The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and although the economy isn’t everything we as business owners had hoped for, people are still out spending their hard-earned money. One main difference, however, is where they are spending it.
Shoppers this holiday season are looking for exceptional values, this is certainly true. Saving money during these times is of vital importance for many people, so it is very important to maintain a competitive edge when it comes to pricing.
More important, however is what you can do for your customer base if you keep a few key components in place for the holiday season. What follows is a list of things to keep in mind during the holidays so you can build up your customer base for the rest of the year.
Offering promotions and great deals are wonderful ways to jump start your holiday business. However, don’t even think about the old bait-and-switch. People see right through promotional ideas that simply “get them in the door,” whether it’s online or in-person. Make sure that you give your promotional efforts a lot of thought and attention.
The value of your products and services needs to be something that your customers perceive, not just something you know about. Compare your services and products to those of your competitors and show that you are giving your clients a valuable product for the price they are paying.
Everyone is talking about customer service lately – and for good reason. Good service is what will set you apart from your competitors more than anything else. Many times, people would actually rather pay a bit more and be treated well, than save money and not feel appreciated. If you can do both, you will retain these customers far beyond the holiday shopping season.
Start a database – if you haven’t already – with your customers’ information so that you can follow up on their purchases, keep track of their spending habits, and send promotional emails tailored to their patterns. Taking a few moments to thank them for their patronage and invite them back for the same great values and service will be another step in the right direction for your business.
Above all else, the previous advice is intended to help you do one thing: stand out among your competition. If you are able to offer great values and outstanding service, and then follow up with your clients, you are on your way to establishing a great customer base for your future.
About The Guest Author: Kelly Kilpatrick currently writes about business schools and topics related to running a small business. You can find her articles at www.mbaexplorer.com/blog/.