Small business owners often believe that all they need to do to meet customer expectations and needs is to provide a product or service. This isn’t the case. There’s simply too much competition today, meaning clients have the ability to control the health and longevity of your business. 

According to the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA), roughly 82% of consumers surveyed use local businesses, and local businesses account for 56% of total business use. Many consumers choose local businesses out of choice rather than necessity, but they DO have options. 

Happy customers result in more business, higher customer retention rates, and more growth. So, how do you make your target and current customers happy? Here is why consumers prefer local businesses and what they still want from your small business so you can improve your overall results. 

Why Consumers Prefer Local Businesses

When customers choose a local business over a national chain, they are doing so for several reasons. According to the same SBA survey, the most common reason (96%) is that they get more personalized service. Other reasons clients give for making these choices include getting treated more fairly (91%), receiving higher quality work (86%), and better customer service (80%). 

What Clients Want from Your Small Business

While some national chains can outperform small businesses on price, about two-thirds of consumers say they are willing to pay more to get the quality service they believe they receive from small businesses. But, consumers still have a wish list of sorts. Here are some of the top things customers say they want from your small business. 

1. Online Reviews

More than two-thirds (76%) of consumers surveyed say they want to see more online reviews for local businesses. Google and social media reviews help consumers make more informed buying decisions. 

2. Easy-to-Use Websites

Customers also want to be able to click and view an informative and engaging website for your small business, not just a Facebook page. They want to read about your business and learn more about its products and services on your website. 

3. Loyalty Programs

Nearly half (49%) of clients say they would like to see more local businesses offer loyalty incentives to customers, such as special offers or discounts. 

4. Self-Service

Small business owners are busy, and so are consumers. You can streamline some of your processes and satisfy more of your customers by offering things like self-service appointment booking and bill payment. 

5. More Online Communication

And, believe it or not, many consumers also want to hear from your small business more in terms of appointment reminders, helpful tips and advice, survey requests for feedback, newsletters, and other personalized communications. 

We Can Help You Connect With More Clients

If you want to attract and connect with more clients, you need a partner you can trust. For nearly a decade, VisionPATH Marketing has been helping small businesses achieve new levels of growth. Our marketing specialists take the time to understand your industry and business before outlining a strategy designed to help you achieve the best possible results. 

Our goal is to be your long-term partner as we diligently work to give your small business the competitive advantage it needs. Some of the solutions we use include web design, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, digital advertising, and online branding. Contact us to schedule a free consultation to learn more about our services.