Want More Loyal Customers? Just Smile!
Small business owners – are you looking for ways to attract more repeat business? The solution might not be as complex as you might have thought; a recent study carried out by Kingston Business School’s Small Business Research Centre reveals that a warm smile and a friendly hello are two of the most common reasons why customers return to a particular group of independent retail stores.
Funded by Barclays Business Banking, the study – one of a series of research projects – examined the retail behavior of 2,006 UK consumers and the business practices of 1,216 UK SMB owners/decision makers reports that 59 percent of surveyed consumers tell that their loyalty toward independent retailers is due to a simple smile and a friendly greeting.
This is an interesting finding, as even in today’s technology advances, traditional values still rule consumers decision in doing business with any retailers.
However, there’s a gap (read: opportunity!) in the study results: Although smiles and greetings are viewed as important by consumers, half of surveyed SMBs are not adopting this practice. This means that you still CAN grab that competitive advantage over your competitors, simply by offering a friendlier environment for walk-in customers, starting with a smile and warm hello.
More talks on some more interesting findings…
Smiles and greets aside, the small business study also reveals other interesting, as important, findings – again, more opportunities for smart SMB owners… to recap, here they are:
Most consumers are willing to pay more shopping local
Three out of five consumers are willing to pay more buying from a small independent shop rather than from a large retailer. Combine this with the smile/greet strategy will be very beneficial for your business (read: More repeat business, more revenue.)
Most SMBs don’t think that retaining/growing their current customer base is a good idea
Only less than a third of SMB respondents think that retaining customers and growing their current customer base is as important as/more important than acquiring new ones.
This survey result shows that in general, retailers don’t really have strategy to offer tailored service to existing customer base. What’s worse, only half of SMB respondents encourage customers to recommend their products to their friends and family.
Word of mouth marketing is not a dying art – embrace it to get your business buzzed even without you launching any marketing campaigns.
Conducted in the UK, the survey results can be great insight in helping you understand the value of personalized service – wherever your small business resides.
Again, small businesses fail to realize that acquiring new customers is far more resource-consuming – 6 to 8 times more than retaining existing ones.
So, if you want more business, you should embrace customer loyalty and personalized service – and start smiling and greeting. It’s not costing you money, but can make a world of difference on your bottom line.
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