1. Accommodate key social trends – eg; Social media, SMS etc.
  2. Be a problem solver for your customers – eg; if they can’t meet the price, work out something else
  3. Keep your business simple for customers – eg; don’t overwhelm them with technical speak
  4. Make your website customer friendly – eg; Have lots of relevant information and guidance
  5. Can you adapt your service to meet the changing needs of your customers?
  6. Diversify into different areas of your service for continued growth
  7. Enter into awards for free promotion and exposure
  8. Include a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ page on your website – this will reduce calls
  9. Build a client list with good testimonials
  10. Listen to your customers for direction for diversification
  11. Get active in the community – eg; offer services to schools at a discount rate if they put an ad in their newsletter
  12. Develop a positive and respectful relationship with the first meeting to encourage repeat business and customer loyalty
  13. Encourage existing customers to attract new customers for you by undertaking a ‘recommend a friend’
  14. Set time each week for brainstorming new ideas that will encourage business growth
  15. Can you send out promotional SMS messages telling customers of special deals?
  16. Email people to thank them for their business, tell them of a special offer, send them an article, a newsletter, recommend a product or service they may be interested in or ask for referrals
  17. Think of the impact a website showcasing photos of your best work, compared to a simple price list or leaflet
  18. SMS text appointment reminders are excellent for reducing missed clients
  19. Discounts below 15% are often ineffective – make your discount count!
  20. When making a sales pitch to a customer remember to answer these three questions: How much? How soon? and How sure?
  21. Email is the preferred communication method for customers as per the Nielsen Internet and Technology report (February 2010) Create a professional email signature for all your email communication
  22. Make sure your quotes are professional and clear
  23. Be consistent in quality and dependability
  24. Strive to be knowledgeable, courteous and competent. This will instill trust
  25. Tell your customers firstly what you can do for them and not what you can’t do
  26. Focus on what’s important in your business. When you lose focus, you can lose customers, then lose business and then lose that bottom line
  27. Provide customer service that distinguishes your business from your competitors
  28. Ask and use testimonials collected from your happy customers
  29. Establish clear refund policies that provide your customers with complete satisfaction
  30. Make sure your suppliers are up to scratch – check with their competition on pricing
  31. Make personal phone calls whenever possible
  32. The more difficult it is for your customers to speak to you in person when when they have a problem, the less likely it is that you will see that customer again
  33. Customers are interested in what they need, why they need it and if they really do need it – answer those for them
  34. Simplicity is what we now crave – make your business simple and easy for your customers
  35. Give your business purpose – how will they feel once the job is done – focus on that
  36. ‘Small’ is the new ‘big’ – we want personal service and good quality
  37. Watch your body language – people will get a feeling you’re not being honest if you have your arms folded and are facing away from them
  38. What do your customers expect in after sales service? Make sure you contact them and ask if they have any concerns with the job
  39. Pack your website with industry information – be the most informed and professional business you can – point people to your website for further information
  40. Every single thing you do should be centered on bringing the customer back to your business – things have changed – the customer has more to choose from
  41. Send a gift, perhaps a hamper to thank your customers after completing a job worthy
  42. Keep a list of what your customers do for a living – refer people to them when you can – this keeps your loyalty alive
  43. Always remember the “80-20 rule” that states that 80 percent of your business will come from 20 percent of your customers. When times are tough concentrate on the 20% of your products that bring in 80% of your revenue and make sure that you always have these products in stock.
  44. Have resolute, impeccable and untouchable integrity. Be predictable and reliable in every way relative to your word
  45. Provide the immediate and overall satisfaction the customer needs at the moment the sale is made
  46. Provide great product/material selection; give customers options they can choose from to meet their specific needs
  47. Let your customers know that you want them to come back and do business with you again – ask them what that would take
  48. Determine what your customers expect with regards to warranties and guarantees and make yours better than your competition
  49. Turn off the sound on your mobile phone, don’t even look at it or check to see who called when you are dealing with a customer – a message saying “I’m currently with a client, please leave your number and I’ll return your call as soon as I can” will be appreciated
  50. Take payments in many forms – direct deposit, cheque, cash, EFTPOS