level is important. If you do, they will be more likely to recommend your products or services to their family and friends.

It is crucial to make an effort to connect with each customer.

Get to know your customers on a personal level. And, make your service or product as relevant to them as possible. Everyone likes to feel as if they are important enough to remember. So, make them feel that way with as much personalization as you can. Use a customer’s name during their shopping experience. Remember little details and tidbits they have shared during prior visits. This way, you can make an effort to connect each time they come back.

“It’s not enough to know just the demographics of your customers. Age and location data doesn’t tell you what you really need to know. Instead, you need to know your customers on a personal level so that you know what they want, why they buy, and why they don’t buy. Otherwise, you have only a superficial understanding of your customers.”
Neil Patel – 7 Brilliant Ways to Connect with Your Customers on a Personal Level

Show your connection with your customers through appreciation.

We understand that connecting on a personal level with your customers can be difficult, but it is also necessary to stay in business. You need to humanize every experience that your customer has with your business. In other words, be relatable. And be grateful. Showing your customers that you care they are buying from you will keep them coming back. The message is in the details, or something like that.

connect with your customers through handwritten notes

Sending handwritten notes, making a phone call or sending a private email are all great ways to connect with your customer. But, put some thought into your actions before performing them. After a purchase or rendering of service, thank your customer by sending them a thought out, well-worded letter. Don’t rush these notes as they will mean a great deal to every recipient. And, they could mean continued business for you. 

This also works for phone calls and emails. Make sure you think about what you want to say before hitting that send or dial button. Proofread everything you write before you send it. And, most importantly, make sure you personalize it. Don’t get in the habit of sending out so many of these messages or phone calls that they become autonomous. Always remember that you are addressing an individual, and they should be treated as such.

Provide unmatched customer service to keep them coming back.

Let’s try an experiment. Find the customer service number from any of your favorite companies and call them. What happened? Let’s assume you got through to someone, eventually, but you were still treated as a number in a cue. Or worse, you got stuck at a call center with someone reading from a script that didn’t answer your question. How did that make you feel? We know that no one wants that experience. 

Take us for a better example. Here at Coller Industries, when you call or choose our online chat feature, you will always be connected to a live person, and quickly. Every one of our customer service representatives has been trained to treat you as an individual. And, you will feel that way, guaranteed! Your order is processed like it’s the only one, and it’s handled with care and accuracy. We wish you had this kind of experience everywhere else. But, at least you know that with us, you’ll always get what you want and be treated with respect. 

One of the most powerful tools any company has is how they treat their customers during the business process. Providing the best possible customer service experience should be your number one priority. From responding quickly to customer requests to making sure you have a live person on the other end of the phone line, good customer service is how you retain your clientele. 

How will you implement these standards into how you treat your customers?

Here’s some advice, go that extra mile. By making sure that your customer service team responds to your customers personally, you solidify your business connections. Acknowledging questions and concerns from your customers will reestablish the trust you have already built. It will also help strengthen the relationship and connection with your customers and anyone they know. This, in turn, will bring in more clientele and business. So, the bottom line should always be to leave the customer grateful and satisfied.

Don’t underestimate the power of your customers.

Make sure you are asking your customers questions and continually searching for feedback. Finding out after a transaction happens that something went wrong doesn’t help anyone, especially your customer. Connect with them by asking for feedback before, during and after all transactions. But don’t become a burden. There are people who feel that businesses can be too personal and are afraid of what you might do with their information. So, make sure that when you ask questions, you are also being considerate.

Now that you have answers and feedback, make sure you are responding appropriately. If you receive positive reviews, give positive affirmation back. Tell your customers how happy you are that they are happy. Give your customers thanks for being there for your business. If you get a negative review, take it seriously. Respond politely and work with your customers to correct things.

77% of consumers will read an online review before purchasing. Now consider the flip side. In most cases, negative reviews are the fastest way to derail a new purchase. A Zendesk study showed that 90% of positive reviews impact purchases and 86% of negative ones do also. Another study showed that even a single negative review has the power to destroy 70% of purchases.”
Neil Patel – 7 Brilliant Ways to Connect with Your Customers on a Personal Level

No matter the type of review you get, making sure that you respond is vital. Building trust establishes your personal connections with your customers. And, these connections are the only way to stay in business. Customer retention and development rely heavily on these reviews. So, make sure to keep on top of them. And if you can’t, delegate someone who can.

What is your preferred way to connect with customers?

With so many ways to connect with customers, your success depends on the method you choose. Before making any final decisions of where you are more likely to connect with your customer, do your research. Don’t join Facebook just because everyone else has. Determine how your customers want to communicate, and then put those methods into action. Build that trust, and the connections will flow naturally.