Out of all statistics and trends in small business, you’ll find that the one constant is the continual striving toward nurturing customer relationships. It’s no different for 2016 when you go by recent statistics from business owners. Last August, industry experts compiled different surveys from small businesses and found customer relationships were key over the next 12 to 18 months.
This may not surprise you if you’ve been planning the same thing for your small business. Maybe you’ve put it off for a while, and now you need to take action for the new year.
Despite knowing what small businesses want, you probably face the challenges of getting there yourself. Small Biz Daily says the number one challenge for small business in customer relationships is simply finding new customers. That’s followed by customer retention, even though frustration at solutions usually gets cited for both methods.
If you have these same challenges, it’s time to look closer at what needs doing. You also need to look at other levels of customer relationships and see what you can bring while working within a budget.
Finding New Customers
The process of finding new customers can depend on what type of tools you use. Many think customer relationship management software gets used plentifully by every business today. Yet, according to statistics, not as many small businesses are using them as they should.
Only 31% of small businesses listed word-processing software or spreadsheets as their only source for a CRM program. The same statistic shows 25% of these businesses don’t even use a CRM system.
This surprised even those taking the survey. However, it might also reflect your own situation if you’ve neglected using CRM software for far too long. It’s worth the investment when you see how CRM brings new customers to you.
With the right software, you can create webforms and landing pages to help you land customer leads. CRM also creates automated marketing campaigns, plus provides analytic tools to show you the results of your work.
Creating Better Customer Relationships
This gets cited second on customer relationship goals for 2016. Once you find new customers, you have to find which ones are the most valuable and communicate effectively with them. A CRM system can help you by sending timed emails to the customer accounts you want to nurture.
The best CRM programs provide other convenient contact methods like phone follow-ups if you use this approach. However, with emails, you can incorporate more personalized content to continually prove you understand your best customers.
Honing in on customer pain points is one of the most powerful content methods for creating more personal relationships. When you prove you understand the customer frame of mind, they’ll respect you more and trust what you offer in your products.
In turn, this also increases the value of your existing customers by making your business look like a good friend to them.
Here you have the next phase of the small business/customer relationship trend, and it’s an extension to communication. You can’t expect to send marketing content by email for a brief time and then just stop out of complacency.
Statistics show customers frequently leave because they think a business doesn’t care about them any more. The best retention techniques are to focus on your VIP customers, or target customers with special offers.
Most importantly, you need to schedule time with your valued customers to show they matter. CRM tools have excellent scheduling features to let you carve out time you need for contacts, appointments, and keeping your promises.
Contact us here at BigContacts to learn more about small business trends and how to use CRM tools to your advantage.