How to Act Like a Small Business and Think Like Your Customer

5 ways to acquire the customers you want and keep them.

Sure, your business may be successful, yet when it comes to customer acquisition (and taking your company’s sales to the next level) you can’t figure out what makes buyers tick!

If you find it’s been harder to attract quality customers lately, you’re not alone. The customer acquisition rulebook has changed. You may find it worth your while to act like a small business — and think like your customer.

Here are 5 ways to acquire the customers you want and keep them:

1. Become involved.

According to BusinessPundit.com, “Customers want to feel like you care about their needs, and that you’re emotionally invested in helping them solve their problems. It’s a little easier to convey this message in a brick and mortar setting, but online survey software can let your e-commerce customers know that you’re completely involved in meeting their needs, too.”

Popular online survey tools such as Survey Monkey, FluidSurveys, Polldaddy, and PollCode make it easier than ever for small businesses to send surveys, polls, questionnaires and gain cost-effective customer feedback and market research.

2. Express yourself.

Customers don’t fall in love with companies or products – they become enamored with brands. And a well-crafted brand will tell a unique and compelling story that resonates with like-minded consumers. This expression is a firm commitment to your company values — why you exist and do what you do.

Far too long have companies thought that simple interactions are all it takes. “Shared values build relationships,” according to Harvard Business Review. “A shared value is a belief that both the brand and consumer have about a brand’s higher purpose or broad philosophy.”

For example, TOMS Shoes motto is “One for One” a philosophy of giving, indicating that for every pair of shoes sold, TOMS will donate a pair to a child in need. What shared values do you have with your ideal customers?

3. Share experiences.

The more time you spend getting to actually know your customers, the better off your business-customer bliss will be. The digital age (Internet, online marketing, social media, etc.) has brought about a significant shift in the way your company should think about engagement.

“Companies need to embrace this shift with a new strategy — Social CRM, which recognizes that instead of managing customers, the role of the business is to facilitate collaborative experiences and dialogue that customers value,” according to an IBM executive report.

This simply means that all small business owners can start to engage customers where they are, not where you want them to be. For example, learning how and where your prospective customers share information, news and recommendations is helpful in mapping out a strategy that meets them conveniently where they are.

Sharing experiences accomplishes a few things: it helps your customers manage information, define themselves and their world, and build stronger ties, according to a NY Times study.

Pertaining to social media sharing, the study revealed that 85 percent of respondents think that reading other’s thoughts and responses help them to process information and events. Also 84 percent share to support causes or issues they care about and 94 percent of people carefully consider how the information they share will be useful to the people receiving it.


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