When it comes to business, any business, customers are the lifeblood of success. Without customers, you have a great product or an excellent service, but you don’t have any business or revenue.
No matter how well-made or how well thought of your products and services are, if these don’t reach the hands of your target market, then you can’t have sales. Therefore, the need to focus on enhancing and taking good care of your customer base.
Keeping, and more importantly growing your customer base is what separates companies that survive, and companies that thrive. You should know that the more customers you have, the more effective you are as a business.
Knowing how to market your company properly is one of the hardest tasks you will ever undertake, but it’s the one essential task for your continued success.
To help you in this pursuit, here’s a list of ways you can expand your customer base. These will help you add new customers, keep your existing base and also keep you focused on one of the most important aspects of your business – marketing yourself!
In no particular order, here are the top 10 ways to expand your customer base.
1. Know Your Customer
That may seem like an obvious strategy, but many companies have lost touch with exactly who their customer is today.
In fact, getting to know your customers on an in-depth basis is one of the biggest challenges that your marketing team has to comply with. Getting to know your customer means studying the details of the demographics, such as spending capacity, age, and even their preferences.
Customers change and evolve, so it’s important to keep up to date with the people that are doing business with you.
Talk to them. Ask what you’re doing right, and what you could be doing better.
Ask them how you can help make their lives easier, or their business better. They will appreciate your interest, and it’s a great way to connect with them continually.
2. Use Online Marketing Strategies
Because of the advent of technology, marketing strategies today have evolved.
Rather than simply being stuck with the same old traditional marketing strategies, you have to cope up with times and apply the digital marketing strategies that are now in place. When you do so, you can ensure that your marketing strategies are very effective.
One of the best ways to get started with digital marketing is to have a website. If you don’t have a current website, get one immediately.
Competition is fierce, and you can bet your bottom dollar that your competitors all have websites that are up and running, as well as up to date.
Here are some tips for an excellent digital marketing strategy:
- Make it easy for a customer to navigate your site
- Put up an explainer video to show new products or services
- Offer a way for your customers to order online.
- Be present on social media
- Produce content that is informative and valuable
- Make sure you have a Facebook page for your business
- Consider advertising on Facebook or placing Google ads as well.
One word of caution about online marketing efforts. Your content posts, social media tactics and other online activities may result in you receiving calls from potential new customers.
Sadly, though, some people use this opportunity for phishing scams and other negative activities. Always know who is calling you before returning a call. There are various online search sites where you can do reverse phone lookups.
There are also convenient online tools for reverse phone lookups, like Nuwber.com, that can accurately identify each caller and provide you with peace-of-mind when calling someone back.
When it comes to online activity, it always pays to be safe rather than sorry!
3. Ask Your Network for Referrals
One of the best places to get new customer referrals is from your current ones. To do that, you simply need to leverage your network.
Put together a list of your top customers and ask them for referrals to customers they think could benefit from your product or service.
A referral from a trusted customer to their own network of contacts will go a long way in building a new customer base for your company. All you have to do is ask.
Conversely, if you need to find contact information, you can use contact search tools like ContactOut that can fetch you your target’s email addresses and phone numbers.
4. Put Yourself Out There
The more visible you are, the better chance you have of meeting prospective new customers.
You could book speaking engagements at industry functions. You could also attend meetups with industry peers and people interested in your industry.
Finally, create podcasts and interview key customers on topics that will enlighten people in your industry.
The whole idea is to get your name and your company name out there, and these tactics are the best way to do it.
5. Commit Time to Developing New Business
So many executives claim they simply don’t have time to prospect for new customers. Sadly, that could ruin your business.
You have to commit time to developing new clients, because your competitors are certainly out there knocking on doors.
A good way to approach this is to split your time: 60% can be devoted to serving your current customers and running the business, and 40% of your time can be devoted to finding new customers.
You can use the strategies outlined here, or you can make use of other marketing tactics. The key: just get out there!
6. Partner with Other Firms
Find firms that offer complementary services to your company’s offerings and suggest partnering to jointly find new customers.
It can be something simple or something quite selaborate, and the two firms can split whatever costs are involved.
You could do a joint direct mail campaign, for example, with both companies offering something of value. There are many opportunities available, so take advantage of them.
7. Embrace Change
As stated earlier, customers change, and you should adapt and embrace that change.
For example, you may have previously limited your marketing to a specific geographic area. Expand it – and look for business in areas you previously never targeted.
Go after new markets, and leverage your current services or products to meet the demands and needs of those potential new customers.
8. Boost Your Customer Service
It takes a lot more work and money to replace a customer as it does to keep one. So if poor customer service is causing you to lose customers to competitors, it’s time to reevaluate how you’re doing.
Start by doing a survey – nothing elaborate, even a phone survey to existing customers will work.
Ask current customers to rate your customer service efforts. Do the same with every new client you bring on board.
Customers will appreciate being asked, and will also appreciate the opportunity to provide input and feedback whether they’re happy and satisfied or if they’re not happy at all.
Boosting your customer service is now made easier through the presence of service providers, like Drop Cowboy, which provides you with better media for voice mail, text messaging, and the like.
9. Research Your Industry
Customers and businesses constantly change and are constantly evolving. The fact is, your industry is undergoing constant change as well.
That’s why it’s critical to research your industry. You’ll learn what new trends are occurring, what new products or production processes are coming on board, what additional services companies are offering and many other topics.
If you keep current, you’ll always be one step ahead of your competition.
10. Think Big
One of the best things you can do for your company is to be flexible and stop outside of your current comfort zone. A good entrepreneur is a risk-taker, so if you wish to make it big in the business industry, you have to be willing to step into the unknown.
Here are some of the ways for you to start thinking big:
- Add new services
- Think of new ways to communicate with customers and employees
- Develop new partnerships with others in your industry
Don’t settle for the “same old thing” just because it worked in the past. Unfortunately, those old ways may simply stop working and your business could suffer. When you’re not doing your part to offer new things and to innovate, you’re simply going to fall lower versus the competition.
Put these strategies to work, and see how quickly you’ll start expanding your current customer base! Whether you’re a small or big business, your goal should always be to become better and more popular than where you first started. No business can ever work to be successful without a loyal following of customers.
Among all your other strategies, emphasize winning new customers. That way, you’re increasing the likelihood of your business growing, and also making it big against the competition.