You’ve heard that competition for customers is fierce. But the great news for businesses is that 82 percent of consumers shop local. And 48 percent say they’ll frequent local businesses more often.1 Your customers come to your business because they want to, not because they don’t have other choices. However, they have expectations that you’ll continue to meet their needs as commerce and technology evolve.
Smart devices like mobile phones and tablets provide consumers with simple conveniences like easily connecting with family and managing their daily lives. But in recent years, the potential for smart devices has truly exploded. More businesses are now also relying on smart point-of-sales (POS) terminals to meet increasing consumer demand for faster, more efficient payment options, as well as a more satisfying shopping experience. Smart POS can help you maintain the appeal and momentum of local business, keeping customers coming back time and again.
If a customer takes the time to inform you of a problem, it can be easy to feel irritated—but be thankful. They care enough about your business and returning as a customer that they are taking time out of their busy day to let you know of an issue that needs fixing. And you can bet that if they have that problem, another customer does, too. Use it as an opportunity to show your complaining customer that they made the right decision in coming to you rather than going to another shop. Take it in stride and find effective ways to fix the problem for good.
These days, people are coming to except more of a tailored experience when they shop, whether it’s online or at a brick-and-mortar location. Plus, personalization is one of the best reasons to shop at a local business rather than a big box store. If your product offerings aren’t inherently customizable, try using sales data to send targeted promotions via email based on their likes and interests. And don’t forget to add that personal touch by getting to know your customers, offering free giftwrapping, delivering exceptional customer service and sharing handwritten thank-you notes. Your customers will appreciate feeling more like a person than a number.
Smaller businesses have the advantage of being more nimble and flexible, allowing them to adopt the newest technology and features that customers want. Choose a payment processer that has contactless payment options and accepts more innovative payment methods like Apple Pay and Android Pay, which are essential for the modern consumer, especially if they’re part of the elusive millennial generation. If your business is service-based, conveniences like an online appointment booking system and text or email reminders are other great ways to build customer loyalty through technology. You can even go green and offer to email their receipts instead of printing out a paper bill. When looking for new tech, be sure to get topline security features, which are also very important to customers in this age of data breaches and privacy hacks.
Find more information at elavon.com/staycourageous.