You need a new couch for your living room. You have had countless dogs, cats and spills on the one you have now.
Didn’t it use to be white? You could have sworn.
You have a couple of options for the brands you’re looking at to buy from.
One of these brands is the best out there, from what you’ve heard recently. Your coworkers all talk about it. They say that this brand in particular has the best customer service department they have ever dealt with. Apparently, their marketing efforts are premier with witty social media posts and a stunning website design.
And they would know. After all, you do own a business. Your team is top-tier and focused on organizational success. Naturally, you order from this company’s site.
But did you notice that your coworkers hardly mentioned this furniture brand’s products?
That’s because it’s not all about the products. You could offer the best of the best, but if nobody knows about it and you don’t make an effort then it is all for naught.
This is why it is so crucial that you grow and retain your customer base.
What is a Customer Base?
If you have been around for a while in your industry, you most likely know what a customer base is already.
But regardless of whether you are a new or established business, it is important to refresh your memory. Sometimes, you have to take a step back and remember the basic aspects of running your company so you can see if your efforts are working or not.
So let’s get back to those basics.
A customer base is a specific group of your customers. This group consists of the loyal ones who purchase from your business or use your services all the time. They engage with your brand over a broad range of platforms.
In essence, your customer base offers the most financial value to your business over any other individual customer.
But like all else with your organization, your customer base will vary depending on the industry you’re in. This group could be a particular set of people. It could also be one target audience based on your specific buyer persona.
Let’s put it in even more simple terms. They are your most loyal and engaged consumers. How much they engage dictates how strong your consumer base is.
What is the Importance of a Customer Base?
“Fine. I know that. But why are we paying so much attention to it now? Why does it matter so much?”
Alright. We get it. You know what you’re doing, but at the end of the day, you do want customer loyalty. Why’s that?
Because when you increase customer retention by just 5 percent, you can boost customer lifetime value by a whopping 75 percent.
And like we said earlier, whatever you sell is a moot point without customers to buy it.
Each individual customer within your customer base provides value to your business.
They need you to achieve their goals.
If you acknowledge those goals, then you can streamline your departments to work together for customer growth.
Once you identify them, align your offers to fulfill their desires. Targeted advertising, online marketing and your overarching business plan can all provide value to them. You will get value from them in return.
How Will You Define Your Ideal Customer Base?
Keep reading and you will find all the tips you will ever need to grow your customer base. But before you get there, you have to define your ideal buyer.
Here are some questions you should answer as you go through this process:
- What is the value proposition of your products?
- How do you turn your products’ features into benefits for your potential customers?
- Why does your consumer base want to buy your product? Why do they need it?
- Who are your ideal brand advocates?
Answer them and then you will know your picture-perfect customer base who to focus your client-base marketing efforts on.
You also need to outline the following details about your consumer base to understand what drives their buying behaviors:
- Pain points
- Success stories
- And more
Tips to Grow and Keep Your Customer Base
At this point, you’ve done all the heavy lifting. You have done all the work to know what a customer base is and how to define your buyer persona or ideal customer.
You pinpointed demographics and critical information to get to the meat of what your customers need.
Now, let’s get into the fun part.
Follow these key tips to end up with a thorough understanding of how to sell to the right customers.
1. Personalize Your Customer’s Experience
It’s a new market these days. You have to focus your marketing efforts for the benefit of your customers. These efforts cannot be for the good of your business because you want to make a quick buck.
Today’s buyers can spot that sort of behavior from a mile away. And they do not trust it.
Instead, you need to personalize the customer experience.
There are plenty of ways to go about doing this. But one of the most important ways is through the proper customer onboarding.
As soon as your buyer makes their purchase, dive in headfirst. First and foremost, they have to understand how to use your product or service. If any part of consumer usage is complicated for them, you could be in trouble.
That moment is when they look to your competitors for a more simple solution. Apparently, 55 percent of customers return products if they cannot understand how to use it.
With a solid customer onboarding program, you avoid that issue. It should personalize the user experience. Take advantage of your internal team, like your customer service department. They can touch base with your customers to see if they need any help along the way.
Are they meeting their goals with the help of your product or service?
Now, say that you are in retail sales. Make sure your product’s packaging has information on how to contact customer support, should they have a question pop up.
You need a customer service department who is available for your clients whenever they need you.
2. Aim for Excellence
Customer service comes into play again here, for our second tip on building and maintaining your customer base.
“Aiming for excellence” may seem apparent. And of course, it should be.
But you would be surprised at how many businesses fall behind in this area.
We said this earlier, but it is well worth repeating: the modern buyer knows what to expect and what they deserve. They are sure of that and certain that they can find a business that will help them attain their goals.
The bottom line is that if you do not provide them with excellent customer service, you put money directly into your competitors’ pockets.
Among the best ways to provide this is through addressing your dissatisfied customers right away.
Think about your “needy” customers, your angry customers, your frustrated ones. And when you do, avoid that urge to think of them as a burden. Rather, they are a chance to grow and succeed with your customer base.
The moment they reach out, answer them. A prompt response that shows you and your team really care about whether they succeed is a surefire way to retain that customer.
Did you know that you can prevent churn by 67 percent if you resolve an issue from the jump?
3. Create an Interactive Customer Experience
You know the exciting feeling you get when a brand interacts with you just as well as your customer base does.
Do not push that excitement aside. Gamify the customer experience to take full advantage.
This is the process of putting a fun spin on what might otherwise be a mundane process. Not only does it engage your existing customers and clients, it also attracts new ones to your brand.
It builds on their need to use your product or service by turning it into a game or intriguing new adventure.
For example, you can add pop quizzes to a training course. And these should not be those pop quizzes you dreaded so much in middle school. Instead, think of them as an effective way to learn that leads your customers to enjoy the training in general.
4. Leverage Your Customer Advocates
Let’s go back to that example of when you had to buy a new couch.
It goes without saying that you had no desire to purchase an expensive piece of furniture from one of those brands you have never heard of.
And not only are modern buyers more aware of what they want; they are smarter, too. They know the oldest tricks in the advertising book. It makes them wary of those traditional marketing tactics and targeted advertising.
You will have far better luck if you stay true to your brand values and consistently deliver results for other customers.
How do you do that, though? You have to pay attention to and develop your brand advocates. All of your coworkers who recommended you go with that one brand? They were customer advocates for them.
In short, a customer advocate is someone who offers referrals or success stories with your brand, its products and its services.
That gives you an online and in-person sense of trustworthiness to your potential customers. Also, stay on top of your customer feedback to ensure that you are doing everything you can to build customer advocates. More on that customer feedback later.
5. Utilize Customer Service Tools
If you are following these tips, then at this point you will already see an increase in your customer base. That means you need a customer service team that can keep up with increased demand.
There are a lot of customer service tools to help you do just that. The old way to go about keeping up was to hire and onboard more reps. But that is not a cost-effective route. It also takes up a lot of valuable business time.
Now, consider all the customer service tools out there for you to pick from.
A help desk, for example, is your toolkit for these various tools.
It automates your customer service tickets for easy management.
6. Be Visible Online
It is easy to think that everyone can find your brand online with a couple of clicks. But that is not the case for everyone. If you want to grow your customer base, consider that everyone uses the web differently.
There are tons of extensions and ad blockers your consumers might use that hurt your brand visibility.
You need to build your web accessibility and brand visibility. Then, you have a way to convert more leads into loyal and long-term customers.
7. Highlight Customer Success
Across the board, everyone wants to succeed. Success might look different from one person to the next, but we all want to accomplish something at the end of the day.
So when you highlight customer success stories, you showcase business success too.
There are quite a few customer success programs for your business to choose from. These personalize your buyers’ obstacles and measure their success. When they do have a barrier during their customer journey, it proactively works to solve the issue.
8. Obtain Customer Feedback
Finally, let’s touch on that customer feedback we mentioned above.
You cannot argue that customers have feedback for you. Just look at Amazon.com for a reference point; there are endless reviews for almost any product you click on.
It is hard to build your customer base when you feel like you’ve exhausted all your ideas. But feedback is always there.
The positive reviews will show you what you can highlight for your prospects. The negative ones give you a crystal-clear vision on how you can improve so you retain customers.
You need experts who build and keep a top-of-the-line customer base.
Here at Business Marketing Engine, we are a full-service marketing agency. We have countless years of experience in helping entrepreneurs plan, build and grow their businesses.
But we also know that no two businesses are the same. We will tailor solutions to your individual organization’s needs.
You can check out our blog for more steps to success.
But before you do, you have something to consider. Do you need copywriting or social media marketing services? What about more quality leads? Why choose at all?
Contact us today for any of our lauded services. You will see just how quickly your business grows.