(Photo curtesy of photokanok at freedigitalphotos.net.)
Recently, I met the owner of a small company that sold homemade, high quality dog food and treats. Her immensely popular food is distributed locally – at farmers markets, local shops and farmstands. She also offers a home delivery service to a limited area, which she currently runs herself. When I asked how she had time to do that, she laughed.
“It’s quick if the customer isn’t home, I leave the food and go along my way. But if they’re home, I end up talking with them, playing with their dog, and staying too long,” she admits. “I have to say, it’s my own fault – I love that interaction. I learn ways to improve my products, what my customers want.”
As a small business owner, one of your biggest advantage over larger competitors is that personal service and opportunity for customer interaction. While it’s unlikely that you drive to each of your customer’s homes, you can still achieve a similar connection through being active on social media.
By posting news and product updates, you can keep customers aware of what’s going on. You can hear compliments and complaints, and respond to them within a few hours. Your active presence will solicit questions, which can help educate your customer base. You can put a face behind your business by sharing a glimpse of your life and what drives your passion for your business.
Take a look at your social media efforts; are you reaching your customers? Doing so can be the next best thing to driving out to your customers’ front door.