One thing I forgot to mention when I wrote about creating an experience for your customer. If you want to get to know your customers by name, one place to find this information is usually on a credit card receipt. A local supermarket I visit does this, they always say, “thank you for shopping with us Mr. Stahl.” Not all the clerks know me, they are just reading it off the receipt. But it is still a nice touch. Names are important. Which leads me to my next topic–building your database.
Feed Your Database–Gather Information
Before we can talk about ways to market to your customers, you have to have a list to which you can market. So many small businesses DON’T keep a customer database. It’s really important that you start doing this as soon as possible. If you don’t keep track of your customers, how are you going to let them know when you are running specials or are having an open house? There are many different software packages out there designed to help small businesses, ACT and Salesforce to name two popular packages. If you have a website, you may also have a built in database of information. Managing customer data can be very complicated but it does need to be managed. Your customer base is one of your most valuable assets and you need to treat it that way. The very least you can do? Have a customer fill out a card or have them drop a business card in a fishbowl for some type of weekly drawing. Keep it near the cash register and encourage everyone to participate.