our customer base consists of the people to whom your business sells products and services. The value of your customer base determines the success of your business as well as your business’ customer lifetime value. To maximize customer lifetime value, you must analyze customer profitability and constantly nurture the relationships between your business and your current customers by keeping in contact with them throughout their interaction with your products and/or services. Whether they have yet to make a purchase from you or they have already done so, maintaining a strong relationship with your customers keeps each customer lifetime value healthy and may even result in them re-purchasing or recommending your products and services to their friends and family.  

Growing your customer base is a vital part of building the success of your business, as you constantly need new and existing customers patronizing your brand. Now that you are growing your business, keeping a steady flow of customers should be an essential part of your business strategy. Here are a few tried and tested approaches you can explore to start increasing your customer base:

Provide Excellent Customer Service

A great way to start building your customer base is to work with what you already have. If you provide great customer service to your current customers, you will be able to reap the benefits by retaining them as loyal customers, gaining referrals for new customers, and even improving your current products and services to attract more customers. One way to implement this strategy is investing in a team who specializes in customer service. This could simply mean proper training of your staff or diligently answering inquiries made by customers via phone, email, or social media. Satisfied customers are very likely to talk about your products and services to friends and family.  

Utilize Social Networks

With the variety of marketing techniques at your disposal these days, it’s important not to forget to use your online network as a resource. Your social circle is a great way to start. Let’s say you have 1,500 people in your friends list on social media: you can put this to use by sharing your business ideas with them. You can also spread the news to family and any other networks you’ve built. This is a simple tactic that is often forgotten. Urge each member of your business to spread the message by word of mouth — you can even provide incentives if possible.  

Offer Free Incentives

Who doesn’t love free stuff? Provide an incentive to new customers that will encourage their first purchase. Many business to business (B2B) companies offer free white-paper or educational content to people who sign-up to their newsletters. Many e-commerce sites offer a percentage discount off of first purchases to entice potential customers to shop or sign up for weekly newsletters. See what incentives your business can offer at low costs if you’re ballin’ on a budget. Here are a few other ideas for incentives or free offers you might want to try.  

Understand Your Target Market & Optimize Customer Satisfaction

This includes gathering customer feedback through comment cards or reviews. Find out what your current customers have to say about your products and services to improve the services you provide. Customer feedback is key to improvement. If inquiries were made for a certain product or service you don’t provide, you may want to consider including it in future plans. If there were any complaints regarding price points, you may want to consider markdowns or special discount promos. Understanding your customers’ needs allows you to develop services that match.  

Be Present & Accessible Wherever Your Customers Are

Customers expect to reach out to and interact with businesses whenever they want, from wherever they are. To stay relevant and competitive in this digital age, make sure that your business has a customer service team dedicated to attending phone lines and online inquiries. You can take this even further by establishing a live chat service via your website or app, providing services that could draw in new potential customers and promote re-purchasing. Being present on social media is also a great way to recruit future customers that are online — keeping your brand present and visible on all possible platforms creates more potential interactions between your business and its new customers.  

Content Marketing

If you are looking for new and effective ways to recruit customers, content marketing provides a different approach to traditional marketing. Content marketing focuses on educating customers via articles, newsletters, and other engaging content shared online. This approach has been proven to effectively boost sales, promote customer loyalty, and generate leads for many businesses. If executed correctly, It’s a great way to engage with potential customers online through compelling content that aims to spark interest, without trying too hard or being too “hard-sell.”   Since you are focused on expanding your customer base, a particular objective you should pinpoint is lead generation, which generally refers to the process of increasing interest in your products or services in the hopes of developing sales or bringing customers into your sales pipeline. Optimizing your content marketing for lead generation requires proper strategy, social media platforms for ads and retargeting, email newsletters, pop-ups, etc.

Though it may seem like a heavy task, having a well-executed content marketing strategy to generate and capture leads could be most effective way for your business to expand its customer base online.  There are a multitude of ways for you to reach new customers, whether through old fashioned word of mouth or more advanced content marketing. It’s essential to start with what your business needs and what you are capable of executing at the moment. The bottom line is that, for your business to thrive and stand out among the competition, you must constantly be looking for new people to be part of your customer base, nurture your relationships with your customers, provide excellent products and services, and continuously improve based on customer feedback to ensure that they stay loyal to your brand for years to come.

January 8, 2019
Business Building