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This post is to follow-up on the first in the series posted on Monday of this week, which is still available for you to read if you missed it first time round.I spoke about our customers and how we treat them and the service they receive.On Monday I said that we have all taken our customers for granted and need in the current reality,to up our game and begin to deliver a quality of service that will not only impress your customer but make sure that they tell all their friends and family about you and your business and service.

Referrals are one of the keys to increasing your customer foot fall thru your door and also to raising your turnover.Referrals from a good customer are going to use your service on the recommendation of the friend or family member.Once they come thru your door it is your job to keep them as clients for years and years.Like wise if you have a client who has a bad experience then you will lose not only that person but some of their friends and family.So we really have to work on keeping our clients and remember that there are not as many clients out there at present.

How many of you can say that you know what your Key Customers Indicators are.Do you know how many are coming into your business?Do you know how many of these that you convert into paying clients.Do you know what their average spend is?Can you tell how many customers leave your business without spending and why they did not spend?Or are you like a high percentage of retailers who answer these questions with a shrug of their shoulders or say, sure all that information is in my head I do not need to write it down!!!

I describe this as trying to finding a needle in a haystack in the dark with both hands tied behind your back.You can not run a successful business without information and this information will help you plan and run your business in a more streamlined manner.You can also stop offering services that your clients are not longer using.You can re-focus on ranges or products that are after slipping due to staff not giving them enough attention.Recently one client thought that her Sunbed was not bringing in its usual revenues and when she checked this against her computer she found the revenue had dropped.On closer examination she found that other retailers were running better promotions and this was costing her turnover.So she matched the offer and the Sunbed is now busy again.The great thing for the client was that on my recommendation she had installed a computer at her reception desk which keeps all the figures and information at her fingers tips.

In the present economic climate businesses will fail and there is two positives in this for you as a progressive retailer.One is the obvious that the closure will help you with the clients from the business needing somewhere else to make their purchase.The other opportunity is you could have a new star employee, that could bring new business with them on joining your company.The unfortunate retailer who has closed will need a job,why should that not be with you company?You should always be on the look out for people that can add to your business and bring more customers to you.It also hold true that you have to hang on to existing good staff as these are not readily available.

Marketing and promotions are also difficult at present as most small businesses do not have money to spend .So again you have to use your ingenuity, remember 80% of your business comes from 20% of your clients.This principle still holds true and will never change.So how do you increase your revenues from these clients.One very large hairdressers in Ireland are offering 10 euros off your next blowdry after to have had one with them.This will bring their customers back without fail.Other ideas are to give a small and inexpensive gift with each purchase over a certain value.On Monday I mention the Baker giving a free Eclair with every purchase over ten euro’s.The free item has to be of low-cost and you build that into the cost of the promotion.

Todays post is all about service and looking after your clients by giving them no reason to shop anywhere else.Your clients should have such a good experience in you business.When they think of making their next purchase that they would have no reason to go else where, your business should be the first place into their head for that purchase.Your customers should think that you are the leader in your industry even if you are a small business.

If you action some to the ideas listed in today’s blog you will improve your business and turnover.Hard work is accepted as the norm if you are self-employed, but what I would like to see you doing is to work smart and use your time wisely.You will succeed and as one quote that I saw recently, most people do not fail they just give up, do not fall into the trap, do not give up it will turn soon.