Tuesday, July 30, 2013

3 Steps Towards Building Stronger Customer Relationships

Customer relationships are essentially the backbone of retail businesses. Without customers, product will remain unsold on your shelves, leading to lower sales and profit margins. Whether your store sells groceries, electronics, pet supplies, sporting goods, antiques or practically anything else, you need to focus on customer relationships. To learn more, check out the following 3-step method towards building stronger customer relationships.

Step #1 – Identify Target Demographic

The first step towards building stronger customer relationships is to identify your store's target demographic. While you may have men and women of all ages shopping at your store, chances are there's a very specific type of demographic that's generating most of your sales. It's up to you, however, to identify this demographic so you can use it to your store's advantage.

If you need some help identifying your target demographic, don't be afraid to gather this type of information through email surveys. You can offer customers a discount in-store coupon in exchange for providing their information. Simply collect your customers' email addresses when they check out, and then follow up by offering a coupon in exchange for their birth date, age, zip code, etc.

Step #2 – Marketing

The second step is to use the previously acquired information to market your store. Know that you know who shops at your store, you can advertise towards that specific demographic. This is incredibly useful in not only building stronger customer relationships, but also branding your store's name. The more people who know your name, the more sales you will receive.

The sky is the limit when it comes to marketing. In most cases, local marketing seems to be the most effective for small retail businesses. You can advertise in classifieds, phone books, billboard signs and through postal mail. The key thing to remember is that you need to focus your marketing efforts on the store's target demographic.

Step #3 – Customer Service

If you want customers to keep coming back to your store, you must go above and beyond the call of duty with your service. Show your customers that you and all of your employees care by greeting them with a big “hello” when they enter and “thanks for coming” when they leave. It only takes a few seconds to greet a customer, but it will leave a lasting impression that sets your store apart from your competitors.

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