Steps to Grow Your Customer Base
The value of a good customer is immeasurable…. Well, that’s not strictly true. There is a quantifiable value in terms of their purchases, referrals, recommendations, and impact on your bottom line. But the sentiment holds true: they are the lifeblood of your brand. Growing your customer base means growing your business – and boosting the bottom line.
How to Expand Your Customer Base
A “customer base” is the group of customers who are most engaged with and loyal to your brand. These are the folks who not only choose you when they need a product/service, but the ones who recommend their friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues, who leave reviews, who comment, like, share, repost, and retweet.
Before you can expand your customer base, you must clarify who your ideal customer is. Start by examining your value proposition (what do you offer that competitors do not?); highlighting your features and benefits; identifying who wants or needs your product/service; and targeting those who could act as brand advocates.
Defining the who is one of the most critical aspects of growing your customer base. After all, you’re doing this for them. Any efforts, techniques, tactics, and strategies need to be geared towards your ideal customer – so you can better serve your current and future customers.
Once you’ve built out your customer persona(s), take action to expand your customer base:
- Think About Your Business Structure. While this may not be top of mind as you think about growing your customer case, selecting the right structure for your business is critical. Not only does it impact your tax and liability situations, becoming incorporated (e.g. LLC) establishes credibility amongst customers. They see you as a legitimate business – not some fly-by-night operation.
- Balance Current Customers and Prospects. We’ve all heard the adage: it’s easier (and cheaper) to keep an existing customer than it is to recruit a new one. Yes, true. However… your business needs an infusion of new revenue, and this means new customers. You must prioritize maintaining relationships with current customers, as well as striving to build relationships with prospects. This can be a tough balancing act, but it is essential that no one feels neglected or second-best.
- Make Sure Your Customer Service Is Top Notch. You cannot expect to gain new customers if your service is subpar to your existing base. In the age of consumer reviews and ratings, being responsive, attentive, and courteous is mission-critical. Think about what your customers want and need – and then go a step or two beyond to deliver an exceptional experience.
- Leverage Your Networks. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. We love all the adages here! And, again, this is so true. Reach out to your networks of colleagues, friends, family, partners, vendors, and, yes, your existing customers to spread the word about your business. If you need, you can incentivize referrals (20% discount anyone?).
- Build Out a Stellar Website. It’s 2021. You need a great website that is user-friendly, easily navigable, attractive, and intuitive. As you consider the technical elements, from load times to optimization, also remember to focus on your content. All web assets need to be informative, helpful, and compelling.
- Add Value. What can you do to add a little value to your customers’ and prospects’ day? Is there useful information you can share? Tips you can divulge? How-to’s you can teach? Do it. This builds your authority in your space, establishes you as a trusted guide, and gets you that much closer to a top ranking in the search engine results. Think newsletters, free ebooks, downloadable guides, compelling social media posts, etc.
- Get Your Collateral In Order. Could your logo use a refresh? Do your flyers and brochures look a little dusty? Are those business cards gathering cobwebs in someone’s wallet? Revamp these assets so they are fresh and exciting. You want to focus on information (name, address, phone, email, etc.) but also create an exciting brand experience for people. When they see a mailer, a card, or another piece of branded material, they should be reminded of your unique brand identity and value proposition.
Growing your customer base involves more than checking off items on a to-do list. It takes work, dedication, and strategy. If you need help putting the pieces into action, contact AMB Performance Group.