Key learning outcomes:
- Learn that a well-designed attraction strategy is key to winning customers.
- Differentiate your business from the competition by offering unique products or superior knowledge and expertise.
- Recognise that a well-structured and accessible business will draw new customers.
- Implement practices to reward new and repeat customers.
Having a great attraction strategy will mean that your customers choose to do business with you rather than your competitors. A high level of appeal is why one business might have a long line of customers waiting to get in, yet another right next door might be empty and struggling. What it comes down to is whether or not the customer considers the business to be attractive. In this article we will take you through some of the ways you can make your business more attractive to your customers when you create an effective attraction strategy.
Know who you are
Before you can convince others to do business with you it is important that you are clear on your own brand message. Ensure you know who you are as a business and be clear on the image you want to portray to potential customers. Let’s look at a new restaurant as an example. The restaurant owner needs to decide well before launching on the type of food they will serve and the style and standard of dining they will offer. This will encompass everything from the location and the décor of the restaurant right through to how staff will dress and what messages will be portrayed when promoting the business. The more thought and planning that goes into this stage, the better your chances of success. It is essential that your brand matches customers’ perceptions and expectations of the business. The more you can deliver on these expectations, the more attractive your business will become.[wlm_ismember]
Be known for what you do
Having a high degree of knowledge and expertise will make your business more attractive to customers, as people are influenced by those that show authority in their field. This can be done by the following means:
- Creating a niche market for your business. This occurs when you provide a product of service that very few competitors provide. Remember, however, that the more specialised you become, the smaller the market that you will cater for. Therefore, it is essential to do your due diligence to ensure that your business is sustainable over the longer term.
- Providing a higher level of knowledge and expertise than the competition. To do this you have to seek out and study any new information about your product or service. One of the ways to do this is to become an active member of your industry association, which can give you credibility beyond your own market and access to information that your competitors might have to wait for. Demonstrate your expertise and knowledge by communicating with your customers regularly and pass on any new information before it becomes common knowledge.
- Building your local profile. Many small businesses are by their nature local businesses. You can become better known by lifting your profile in your local community. Building a profile beyond your own business will help to build your level of authority and expertise. For example, a printer may print the invitations for a local gala dinner or fundraiser, and in doing so spreads the word about the quality of work that the business generates.
Make it easy to do business with you
Customers are attracted to businesses that are easy to deal with. Consider, for example, a beauty salon that only opens their appointment book up every eight weeks, even for their regular customers. This means that customers need to remember to phone the salon if their next appointment would fall due outside this timeframe. While this does build a sense of scarcity, over time many customers will choose to move to competitors who offer a more flexible booking system. The following is a list of simple things that you can work on to make it easy for others to do business with you:
- Be easy to find. Think not just about your physical premises, but also your online presence.
- Be easy to contact:
- Are your details easy to find online?
- Are multiple contact points offered, such as email and phone?
- Can the customer get instant attention?
- Is the phone always answered? What happens if it is not?
- Be accessible:
- Are you always open for business? How do you deal with a situation where the business is not physically manned?
- Are your booking or ordering procedures easy to follow?
- Do you offer multiple payment options?
- Do you have a system that kicks in when things go wrong?
Build a high level of likeability
It might seem simplistic, but one of the easiest things you can do to increase your appeal is to be friendly and nice to your customers. Remember that first impressions are lasting impressions; a customer will be left feeling disappointed if they, for example, come across a grumpy receptionist or feel stressed or worried after they walk into a business. It is important to anticipate a potential customer’s first impression of your business. Is the phone answered promptly and nicely? Is the first person that they meet someone who understands the importance of making a stand-out first impression? People prefer to do business with people that they like – work to build your likeability and you will also build your level of attractiveness.
There is no doubt that customers today have a lot of choice, regardless of the product or service they are interested in. Showing your appreciation for choosing your business will help to build repeat and referral business. At the end of the day, people do not want to deal with businesses that treat the customer as if they are doing them a favour. Work on ways to thank your first-time customers and your loyal, repeat customers.
Show pride in your business
There is nothing worse than going into a business that seems neglected and uncared for. As mentioned earlier, the first impressions are lasting impressions. Take a walk around your local area and rate each business on a first-impression basis. Does the business look clean? Do the staff look engaged? Does the business have a high street or walk-in appeal? Now do the same for your business. Showing the customers that you care for your business in turn shows that you care about them.
One of the keys to an effective attraction strategy is ensuring that you are consistent and transparent in what you do and what you say. For example there is no point running a fun and happy social media campaign to attract customers to your business only for them to feel let down when they encounter the real thing. Being able to deliver on your brand promise, consistently, is a prime consideration when building an attraction strategy.
Essentially, building an attraction strategy is all about doing a great job, delivering a high level of customer service and showing the customer that you are grateful that they chose your business. It is wise every now and again to look at your business through the eyes of a new customer. Assess every aspect of the business and look for areas of improvement. Today, businesses are experiencing greater competition than ever before. Customers can choose a local competitor or make their selection from online stores all over the world. An effective attraction strategy is more critical than ever for the survival of your business.[/wlm_ismember]
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