Businesses that forget their customers and their communities can find those very same customers start to turn on them before they know it. Customer service isn’t just placating a customer who had a bad experience; it’s building great memories with existing customers, potential customers, and the community at large. Even if a person never buys from your business, they still need to be considered part of your community because one day they might, or perhaps they might refer you to a friend, or even be willing to try out a new product line in the future.
Engaging with your community is more than marketing. It is more than sales. It requires a comprehensive approach, and to help you get started, here are five ideas to consider:
Host an Event that Brings the Community to You
Events are great ways to bring the community directly to you. Launch events, product launches, anniversary dates, big public events – the list goes on. You bring people to your store, and you bring customers to your products. You also get free publicity and can really increase the feeling of community for those that live in your neighborhood.
Collaborate with Local Artists and Businesses
Local artists and other small businesses are full of talent, and collaborating with them can make your business a community icon. After all, you are unique to that community. You are also supporting the arts and culture of that community by working with the artists that live there. Examples of collaboration include launching a limited edition product line or expanding your inventory to include local artists. Whatever you do, pay them fairly. Do that, and you can become a community establishment in no time at all.
Host a Fundraiser for a Good Cause
One of the best ways a for-profit business can improve its standing in the community while giving back to the said community is with a fundraiser. These fundraisers can be events, raffles, special sales, and so on. There are so many great brick fundraiser ideas and other tips and tricks for you to use.
Support Local Charities
Fundraising for a charity is a great way to really give back, but how you give back doesn’t always have to be big. You can support local charities in many small ways that make a big difference. You can offer paid days off for your employees to volunteer at a charity they are passionate about, for example. You can partner with charities to run workshops or other events for free so that your community can improve. You can host clean-up events. The options are limitless, and partnering with a charity is a good way to expand your visibility amongst your customer base.
Offer Services and Products
If you offer a service, expand to include products. If you offer products, expand to offer workshops, classes, or other services. This applies both in-store and online. Only when there is a mix of the two can you increase your revenue streams and your profits. Your customer base will find it easy to engage with your business in multiple ways, and you can build a stronger foundation for your business to grow from.