4 big things: how to retain customers for life, 8 ways to attract customers on slow days, and more

Each week, we collect some of the best advice for small businesses from around the internet. This week, these four articles caught our attention:

  1. Gary Vaynerchuk & Jon Taffer: [interview/podcast] 5 minutes of advice that will change your restaurant business
  2. John Westenberg: [article] Customer acquisition IS customer retention (or you’re doing it wrong…)
  3. Shane Ketterman: [article] 4 simple ways to increase customer retention in under 3 minutes
  4. Simon Sinek: [TEDtalk] How great leaders inspire action
  5. Rieva Lesonsky: [article] 8 ideas to attract customers to your store on a slow day

5 minutes of advice that will change your restaurant business

By: Gary Vaynerchuk & Jon Taffer

The 5-minute video at the end of this blog post is packed with great advice from the seasoned restaurateur, Jon Taffer, and marketing guru, Gary Vaynerchuk. They offer advice ranging from the importance of a customer retention plan (in the form of your service to methods) that will increase a customer’s likelihood to return from 40% to 70%. They discuss the balance of attracting new customers without making loyal customers feel snubbed or overlooked.

Our take: Sometimes it can feel like you’re at odds with yourself when trying to attract new customers without alienating your regulars. If your offer isn’t enticing, it will be difficult to attract new customers. If you go too far, you could end up cutting into your margins and make your loyal customers feel left out and unappreciated. Gary Vaynerchuk and Jon Taffer offer some sound advice on managing that delicate balance.

Watch the video here


Customer acquisition IS customer retention (or you’re doing it wrong…)

By: Jon Westenberg

In his article, Jon discusses the intertwined relationship of customer acquisition and retention, and how many businesses are treating this single process as if it was two. “Acquisition cannot be divorced from retention. Because a customer hasn’t been acquired unless they have also been retained for X amount of time.”  While that period of time varies from business to business and across industries, but it has to be a long enough period with repeat purchasing to fully cover the cost of acquisition and help your business increase its profits.

Our take: In many businesses, marketing and customer acquisition are handled by one team while another team focuses on customer retention. The problem is that the customer experience isn’t about crossing thresholds or checkpoints. As we saw in our shopper analysis, as well as Gary Vaynerchuk’s interview above, acquiring a new customer requires more work than just getting the customer to make a purchase. It’s part of the modern shopper’s journey and a part of the experience you offer your customers.

Extra credit: Check out our analysis of the true value of a customer and how, in many cases, new or one-time shoppers can actually cost your business money.

Read Jon’s full article here


4 simple ways to increase customer retention in under 3 minutes

By: Shane Ketterman

In today’s world, the online experience is as important to physical businesses as the in-store experience. And with each passing day, more shoppers are turning to online resources to both find local businesses as well as voice frustrations with businesses that fail to meet their expectations. Shane Ketterman captures four customer experiences that were less than ideal for the business owner and provides tips for managing such situations in the future.

Our take: Today’s shoppers often turn to social media or online review sites when businesses are less than responsive to questions or concerns. Sometimes customers voice that frustration in the form of a negative review; other times it’s a heated tweet aimed at the business. In either case, it’s understandable that you may want to defend yourself, but you should tread lightly.

It’s important to remember that this is still your customer and this is still a part of your customer experience. These real-world examples of businesses and customers knocking heads online provide some great tips on what not to do and how to remedy such situations, should you ever find yourself in one.

Read the full post here


The golden circle of marketing

By: Simon Sinek

To round out this week’s roundup we’re pulling one from the TEDtalk archives. If you’re familiar with Simon Sinek, then you’ve likely seen this TEDtalk before; if you haven’t, this is a must-watch.

While there are many elements that make customers acquisition easier and better, they all come second to sharing the right message. Simon Sinek breaks down some of the biggest marketing successes into simple principles that even the most niche small business owner can use.

Our take: Small businesses need every advantage to stay ahead of market trends and get their messaging in front of customers. This 18-minute video unlocks the mystery behind the marketing genius of brands like Apple. If you’re trying to inspire your customers to take action (like visit your store or to make a purchase), then watch this video. You won’t regret it. It’s the 3rd most-watched TEDtalk for good reasons.

Watch the video above or watch it on TED Talk’s website here


BONUS: 8 ideas to attract customers to your store on a slow day

By: Rieva Lesonsky

If you’re caught between holiday rushes or you’re in that quiet period just before the summer sales season, Rieva Lesonsky’s got some ideas for you. Every business owner needs ideas to make those slow, I-haven’t-seen-a-customer-in-three-hours days more profitable. Rieva provides 8 ideas to attract new customers and get shoppers to visit your store:

  1. Make the most of the shoppers who do come into your store.
  2. Stick out a sign.
  3. Hold a flash sale.
  4. Appeal to their boredom.
  5. Make it mobile.
  6. Offer refreshments.
  7. Entertain children.
  8. Reward them.

Plus, she provides some tips on maximizing and making the most of downtime.

Our take: Every business experiences slow stimes. These tips provide great ideas to encourage customers to come into your store without breaking the bank.

Read the full list of ideas here


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