When launching your own business, you must forge a strong relationship with your customers – as this will help you considerably when it comes to customer retention, repeat purchases and even brand awareness. Thankfully, there are various ways in which you can do this, such as through your online presence or by simply brushing up on your customer service skills.
However, if you run a physical premises in addition to an online store, it’s important that you engage with the local community. This is because foot traffic will make up a large proportion of your income, meaning you must be able to engage with those who walk through the door and carve out a name for yourself in the local area, especially if you want to get the upper hand against your key competitors. In many cases, community engagement can become your key competitive advantage that steers your brand towards success.
With that in mind, here are some simple ways to ensure your brand is engaged with the local community.
- Understand who the local community are. In order to engage and communicate successfully, you must first strive to understand who your local community are. What demographics do they fall into? What do they look for when spending their money at a business? How can you make the experience more positive for them? For example, if a proportion of the local community speaks a different language, you might want to look into translation services for your website or any correspondence. This is particularly important if you run any kind of government or community service, where engagement is necessary. Thankfully, there are plenty of companies that specialise in government translation services, helping you close that communication gap sooner rather than later.
- Become an active member of the community. In order for your business to become a key fixture in your community, you must actively engage with them. Attend local events, network and make a real effort to communicate with the community at large. Not only is this an incredibly cost-effective way to advertise your business, but it will also help you to forge meaningful connections with other business owners in the area.
- Support the local community. Another way in which you can ensure that you engage more frequently with your local community is by finding creative ways to support them and show your customers that you care. For example, you could donate to prominent local causes or offer returning customers impressive discounts. From here, the former is perhaps the most effective method, as customers will favour brands that focus on giving back as opposed to those who do not. This demonstrates that their money is being put to good use.
- Be as transparent as possible. When trying to win over customers, particularly in the modern market, transparency is also key. Therefore, you should strive to be as open and honest as possible when engaging with your customers. If you have made a mistake, be honest about it – don’t try to cover it up as this will only weaken the trust you have worked so hard to build.