YourBusinessWithJamesCaan2016 - 187
THE HOST WITH THE MOST
Once you're up and running and you
are looking for clients or customers
what can you do to impress them? And
how can you keep them once they have
signed up? Great hospitality is another
way of sealing deals and nurturing
You also need to look after yourself,
too, and that means keeping on top (or
rather, below) your budget.
Hospitality goes a step further than
just persuading a client to choose your
product or service. After all, good
impressions lead to a more positive
view of the hosting organisation.
Every little helps
What are the best ways of attracting new customers
to your business as well as keeping the ones you have?
WORDS: GEORGINA MARIC | PHOTOGRAPHY: SHUTTERSTOCK
imples! Who doesn't know those
cuddly plush meercats, given out to
customers by a well known comparison
site? These toys firmly put the
company name on people's lips and
slap bang into their conscience.
Customer incentives are big business
and a surefire way of bringing new
customers in and also retaining the
ones you already have.
'A few years ago customers would
buy a product because it was good and
was what they wanted,' says Nik
Caldeira, Head of B2B at tastecard.
'But now products are so similar in
terms of what they offer and their
quality that competition is fierce and
businesses are having to think of
different ways of attracting customers
in the first place and also to find
incentives to keep them.'
Banks have been doing it for years -
current accounts are a good example
because of course you can still get the
bog standard account for free at most
banks but if you want mobile and
travel insurance you need to pay a
monthly fee and the more you pay, the
more incentives you get. NatWest
offers a reward scheme where you get
points for paying your bills by direct
debit and also National Trust tickets
and a tastecard. 'Financial products
and services are highly competitive
and most now offer some kind of
reward in order to win customers,'
Insurance companies also offer
incentives from cash back and shop
vouchers, to free breakdown cover and
supermarket loyalty card points.
MAKING IT WORK FOR YOU
For new businesses, establishing your
name and building up a good
reputation among customers is vital
and therefore an incentive can be a
deal breaker. 'You don't have to spend
much,' says Nik. 'but you have to offer
something that resonates with your
target audience and provides them
with real value,' he adds.
Business is cut-throat, so any way of
standing out from the crowd should be
embraced. Seen by critics as an
expense, it can be a great investment,
especially for small, up and coming
businesses. Try these ideas:
COFFEE AND CAKE
When having clients in for a meeting,
you don't need to get the bunting out,
just offer them a scrummy-looking
cake to sweeten them up. Smells of
brewed coffee can trigger a comforting
feeling, and make clients feel relaxed.
LUNCHES AND DINNERS
Everyone likes to be treated to a
swanky meal out, and clients love
being wined and dined. Obviously,
impressing them can cost, but fear not,
that's one of the many ways where
tastecard (tastecard.co.uk) can help.
tastecard membership gives you 50%
off the food bill (or two meals for the
price of one) at thousands of
participating UK restaurants.
Take clients out to watch live sport,
such as a big boxing match, a football
or rugby game or a day at the races in
order to build relationships. Or you
could host a fun event where you and
your clients can take part. Racing
around an obstacle course or a
rounders game will help to take the
pressure off, get everyone laughing and
make your company memorable.
187 YB16 Customer loyalty v2.indd 187