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As blood gives life to the human, so is the customer to a business. Customers are the life wire of any business venture without which no business can survive. In fact, business is no business without the customer. Any business that is thriving and succeeding has a steady flow of repeat and referral customers. And they attracted these customers to themselves rather than pursuing them. The question now is; how do you attract these all important element of business success?
This write up looks at how a business can successfully attract customers and profitably retain them.

There are two key components involved in attracting and retaining customers; one is effective understanding of people and relationships.

We must understand that people get attracted to us based on WHO WE ARE rather than on WHAT WE DO. Only very few numbers of people will do business with you based strictly on your depth of knowledge; a lot others will, because of whom you are to them.
There are many people today who are fountains of knowledge as regards their products and services but yet went out of business due to lack of customers, while many others with little or no detail knowledge of their products and services but has built successful businesses today just on who they are. Having strong technical knowledge is great and very important but it is not sufficient enough to attract people to your business.
Who you are to people is actually an indication of your level of relationship with them. To attract people and retain them you must first aim at building a relationship. The greatest skill of any business endeavor is your people skill. This is made up of your communication skill, your social skill and your level of integrity. Do not go into any business with the mindset of making profit overnight; rather concentrate first on building lasting relationships.
When we communicate clearly, when we do what we say we will do, when we are reliable and trustworthy, when we are professional in attitude and manner, show interest in others and treat them with respect, we are building relationships and we will attract good people to ourselves and business. How people feel about us matters so much especially as regards business success. What emotions and experience do you leave behind at each contact with a customer, positive or negative? A positive customer experience will create repeat sales and referrals and help in retaining them, while a negative one will result in customer attrition rather than attraction.
To create a great customer experience, you must first and foremost put the right culture in place. Business culture is about employees’ experience of the business. It is about the environment that is created for which every employee wants to be part of. And will turn a great experience for the employees, making them brand ambassadors. This will further turn the business to an employee brand that will attract great employees to be part of what the business stands for, having the right people that will give their best for the customer.
In other words, to attract customers and retain them, you must create happy employees that will in turn create happy customers for your business, turning a great culture into a great customer experience.
The second key component of attracting and retaining customers is by understanding the concept of value creation;
According to this concept, it is only the customer that can tell what is of value to him. Therefore to create value, you must first understand what the customer wants or needs. What are their pain points? What are their problems? What products have they used before? What will the solution be like and can you provide it?
To create value you must solve a problem more than any of your competitors can. You must therefore stand out from the crowd and be unique.
You can design the best car in the world, but does it solve a particular customer problem? If not, you have only succeeded in wasting your time. You can only attract customers if you can create something of value to them much more than is already available, and unique at that.
A sick person can pay any price to be healed. He then is readily attracted to any doctor than can proffer solution to his ailment.
Identify customer pains and demonstrate that you can solve them more effectively than any other of your competitors, you will easily attract and retain them, and profitably too.
To create value therefore you must stand out, be unique and exceptional in product/service quality, customer service and innovation. You must have a unique brand that excels in value through accessibility, service delivery, customer experience and overall performance.
Your overall business strategy must be to please the customer. Your product quality, price, etc, must reflect your understanding of your customers’ particular situation. You must price to sell and also to build relationships. Focus on product quality and affordability. What matters most is the customer life time value and not the immediate gain. When a customer notices your level of interest in them, they will pay you back many more times. Remember, you can only cheat your customer ones, when he notices, you will lose him forever.
Therefore win the heart of your customers today by creating relationships and value solutions that will ultimately help not only in attracting them but also retaining them at great profits to you in the long run. Cheers!

Innocent Akoma (MBA,NIM)
I am a content and article writer. I love writing about Business and start ups with special interest in retail businesses. I am the CEO of NOBLE GUIDE CONSULT, we provide business consultancy & support services such as Business Registration, Business/ Market Research & Feasibility, Business and market plans, strategy/growth plans, marketing/promotional services, logistics, training, etc. Contact us on nobleguideconsult@yahoo.com or 08132611062, 08023709914. http://www.nobleguideconsult.wordpress.com. http://www.facebook.com/nobleguideconsultng. http://www.twitter.com/nobleguideconsult

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