Three top tips to make 2017 your best business year yet

As the chaos of January sales dies down and things return to “business as usual,” now feels like the perfect time to focus on making 2017 your best year yet. A fresh start means a chance to rethink strategy, take stock on business goals and analyse the learnings from 2016. But where do you begin?

Here are three top tips to help give your business, and bottom line, the healthy boost they deserve.

1. Happier customers spend more

Research shows that retail customers who are impressed with service spend up to 10% more per average transaction in-store.*

In a digital age when consumers are used to searching for and finding the product they need for themselves, creating strong relationships with customers can easily seem less of a priority. But the data shows that good customer service makes relationship-building in-store a really important focus area – not only for your reputation but for your revenue. So remember that keeping staff motivated and engaged with a well-defined, customer-focused culture can significantly impact your profits.

2. Word of mouth

Word of mouth is one of the oldest and most basic forms of marketing, and it’s still very powerful for bringing in new customers. But did you know that satisfied customers are not only your business’ best advocates, they’re also your biggest spenders? TruRating data shows that satisfied customers who say they would recommend you to a friend spend up to a whopping 13 per cent more per average transaction.*

On the flip side, for every customer complaint received there are on average a further 26 unhappy but silent customers not helping you to improve. Worse still, 91 per cent of these disappointed consumers will simply never return.** Find a way to listen to these detractors and your bottom line, not just your brand name, will benefit.

The lesson is to make sure that you check in with your customers regulary. See that your customers are happy, listen to their feedback, and seek to improve their experiences – not just every now and again, but all the time.

3. Keep your brand strong

Your brand is who you are, who you want to be, and who people perceive you to be. Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business regardless of size and, done well, it can give you a competitive edge. But branding doesn’t just get people through the door; it also affects how much they spend once they’re there. TruRating data* shows that customers will spend more on average per transaction if their perception of your brand is higher.

Your value-for-money, what you offer your customers and how your business appears visually all contribute to how your brand is perceived. When looking at ways to give your business a boost, it’s important to not overlook the key insights your management, staff and customers can give. There are many valuable lessons to be learned if you ask the right questions to the right people.

* Data collected by TruRating in 2016.

** 1st Financial Training Services

Sophie Jillings, Head of APAC, www.trurating.com

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