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Every Monday at 6:42 a.m. and 8:42 a.m., Rob Gilligan provides information on what's happening in the area of regional development in Southeast Missouri. Rob is the President and CEO of the Cape Chamber. Local support for "Let's Talk Business" is provided by Carved + Crafted Catering. (573) 651-2569

Let's Talk Business: Return of the School Year Means New Customers and Opportunity

Southeast Missouri State University

Next week school will resume throughout the region as the fall semester begins. For a college town like Cape Girardeau, the addition of hundreds of new students to the community creates a nice buzz, and an opportunity for business to make a first and hopefully lasting impression.

It can sometimes be easy to gloss over the transition of back to school or get distracted with the changes in our personal lives as schedules change and commitments to events and activities start back up. Taking time over the next several weeks to focus energy and effort on connecting and welcoming these new residents to Cape can be a benefit to you and your business.

Here is a few quick reminders of small things that you can do now to build long-term relationships for your organization.

  • Be Welcoming – Make sure to welcome and engage with your customers with purpose. By identifying new customers early, you can make sure to give extra attention and information on all your business offers that may be of value or need.
  • Be Consistent – Schedules are difficult, and staffing can still be treacherous but being consistent in your hours and service is a critical first experience. It’s hard to build customer relationships is their first experience is finding your doors locked but the sign says you should be open.
  • Be Communicative – Use all your marketing, media and communication tools to reach out and let them know that you look forward to welcoming them to the community and getting to know them as a customer.

A positive first experience this fall will help ensure that it won’t be your last interaction and may lead to a long great relationship for you and for your business!

Rob is the President and CEO of the Cape Chamber.