It is not news that when you own a business, you are exceedingly busy. Especially if this is your first go around, there are many balls to juggle, all with you holding the position of top juggler. Having said that, do not make the mistake of losing the opportunity to build brand loyalty on account of your busy schedule. Especially in the early days, establishing a relationship with your customers that supports longevity and repeat business is critical to sustainable success.
Pay Attention to Details
Deep down, a consumer realizes that they are a small fish in a big pond, however, one trick to building up a solid customer base is creating the feeling that the opposite is in fact true. Paying attention to the details that are associated with your individual customers and recognizing them accordingly will make them feel like you care about them as people and not just as customers. Be intentional here and do not just go through the motions. You might apply the same strategy to each customer but think about how that strategy can feel personalized on the recipient’s end.
Your storefront should adopt this same practice. Anyone can put out bottled water and a few bananas and call it hospitality, but while these gestures are appreciated, they are not unique, and they are not going to generate a conversation within your customer base about what makes your business so special. Consider a snack box subscription as a way to not only have unique offerings available but also save you time and the hassle of having to remember to order each month. You can order now and be set up to receive snacks from around the world delivered monthly.
Successful professionals know that they will never be able to do it all as a one person show. Even the smallest companies need more than one person working towards the business goals otherwise the workload will overwhelm you. Having said that, delegating when necessary is a common practice and is beneficial to both the leaders and their direct reports. Being able to identify when you need to farm something out to another member of the team takes a level of self-awareness that not everyone innately has.
If you want to improve your customer experience be sure that you are not presenting your business as a robotic, and chaotic, machine. People do not want to walk into your hurricane, and while in business there is always something, being able to keep things level and balanced in the eyes of the customer is what will keep them coming back. You might have the best muffins in town but if getting through your front door is always a problem, people are not going to even bother.
Customer loyalty is built largely on consumer expectations. You only get one chance to set and manage these and make your first impression. If people know what to expect from your business they will determine if it suits their needs or not and return or go elsewhere accordingly. Be sure that you are not letting consistency get lost in the shuffle of how busy you are. People do not care if you lost three employees, had to replace the AC unit, and forgot to order more printer paper, they care about how they are treated, the product or service they receive, and how consistent the experience is, regardless of any fire drills you have going on at the same time.