If you aren’t in retail, the upcoming holidays can be a slower time for your business, which makes it the perfect time to get your business into tip top shape for an amazing start to 2012. We’ll be writing a four part series with a check list you can use to do a small business health assessment. Each checklist item will include some easy tips to get your business ready for a fabulous 2012.
Checklist Item #1: Do You Know Your Customer’s DNA?
Discovering Your Customer DNA. Take a look at your best customers, and those you tried to acquire but didn’t or that cancelled in the last year and see what the different categories have in common. Your customer DNA can involve all kinds of different data such as:
- Business or household demographics (size, revenue/income, location, industry type, gender, age, years in business or at location, etc.)
- The state the customer was in before they became your customers such as, whether he or she was the first provider of your service type, or whether customers come to you from a competitor.
- Other softer indicators such as their level of web savviness, or savviness with a skillset related to the service you provide.
Understanding your top customer DNA will help you better identify new customers, better relate and communicate with leads and existing customers and understand who to prioritize your existing customer base. Once you know your customer DNA following are some tips to leverage that data for the betterment of your company:
- Thank Your Top Customers. Once you have your top customers identified, be sure you are thanking them. The holidays are a great time to send them a hand written thank you note, or even a coupon for 2012 as you look forward to more business from them in the coming year. Everyone loves to know that their business is appreciated. A simple thank you can do wonders for customer retention and loyalty.
- Find More Customers. Once you have your DNA identified, purchasing a list, or even doing some basic web searches can help you easily identify leads that match your DNA and will likely be great future customers. The holidays are a great time to send them a promotion to try out your business in 2012. In your message to them, talk about their likely pain points and goals, the results your customers have achieved, and any other value-added content you can provide them with that will be helpful to their lives.
- Leveraging Your Customers to Get More Customers. One of the best promotional assets that you have is your existing customer base. Don’t be afraid to ask if your current customers would refer you and provide them an incentive to do so. People respect their friend’s opinions of services the most, and are very likely to try something that a friend recommends. Other ways you can leverage your customers is to ask them to write a review of your company online, or provide you with a quote about their love of your service and benefits of using it that you can post onto your website and other locations.
It’s easy to see all of the benefits that knowing your customer DNA can have for your business. Once you figure out your DNA, it’s likely to shift over time, so it’s great to have a regular review to see if anything has changed, so you can always be aware of who your top customers are and how you can get more of them.
Coming next week in Part 2 of the Small Business Health Checklist: Getting to Predictable Smooth Cash Flow.