When you are operating a small business startup, there’s often a heavy focus on growth and related metrics. However, sometimes, a disproportionate amount of attention goes to new customers when the existing customer base can offer overlooked opportunities. Here are some ways to leverage your current customers and grow your business.
People are continually searching for and connecting over social media networks these days. There is a subtle but strong difference in having your brand experience conveyed through a real, trusted person instead of a paid advertisement, and that’s something you can capitalise on.
Many businesses leverage this organic influence through brand ambassadors and social media influencers. You don’t need to work with celebrities or major influencers, though. You can start small with some of your actual satisfied customers, actively engaging with them to create video testimonials on your social media channels.
It’s also important not to ignore the flip side of customer reviews. Dissatisfied customers leaving negative reviews can be an opportunity, if carefully managed, to turn things around and improve the perception of your brand. With a quick and personalised response, offer solutions and have a discussion that goes a long way towards making customers feel that you truly care – which in turn gives a favourable impression to potential new customers that these people connect with.
The influence of good word of mouth cannot be overstated when it comes to growing your business. When you provide excellent service or product quality, your best salesperson can be the customer who has had a positive experience with your brand.
The power of referrals is founded upon trust. People tend to trust the opinions of individuals they know who are personally close to them. A good referral program effectively lets you leverage that strong influence to gain new customers at a lower acquisition cost.
You can personalise the referral rewards as well as the promotional efforts. Send targeted emails or create reminders for specific user accounts when they log in. You may also want to narrow down the campaign to selected customers based on feedback or transaction history.
Upsell and cross-sell
Although modern customers are constantly connected and well-informed, sometimes they will make a purchase to fulfil a certain need or because there’s something specific they like about your product. Not everyone takes the time to look at your entire range of products and their features. This presents an opportunity for upselling or cross-selling, which increases the lifetime value of your customer.
Mining data, such as details or preferences in the customer’s account settings, product pages viewed, and purchase history, gives you a better understanding of their profile. This lets you tailor your email marketing and issue discount offers and promotions to inform customers of any higher-end products or related items that might suit their interests.
Analysing customer data from online sources or social media can only go so far, though. You can get closer to your customer base by hosting events or sponsoring community activities. This sort of visibility greatly spreads brand awareness and allows you to interact with some of your most enthusiastic customers. From attending trade shows to holding limited merchandise launches, actively engaging with your customers in a community can be the best way to capture the various reasons driving their interest in your brand and products.
It’s only natural for people to trust the opinion of friends and family, and in a digitally connected world, this translates to even greater potential coming from your established customers. Learn to use this to drive your growth at less cost.