The age of the customer is here. According to Forrester analyst Kelly Price, this trend will see many successful enterprises reinventing themselves in an attempt to better understand and serve increasingly powerful customers.
But here’s the issue: not only do businesses have to come up with smart strategies to attract new customers; they also have to find ways to keep existing customers coming back for more.
Here are our 10 top tips to expand your customer base in 2019:
- Embrace social. A recent study by World Wide Worx and Ornico revealed that 16 million South Africans are on Facebook. Social media platforms allow businesses to engage with existing customers and to raise awareness about their offerings among potential clientele. Getting customers to visit your website via social media also improves your search rankings and, as a result, your organic growth.
- Let them test the waters. With so many options out there, customers may need a little convincing to choose your offering over another. By providing no-strings-attached experiences, you can give people the nudge they need to become paying customers. Ideally, you should try to subtly get something in return, like an email address for your marketing database.
- Take a personal approach. Businesses have so much data about their customers and this should be used to personalise experiences. Consider how delighted customers will be if you offer them specials on items you know they like or use. At the end of the day, it’s about respecting them as people and treating them like more than just another sale.
- Network. People talk. If they’ve had a bad experience with your business, it’s unlikely that they’ll recommend you to a friend. Trust and authenticity are powerful commodities in today’s oversaturated business landscape.
- Find solid partners. In line with the above, partnering up with a business that offers complementary products or services is a great way to tap into a new audience. If you’re in the device repair business, why not align yourself with a company that sells accessories, for example?
- Show your skills. If you’re an expert at something, it’s a good idea to share your knowledge, for free. By setting up a YouTube channel or offering master classes, you’re tapping into people’s natural curiosity and you’re also accessing a captive audience who are already interested in what you do.
- Diversify. If the only thing you offer at your business is shampoo, and you’re selling plenty of it, now may be the time to expand your product range. Something as simple as bringing in options at different price points can be the trick to attracting a variety of new customers.
- Offer micro-services. Long-term contracts that involve large financial commitments make people uncomfortable. Flexibility is key. If you can, try to unbundle your services into smaller pieces so that your customers can pick and choose what they need.
- Dump doubt. You need to make it really easy for customers to do business with you by removing any financial, psychological, or emotional risks. It comes down to giving people options – perhaps they don’t want to pay using a credit card. This means you need to allow them to do an EFT or mobile payment. With the right cloud-based accounting solution, all of this is automated and fuss-free.
- Don’t forget to adapt. Things change constantly. Staying ahead is about keeping updated on what’s coming next. This requires an innovative mindset. The businesses that succeed are the ones that aren’t afraid to constantly evolve their products and services to meet changing customer needs.
If you want to generate leads, retain existing customers, scale your business, and diversify into new markets, your customers must always be top of mind. Every touch point is a chance to pique their interest. Ensure you’re taking advantage of every opportunity.
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