Cultivate Customer Connections and Grow Your Business

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Looking for great ROI? Investing the time to connect and build relationships with your customers yields affordable business growth.

A business is nothing without customers. And yet small business owners – consumed with the pressing day-to-day tasks of running a company — often let customers, along with their needs, ideas and loyalty, fall through the cracks. This is not the path to a growing, prosperous business.

Connie Certusi, the executive vice president and general manager of Sage’s Small Business Solutions, believes that building closer relationships with your customers will set you apart from your competition and help you grow your business. Calling social media “one of the best business opportunities a small business could ask for,” Certusi recommends several ways you can use social media to effectively connect with customers.

  • Develop a social media calendar and post, Tweet or Pin your company’s news, accomplishments and updates.
  • Request to “friend” or “follow” your customers and industry leaders to expand your business’s presence and awareness.
  • Everyone loves a good deal. Consider developing an incentive plan for your customers.
  • Offer a discount to loyal customers who have consumed your products or services for an extended period of time.

A little appreciation goes a long way, and it won’t even cost you much to let your customers know how much they mean to your business. Social media can help here, too.

Certusi suggests “liking” customer’s Facebook posts that you enjoy, following them on Twitter and retweeting interesting things they tweet about. Or try using a free online card service such as 123Greeting or Punchbowl to send a greeting on birthdays or holidays.

Finally, one of the most important things you can do to connect with your customers is to ask them what they think about your products or services – again, use social media or your email newsletters for this. However, even more important than asking…is listening to what they and then really listen to what they have to say.

Adapted from Cozy Up to Customers and Grow Your Business by Connie Certusi at Small Business Computing. Follow Small Business Computing on Twitter.