Opinions expressed by australiabusinessblog.com contributors are their own.
Behind the Review host and Yelp’s Small Business Expert, Emily Washcovick, shares a look at this week’s episode of the podcast.
For some customers, the decision to buy from a small company rather than a large store comes down to something very simple: the experience they have in store. Because of their size, small businesses have the advantage of being able to build deeper relationships with their customers through exceptional service or a customized product.
Tina Y., owner of the Phoenix flower shop Boite de Fleurssays her dedication to adding that personal touch to not only the product, but the shopping experience is what drives her luxury flower business.
“We curate everything for the customer who orders it. If they call and want something specific, even if it takes us a day or two to make sure we get the exact flowers from our suppliers, we make sure we do because we want to deliver a great experience at the end of the day,” she said.
It was Tina’s genuine concern that impressed Yelp reviewer, Reginald M., who went to Boite de Fleurs with his one-year-old son to find the perfect Mother’s Day gift for his wife. He says the memory of having the whole store to himself while Reggie Jr. chose the flowers, is one he will cherish forever – and which has cemented his status as a loyal customer.
“When my son came in there, they took care of him. He picked every flower in that arrangement. It was memorable. It’s the kind of things that [mean] I will never buy flowers from anyone else again.”
Many small business owners can relate to the origin story of Boite de Fleurs, which Tina started in her garage five years ago. What initially started as a side business grew into a full-fledged business when she opened her physical store in February 2020, just before the pandemic presented entrepreneurs with unprecedented challenges.
“Going through the pandemic and not really knowing what to expect or even how long it was going to last and pushing through the past three years to actually have a sustainable business has been tough,” she said. “But at the same time it was great because I feel like not many people can say they’ve done it or experienced it. That wasn’t what we expected when we first opened.”
Despite the obstacles she has had to overcome over the years, Tina’s dedication to customer service has remained constant. She takes the utmost care in everything from the quality of the product to the delivery process, ensuring that each order is exactly what the customer envisioned.
“For me, that’s what it’s all about: making sure I can get what the customer wants,” she said. “I just feel like that’s what people want these days. Everyone wants something specific, whether they saw it online or somewhere else, or someone else got something.”
When a potential customer approaches your small business, a good product may not be all they’re looking for. Providing that memorable experience through customer service that goes beyond that, or a special personal touch, is a great way to leave a strong impression on customers and keep them coming back.
In this week’s episode, Tina discussed some other great tips that will help her business thrive:
- Responding to all reviews, whether positive or critical, is one way to let your customers know they are appreciated. Customers will notice if you take the time and effort to respond to feedback. In Reggie’s case, he felt special and heard when Tina responded to his review.
- Your store’s digital presence can often be the first impression of your business to a potential customer. Especially in this day and age, a majority of your customers will find your business through social media or an online review platform like Yelp. Uploading eye-catching photos and accurate information on your social media platforms and review sites can entice someone to choose your small business over your competitors.
- Make sure the quality of your product justifies a higher price. Many customers will not mind paying extra for an experience and product that reflects the care and attention that goes into each purchase, especially when it comes to special occasions.
Listen to the episode below to hear from Tina and Reginald, and subscribe Behind the review for more information from new entrepreneurs and reviewers every Thursday.