How to help build a better customer base for Your Business
Whether you’ve just started your business or your business has been in existence for several years, customers are the lifeblood of your business. No business can survive without a client base so it’s essential to establish a strong preferably “repeat” customer base throughout all stages of your business growth.
Let’s look at some strategies from Capstone Financial Planning that may help to build a better customer base for your business which can aid you to face competition with confidence and achieve profitable growth.
First you should have a proper marketing strategy that identifies your “ideal customer profile,” their needs, and how you will accommodate them. A well-structured plan can facilitate you with identifying customers, competitors and design an appropriate strategy to make your business stand out. Identifying your customers involve ascertaining key characteristics of your customers such as their age, gender, occupation, disposable income. Next you can explore understanding what motivates them to buy products and services, their shopping habits, preferred shopping methods such as online or physical visits to your business locations.
Enhanced customer service
It’s well known that finding customers is the most expensive part of any business. Once you find customers, it’s all the more important for you to retain, delight and make them your evangelist for sustained growth. You can achieve customer acquisition and customer retention through an appropriate customer service strategy. Your customer service strategy should focus on understanding how much value your business gains from each of your customers. It’s a long-standing rule of thumb that most businesses get 80% of their business from 20% of their customer base. Though every customer is important, the nature of your business may require you to design an appropriate strategy and decide on the level of service (and price) you wish to deliver to each segment of your customer base. The principle of this methodology is that high value customers (those who pay more) can expect to receive a greater degree of personalised service than customers who are at a lower price point.
Deepening customer relationship
In the current age of digital disruption, every business needs a marketing strategy tailored for the digital age. If you already have your customer data, you can stay in touch with them through various electronic medium. You can also collect value customer data through mailing lists, entry form for competitions or through customer feedback. However, it is imperative that you let them know upfront why you collect such data and to ensure you have appropriate security protocols in place to prevent data breaches.
If your business has a sophisticated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, you can automatically plug your existing customer details and generate digital campaigns using various popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. There are a few freely available CRM applications which can meet such requirement. Having your presence in social media and establishing constant interaction with customer is an important way in this digital age to remain engaged with your customer base. Listen to their suggestions and complaints and encourage them to feel involved in the solution process.
You can deepen and enlarge your customer base by properly nurturing these valuable relationships through appropriate communication throughout the entire sales and fulfilment process. For instance, you can offer your existing customers tips and hints on how best they can derive more benefit from their purchases.
You can also use some of the latest data analytic tools that can help you develop winning customer strategies and have a clear view of customer behaviour and intentions.
Keep an eye on competitor
Thanks to the advent of new technologies and marketing techniques, your customer is just one click away from your competitors. You have to constantly assess who your competitors are, their strengths and weaknesses, what your customers want, and whether there are any gaps in the market. You can perform basic competitive research by reviewing information about your competitors. You can then consider the opportunities that may exist to outperform your competitors.
Tap global opportunities
If the product offered by your business has potential in overseas markets, you can set your sights on global opportunities to broaden your customer base. You can refer Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) website to get general information about exporting and doing business in various overseas markets. You can also post the products / services offered by your company at Austrade and be part of Australian Suppliers Directory. This will provide better visibility to your company and enhanced opportunity to export your company’s products / services to international markets.
Once you arrive at proper strategy hovering around the above aspects, you can periodically fine-tune these strategies to enlarge and deepen your customer base for sustained growth.