by The Trilojee Team, posted 9/17/2017
Customers are the most valuable element in any business and essential if you want to create sustainability. Without customers, improving efficiencies and finding ways to lower cost wouldn’t really matter. However, since every customer is unique and has different needs, it is your job to identify those needs and fulfill them! Once you start attracting customers to your business, it will be easier to clarify the value they receive from your product or service and attract more customers like them. You can start considering the group of people who will choose your brand over any other brand and of course, the group who will later on be your loyal and satisfied customers.
However, if you’re the owner of a certain business, you already know that the hardest part is to build up your customer base, simply because there’s normally competition already selling in your space. It is for this reason that you need to offer customers something different and be perceived as their best choice!
Here are seven ways which you can freely implement in order to build up your customer base:
- HAVE AN OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SERVICE
The key to success is to know and value your income source. If you invest greatly in your customer service, the people who have chosen your brand will recognize that and they will gladly choose you again over any other brand, simply because you show that you care about them and you cherish them deeply. Poor customer service seems to be one of the main reasons why people will walk out on you because no one wants to wait for hours or days for a response or be treated as if you’re finished with them since the first day they invested in your company. Having great customer service means having control over every social media network you are using as well as being readily available to address your customers needs and questions. Respond quickly to every message you receive and do everything in your power to please every person getting in touch with your company.
- GET TO KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS
Small businesses have a real advantage over bigger ones, simply because they can also develop strong, friendly and close relationship with their customers. Not that we are implying that bigger business can’t do the same thing, however it’s more difficult to know and track thousands of customers. If you take the time to figure out what a particular customer wants, then it will be easier for you meet his needs and expectations. By doing so, you openly show that your business cares for its customers and most of all, you’ll give a special touch for every one of them separately. Asking questions can help greatly in getting to know your customers so don’t hesitate to learn more and get to know them better.
- MAKE PARTNERSHIP WITH COMPLEMENTARY BUSINESSES
Work on getting in touch with companies whose products or services compliment your own so you can create a story in your customer’s head that your product goes well with your partner’s product or service. For instance, if you are in the cookies business, why not contacting a local cafe to discuss doing business and marketing together. It’s a “win win” situation for both of the businesses, plus it’s good for your company to show that other businesses trust you and believe in your product’s quality.
- REACT TO YOUR CUSTOMER’S CRITIQUE
There will be times when a customer will react negatively about your product or service and this is completely normal in every business. However, the right approach shouldn’t be neglecting those comments or deleting them from social media. On the contrary, try to get in touch with that particular customer and find out why he/she feels that way about your product or service. Once you get to know the problem, do everything in your power to find out whether that’s a general problem or it happened only in that particular case. The customer is always right and this should be your company’s motto. Compensate your unsatisfied customers with a gift or if you think that they’re mistaken, try to convince them why your product or service didn’t work for them. If your customers’ general remark is common or a daily occurrence, then it’s time for you to make some serious changes to your product or services.
- ASK FOR REFERRALS
Since your existing customer base is the gold in your business, you should consider using it to your advantage. Ask your existing, satisfied and loyal customers for referrals and the collected information can be later on used to help you depict your typical customer profile. The information will include their ZIP code, preferences in payment, age group, time of the year when your product or service is mostly needed or asked for, etc. Having access to such information can help you greatly in aiming towards the right people and building up your customer base. For instance, if your product targets parents, then you should consider sending free samples or simply invite them openly to your company and familiarize them with the uniqueness of your product or service.
- ACCOMMODATE TO CHANGES
One of the biggest struggles of every business is to change your way of working once the business expands or once a new trend has emerged and you are forced to adapt. However, be bold and accept every change with confidence and ease. If your business starts to grow rapidly, then why not hire new staff that will be more than ready to meet your customer’s need. If a new trend is affecting your business, then don’t hesitate to embrace the changes and follow that trend. Changing is good, changing means growing. As a matter of fact, changing can affect many people who weren’t interested in your business and with the right upgrade of your products or services, you can target a bigger group of people and easily build up your customer base.
- KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME TO CHANGE THE STRATEGY OR PLAN
When a certain idea or product doesn’t seem to “wow” your target customers, then you should consider dropping the idea or rethink who your ideal target customer is. Sometimes, we push ideas or products which are simply rejected or not received by the right audience. As we mentioned previously, if you know your customer, you will know what kind of ideas can be pushed and what will work for them. If you simply see that your audience isn’t reacting to your ideas or new inventions, don’t waste more time or energy in something that doesn't have the potential to be fruitful.
If you put your customer at the highest place in your company and continue to increase the value you offer, then you are bound to success. As a matter of fact, your (paid) customer is the most constructive review that you will ever get so always listen to what they are saying! The growth of your customer base will be your biggest reward for all the temporary failures and hard-working moments. Eventually, everything will pay itself off.
Wishing you much success!