Importance Of Trust For Your Business
For business owners who cater to a local community, regardless of the size of your business, being honest, and ensuring your customers trust you, the product, or the services you sell, is going to be critical to the success or failure of the business. Due to the fact that you are catering to a small (or large) local market, you have to be viewed as a credible retailer, otherwise consumers are going to turn elsewhere; even if this means buying online, or leaving the local areas to shop for products.
Word of Mouth
Regardless of what other forms of marketing come along, word of mouth has always been (and continues to be) the most powerful marketing tool. Some things word of mouth can do includes:
– increase/decrease sales (if consumers are saying positive/negative things about your business, it is either going to drive up/down the sales);
– bring in consumers from out of town;
– bring in an entirely new consumer base; or,
– increase the overall hold that the company has in the market (in comparison to other local businesses that offer the same goods or services for sale).
One negative comment made about your business (especially in small towns), can outdo any number of positive marketing campaigns, or positive messages that are put out to the local public about your business.
Great Customer Service
It does not matter what you sell, or what services are offered, the customer is always right, especially in small local markets. When you are dealing with the same local consumers day in and day out, if there is a complaint, or if they want to make a return, as a business owner, it is worth allowing it (even if the customer is wrong). Locals talk, and for this reason, if you have great associates, and if you are willing to believe the customer (as opposed to questioning them about certain facts), you are going to get a repeat customer; plus, this is going to lead to new consumers coming in the doors as well.
With local stores and shops, there are at least 5 other stores that sell the same exact products that you do. From grocery stores, to sporting goods stores; for this reason, having the best staff on hand, products that other local stores do not offer, and competitive pricing, are all things which can bring in customers, and take away customers from the local competition. Some simple things your stores can offer includes price matching (if another local store charges less or returns or refunds after a certain period of time).
Regardless of the kind of business you run, when you are dealing with locals day in and day out, you have to cater to their every demand. The only way to succeed is to keep customers happy, have them spread positive messages about your stores, and always agree with the customer base. If customers trust you, they are going to come back (even if you do charge a little more than a local competitor for the same products).