Small businesses may miss out on customer loyalty benefits

A new study conducted by software company Satmetrix shows that small businesses may be missing the mark when it comes to providing customer service that builds loyalty.

A new study conducted by software company Satmetrix shows that small businesses may be missing the mark when it comes to providing customer service that builds loyalty. The factors involve an inability for companies to close the communication loop with clients, resistance to integrating customer feedback and a lack of clear vision when it comes to customer experience management. This may also suggest that companies may be squandering opportunities for brand promotion, a problem easily solvable with unique promotional items.

A 2011 Forbes magazine article stresses the importance of integrating advertising strategies across traditional and digital platforms. Making sure all aspects of promotion in the company have the same focus will lead to a clear consumer vision about what a company offers. Consider using social networks such as Facebook or Twitter to offer discount coupons, promotional offers or hold a giveaway for an elegant item like a jewelry box or laptop bag screened with the company's logo. This is likely to drive business as it may attract consumers to the company's web site.

Promotional gifts are available at nearly any price point, and businesses can solidify brand identity through unique promotional pens, calculators or USB flash drives that contain company logos. Choosing gifts that are functional and used by clients is a sure way to know that they will be remember the name of the company. 

It is best to choose items related to the company's focus. For example, gyms might print their logo on water bottles, offering a free gift to new members, which could drive business. Medical practices could give away travel-sized first aid kits decorated with the doctor's name and office contact. Environmental lawyers may choose customizable promotional flashlights that run on solar cells in order to promote green practices. Associating the gift with the market is a winning strategy for small businesses.

Small businesses should be aware of what their clients need in order to best choose promotional items and strategies. It can be extremely difficult for small businesses to stand up to the advertising money available to massive corporations, but aligning promotional campaigns and gifts will show cohesion and vision to clients. The gifts you give as thank yous or incentives will pique interest in the company and may also lead to profit increases in the long run.

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