THE INDEPENDENT EDGE
Grow Your Online Business with These 4 Business Tips
Grow Your Online Business with These 4 Business Tips
- Learn from Your Customers
The number one business tip when it comes to consumerism is to learn from your customers directly. After all, your customers tell you more about your business than anything else ever could. Listening to their feedback, both good and bad, allows you to improve your products and selection, let’s you know how your customer service is doing and so much more.
For small business owners, there is so much value in listening and engaging with your customers, especially through a website. E-commerce limits face-to-face customer service, but it creates an opportunity to amplify dedicated customer support. Each online sale creates a window of opportunity for future sales, based on selection, availability, and shopping experience. By paying attention to what customers are saying, business owners are able to plan for inventory accordingly while reducing unnecessary overhead costs.
Listening to the customers and improving products as needed not only improves product ratings on your website, but it also helps your sales improve. If you start offering more of the products the customer is looking for, you will have happier customers. Happier customers tend to not only leave positive online reviews and ratings, but they are also more likely to recommend your business to their friends and family.
Let the Reviews Do the Talking
Speaking of product reviews, encourage your customers to communicate with you and keep up with your business news. Whether it’s via your newsletter, social media or testimonials, the more positive reviews you have, the more your online presence is established.
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- Make Customer Support a Priority
Being active and responsive to your customers and their inquiries lets them know they are a priority for your business. Building a brand’s trust speaks volumes for its reputation. Keeping a quick response time to emails and inquiries via social media gives your business more credibility.
By making customer support a priority, it also allows you to make an unhappy customer a loyal one. You’ve not only resolved their issue without them having to feel helpless or frustrated, but you’re also delivering your brand’s promise.
Know what else great customer support helps with? Social media content and brand awareness! Once a customer has loyalty to your business, chances are they will not only be following your social media accounts, but they will also be tagging you on their posts. Images and content they create can then be shared to your company’s social media account, engaging your followers, via no-cost-to-you advertising.
- Deliver an Experience Customers Won’t Forget
As a consumer, what keeps you loyal to your favorite brand/local business?
The customer experience.
As a local business, chances are you naturally offer dedicated service big-box retailers tend to overlook. Sometimes it really is the little things that matter and make a difference. In an industry filled with what seems like a new competitor every day, how does your business stand out? Is it the way you package customer purchases, your delivery methods or simply making your business more personable? Whatever your niche is, use it to forget a one-of-a-kind experience consumers will only experience by shopping and supporting your business.
Taking the time to assure that your website is user friendly with up-to-date information and inventory status is a great way to let consumers know you care enough about your business to facilitate their purchases. A shoppable website will do just that, keep consumers shopping, time after time.
- Make Every Minute Count
There’s a saying that says something about wearing many hats as a business owner. It’s true. Some days, you will be the CEO, while other days you’ll be the accountant. When there is a problem with your warehouse, you have to become the warehouse manager. You get where this is going? It’s an ever-changing hat that keeps you on your toes constantly. How do you manage to keep everything in order?
Time Management is Your Best Friend
As your business continues to grow, you must master the art of time management. Once you start using your time as efficiently as possible, unforeseeable factors do not seem as overwhelming. Planning ahead of time helps minimize time loss trying to resolve issues while maximizing your productivity. No one will value your time unless you do, that’s a given.
While it is easy to fall into a pattern of wanting to handle everything by yourself because you have the knowledge, make sure you aren’t stretching yourself too thin and leaving room for things to fall through the cracks. Technology and automation allow your business to run efficiently without you having to be so hands-on at all times.
At the end of the day, most shoppers are not only shopping for a product, but they are also purchasing convenience. Give your customers access to your business in ways that serve them best and are convenient.
By: Janet Alonso
Marketing Director | Nationwide Southwest – AMG