Large corporate chains are the nemesis of small business, often offering lower prices and using high marketing budgets to lure consumers through their doors. While these ‘big boys’ may have buying power and big advertising campaigns on their side, small businesses can fight back by offering higher levels of personal service then these cookie cutter giants.
Consumers Crave Personal Service
One thing that a small business can offer is personal service that differentiates them the ‘big boys’ in their industry. By making service and customer relationships a cornerstone of their business, small businesses can create loyalty at the local level that a large chain just cannot compete with. For example:
- A personal thank you. Taking the time to thank a customer for their business goes a long way today. A hand-written note or even just saying, “we appreciate your business” can increase loyalty from local patrons.
- Learn customer names. Something as simple as employees introducing themselves and learning the customer’s name can build a stronger relationship with them and be the first step in gaining a new loyal customer.
- Go the extra mile. Offering service above and beyond will always get a customer’s attention. Always strive to honor special requests and give more than is expected. Ask your customers about changes they’d like to see or products they’d like you to stock, then act on those suggestions.
- Support the local community. One way to shine in any community is to be a part of it. Get involved in local events, support community causes and make alliances with other small businesses. By banding together, small businesses can help each other compete against these big companies.
Many consumers are tired of hearing phrases such as “sorry, it is against company policy” and will welcome the chance to spend money at a business that treats them as a valued individual. Taking the time to make local customer service a priority can make any small business stiff competition for one of the ‘big boys’!