If your business is going to flourish, it’s common knowledge that sourcing a steady flow of customers is key. It’s for this reason that the growth of your customer base, through both the generation of new leads and the retention of existing clientele, is paramount to ensuring success.
In consultation with other successful small business owners whom we support with our software, we’ve come up with 5 actionable steps for you to implement to grow your customer base and ultimately your bottom line.
- Know who your customers are and where they come from
It’s fair to say in order for you to be able to cater to your customer’s needs, you’ll have to first of all understand them. By cultivating customer insights through research and feedback, you’re able to delve deeper, allowing you to develop not only tailored products and services, but buying experiences too.
Learn your customers’ preferences and cater to them. By making customers feel like they’re receiving a personalised service that caters to their needs, you’ll soon find yourself ahead of the game.
- Understand that customer retention and advocacy will lead to greater lead generation
It is a far better return on investment to focus on delighting your existing customers than to attract new ones. Happy and satisfied customers mean recurring revenue for your business, and these repeat customers often offer high value sales because through their initial buying experience, a level of trust between the two parties has already been established.
Furthermore, a happy and satisfied customer is more likely to recommend and refer other customers to your business. This multiplier effect on lead generation resulting from customer advocacy cannot be underestimated.
Fostering relationships with existing customers alongside the search for new business is key. A balance that is hard to strike, but the steady sales pipeline that it helps to create, will relieve some pressure and allow you to concentrate on the core principles of your business.
- Go above and beyond to offer superior customer service
This may sound cliched, but it’s very easy for small businesses to get so caught up in your products and services, that you let customer service take a back seat. Quality customer service is imperative in keeping not only your existing customer base, but also with organically growing new business.
Keep in mind that a reputation of excellent customer service takes time to cultivate because trust isn’t built overnight. This is time that you’re going to have to invest in if you want to build upon your customer base.
On the other hand, you can go from hero to zero in no time at all and find for your hard-earned reputation destroyed by a single customer complaint. Social media is an amazing viral tool that has the power to make or break your business’ reputation. But with zero accountability for those mentioning your business online, customers won’t think twice about truly speaking their mind.
Take the time to evaluate your customer service and make sure you’re going above and beyond in the service you offer.
- Capitalise on your social media presence
Social media has totally revolutionised the way that businesses connect and engage with customers. Suddenly your business has not only a 24/7 digital office, but if social media is properly managed, your business now has a personality!
Depending on your target market, there are a multitude of social media networks for you to establish a presence on. These include the mass used Facebook, the highly visual Instagram, or the professionally focused LinkedIn. Do your research and find out where you want to focus your attention, but there is nothing stopping you from establishing a presence on all of them – aside from the obvious challenge of time and resources to manage your social presence on multiple sites.
Successful social media management will seamlessly encompass both your business’ support and marketing efforts. It will allow you to find new business both organically and through highly targeted advertising networks where the demographics you can access are so incredibly personalised.
The business communication game has officially changed!
- Play to your strengths and don’t be afraid to think big
Thanks to the internet and the power of social media, your small business now has the same marketing reach as a big multinational. Just let that sink in for a second. The competitive gap between small and large business truly is as narrow as it’s ever been.
As a small business however, you certainly still garner an advantage when it comes to your ability to act fast. A luxury that larger businesses with greater levels of bureaucracy may not be afforded. Don’t underestimate your ability to be agile and personal when it comes to communicating to potential new customers.
There are now a multitude of online tools that allow you to easily track the growth of your customer base. Take advantage of these and don’t be afraid to refine your approach and scale up the areas that you’re seeing strong results. What is someone else’s weakness could be your strength so don’t be afraid to try things that have already been done.
By implementing these 5 actionable steps, you will be on your way to growing your customer base and with it, your bottom line.