All business owners know that the key to success is maintaining and building a solid customer base. Whether you sell a product or service, clients are at the crux of everything you do, and each decision you make. Small businesses have faced challenging times in recent months and many are pulling out the stops to ensure customers and clients feel secure and ready to use services again. Its important businesses invest time and effort into their client base because satisfied customers contribute 2.6 times as much revenue as a somewhat dissatisfied customer, so a positive customer experience is crucial.
Getting new customers is also vital for growth. It’s likely if you have a loyal customer base you will gain new clients from the referrals of existing ones. It’s also useful to research exactly what customers want; this way you can make adjustments accordingly. Using tools such as surveys, polls, and focus groups to measure retention will give you helpful information to inform your strategy.
As your business grows, what are the best ways to manage demand and continue to provide outstanding service?
Organizing customer data will stop you feeling overwhelmed and ensure everything is in one place. Using a software system that specializes in phone services will help keep communication accessible and stress-free; for example, the guys over at Voco offer a complete communication service that’s reliable and can be used if you have a secure base, or work remotely. Depending on the size of your business, choosing an appropriate CRM will take the hard work out of customer acquisition. You can track activity and keep client details in one secure place. Be sure to research the different options available as some have more features than others. If your business is small, CRMS such as Zoho and Sage might be the most cost-effective choice.
Referral programs or customer incentive are a popular way to get existing customers to support your business. You incentivize them and they get you new customers, it’s win-win! Referral marketing has been proven to increase sales, and 77% of customers are more likely to purchase a product or service when referred by a friend. Loyal customers may recommend you without the lure of something in return, but they may forget or get distracted. Using incentives will give them the added motivation. What could you use? Gifts, product discounts, or a free subscription are good ways to motivate people to share the positive aspects of your business, thus increasing sales. Marketing the program via communication channels or your website could create a new customer and subsequent ones if advertised well.
Client feedback is essential to find out what works and what doesn’t in your business. We’ve already established that happy customers grow business quicker than marketing, so keeping them happy is important. Depending on the size of your client base, personal contact goes a long way to help build relationships and obtain information on how you’re doing. Asking clients what they like about your service and what changes they would like to see implemented, will inform the changing focus of your business. Most clients are happy to engage, especially if they feel you value their comments. Make clients feel like they matter and you will take on board any feedback given. By consistently gathering information, you can identify trends and deal with any service or product issues swiftly.
Digital marketing enables businesses to track and manage customer engagement. It uses data analysis of multiple channels to inform business direction and strategy. There are various digital tools available that can be utilized by companies to capture customer behavior; this then drives sales and helps maximize buyer satisfaction.
In contrast to the personal touch, digital marketing involves increasing traffic to the website and reaching the maximum amount of people. Tools such SEO can attract more people and create valuable leads. Digital campaigns enable you to specifically target the right audience, making it a cost effective option. With online shopping taking the lead in consumerism, there are many opportunities to create interest in your company. Setting aside some of your budget for social media campaigns and online marketing is a good investment in today’s digital world.
Understanding your competitors helps your business manage client expectations. It can also help you create services and products that are unique and stand out. Consistently identifying what competitors are offering, will enable you to make the right choices and offer something different. Investing time in researching will be time well spent and could be the difference between retaining customers or not. There are various ways to get information on other companies from website searches to reading their annual report. You could even attend public events to check how many people they attract, and how they plan their advertising.
Support and customer service
Supporting customers is a big part of maintaining client relationships and building new ones. In a world of instant communication, and time a precious commodity, responding to customers should be swift and effective. If someone needs a service and is willing to part with their money, you need to be there to convince them to use your service or product, and you need to do it as quickly as possible. Procrastination and delay will cost you customers and slow business down. A quality customer service team, or software tool that is instant and efficient, is an important consideration. If a customer has a problem related to your service, you need to offer a solution quickly. Offering live chat, phone support or messaging provides a quick response time and enables you to capture potential customers and offer them support.