I can’t help but be inspired by my Facebook feed, bursting at the seams with smiling kids heading off to school.
These are the faces of my boys as they waited for the bus yesterday morning. One super excited (and a little nervous) kindergartener and one experienced, I-already-know-the-drill third grader. (Not pictured: Equally handsome one year-old likely devastated by the absence of his brothers.) While adorable, I share them because they’re a great reminder of the varying mindsets of your customers.
Great small businesses have existing customers with long-established relationships. These customers know what to expect and how everything works. And they also have brand-spanking new ones that are just starting to get to know the business. They’re a little unsure, but hopefully confident in the path forward. At least that’s the ideal scenario — old and new customers, with opportunities for the new to become old and a new class to come into the fold each year.
Both your existing and new customers need care and attention. Each one needs to feel like they’re the most important customer in your world. Yesterday morning (the past week, really), we fell down a little on our veteran elementary schooler. We were totally focused on our rising kindergartener — helping him feel confident with riding the bus, meeting new friends, eating in the lunchroom — all of it. While the big brother was no worse for the wear, he likely felt a little slighted.
For a small business owner, juggling customer love is equally challenging. Finding time to dote on the customers you already have while constantly keeping an eye out for new ones coming in the front door — it’s not easy. But it’s paramount to continued customer satisfaction and growth. And it’s all marketing.
Whether you’re running a back to school campaign, planning for holiday promotions, or looking at day-to-day customer engagement, keep all of your customers in view. Even your most loyal customers need to feel the love as if they’re just setting foot in the kindergarten classroom for the first time.