There is no point in stressing about the importance of customers because, without them, there simply would be no business to discuss here. However, it’s not easy to build a customer base when you have started a new business. Even if you have a business that enjoys an established customer base, it’s an entirely different task to grow what you already have. To help the budding entrepreneur, here are four tips that should be useful in finding new customers and retaining them.
This is the first step and also one of the most important ones as well; you need to identify your potential customers. In order to device any marketing strategy for building a new customer base, you have to figure out who are the people that are most likely to buy your products. It is true that your products and/or services need to be customized for successfully catering to what the people want, but even then, you need a target audience to conduct market research on.
It’s quite simple and instinctive really; conduct market research to understand what your customers want, and then work towards developing services and products that match those needs. However, there’s more to it than simple generic research. Smaller businesses are often more popular in a locality than big brands because they know the local customers and their specific needs personally. The bottom line is, really get to know your customers, both the present and the potential ones.
In order to build a base, you need to retain a majority of your present customers and the most significant factor which determines whether or not a customer will be coming back to you is customer service. This is why it’s important that you keep a close eye on the customer service department to ensure that they are doing their job well. You can even use social media and reach out to your customers to address any complains that they may have against your business. Even if a customer has had a bad experience in their dealings with your business, he/she will come back if they see that you care enough to revert back to them and correct any wrongs.
It isn’t uncommon to see brands ditching their old customer base in favor of new ones. Not only is this unethical but it’s also the wrong approach towards business in general. Established customers are more likely to buy new products than new customers are, and if they are satisfied with your products and services, the consequent word of mouth marketing can be extremely potent, especially for small businesses. This is why understanding customer loyalty programs is so important and you need to start one of your own. Give them one more reason to be loyal to you and reward those that already are.
There are most definitely various other angles and sub-details to building and growing a customer base, but these four are the pillars on which almost every successful business relies upon.