Customers are the lifeline brands cling to, so they must continue to generate and nurture leads while also retaining existing customers, as we all know, its easier to keep existing customer rather than find new ones! A research piece conducted by McKinsey & Company revealed that 87% of respondents said they shop around, and 58% have recently switched to a new brand, so it's no wonder that generating new business leads is one of the biggest concerns for businesses.
With this in mind, I sat down with our resident Sagittarius experts to find out what top tips they have for business looking to grow their customer base and how to keep the customers you already have coming back again and again.
Get to know your customers
There are so many tools available to brands for collecting customer feedback, from the likes of HotJar and Delight through to receiving recommendations via Facebook and Google reviews or NPS ratings.
"To grow your customer base, you must first know your customer: who they are; what they care about; where they spend their time; why they need your product...
"Ask your existing customers for their feedback on your product or service and, once you've done that, ask again! Never stop asking for feedback; you'll want to act on this to continue to evolve alongside your customers in a modern world where all things (including your brand!) are disposable. Use this feedback to nail your product and make sure you understand what is special about it in your customer's eyes, then shout about it! If you've done #1 right, you'll know exactly where and how to do this in a way that generates more of the customers you need to grow." Julia Tyler, Account Manager
Divide your time
As exciting as a new client can be for businesses, customer retention is just as critical.
"Increasing your customer base isn't just achieved by drawing in swathes of new customers from the ether. Sure, acquisition is key, but retention can also deliver substantial growth. And if you focus on retention, when your new customers come in, they hit a process primed to keep them as a customer for the long haul. Put simply, if your customers like you they'll spread that warm and fuzzy feeling to others. We, as a society, value peer opinion over and above even the most elaborate marketing.
"Easily said on paper (or screen), but if you put the effort in to really understand your customers' needs and wants, and be objective about where you are delivering, or failing to deliver, while constantly working to improve, growth will follow." Kier Humphreys, Head of Customer Experience
Offer a great customer service
Customer experience should already be at the heart of your business, but are your customer services teams primed for every scenario?
"It can be more cost-effective to retain customers compared with the effort required in finding new ones and developing relationships. However, both new and existing customers are essential, and there should be a strategy in place for both to build your customer base.
"Find a way to communicate with your customers; there are lots of different digital channels available to do this as well as more traditional methods. Remember that one approach may not work for everyone, so try and segment your customers into key groups and communicate with them in the most appropriate way to make their lives easier.
"Once you've found the right channel(s) for your business; invest time in mastering the processes and tools to empower your front-line staff and create long-lasting brand advocates." Lucie Beer, Experience Manager
Make the most out of your network
Platforms such as LinkedIn are a great way to interact with your network and to keep your brand top-of-mind when it comes to referrals. It's also a great way to stay on-top-of industry affairs and ahead of your competitors!
"Keeping in the loop with your customers, partners, competitors, suppliers and related industry experts through events, social media, networking dinners and more is paramount for keeping your brand name and values alive. The more you engage, the more you'll be seen as an expert in your field, and before you know it, you'll be handed recommendations. If using LinkedIn, make sure you keep the content relevant and interesting. It's a great forum to spark debate and start conversations with people you want to engage with. Attending exhibitions and events is also a great way to catch up with people you're already working with, reconnect with ones you've lost contact with and make new connections." Lynsey Bienati, Account Manager
Invest in a content strategy
Your website is the shop window to your brand and keeping its content up-to-date, and relevant is essential.
"A blog is the perfect way to open up a dialogue with your customers. Think about the types of content they would want to digest and its purpose... are you advising, making a comment or inspiring?
"Timing is also critical. Create a content plan and be sure to align your posts with current affairs, the seasons or relevant industry activity. Be sure to align this with your business strategy and consider how you can explore different themes and penetrate different industry audiences.
"A content-rich website will lure in potential customers while giving existing ones a reason to re-engage, and most importantly, it's one of the metrics Google uses to decide where your site ranks in search results!" Imogen Lassen, Account Manager
Play to your strengths
In business, it's easy to get carried away, especially when things are going well and start investing in new ideas, products or services. However, doing just one thing really well is often better than doing lots of things mediocre.
"In this day and age, a brand's proposition is more key than ever. We are overwhelmed with choice, and as a consumer, we all want to buy products and services from a company that we respect and have an affinity with. Trying to be 'all things to all people' as a way of reaching a larger audience is a common mistake. Brands need to choose their target audience, truly understand them and make sure they speak to them in a language and channel that is best for that audience. If you have multiple audiences, you need multiple strategies - and sometimes separate brands." Paul Stephen, CEO
If you’d like to find out more about how Sagittarius could support the development and growth of your business, please feel free to drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 0208 070 7820
This blog was originally published by Sagittarius on the 19th of September 2019.