Would you like to get more customers now? Would you like your past customers to keep buying more from you and recommending you to others? Of course you would. Every business wants more opportunities to build a loyal customer base. So here are 5 ideas that really work and can be started today.
Get to know your existing customers better
To get more customers it is really useful to know why your current customers choose to buy from you. You might think it is because of the marketing you do or the great customer service you offer but wouldn’t it be great to really know why?
To answer these important questions you just need to ask them. Now I bet you didn’t see that coming. Could it really be that simple? Yes it could. Doing regular surveys by email or phone to find out more about your customers is simple, really cheap to do and the information you get will really help you in targeting other customers just like them.
So what could you find out about? How they found your business in the first place, why they made the first purchase and whether or not it met their expectations?
You can check up on how they rate your customer service, how often they buy your product or service (and whether or not they could buy more often) and what it would take to get them to recommend you to someone else.
You could check out what their favourite social media is and why, or what else they might want to buy from you. You can check how they feel about your pricing, packaging and your branding and anything else that would be useful to know.
Now you wouldn’t want to bombard them with all these questions in one go. But over several surveys you could become an absolute expert about your very own customers.
And once you are an expert on them it shouldn’t be too difficult to find ways to make contact with all the other people just like them and get more customers who could also be buying from your business. Instead of constantly experimenting (or worse, constantly moaning) you can use this incredible information to really target the people you want to be noticed by.
Is it difficult for you to do this? It shouldn’t be because there are websites where you can create free, professional looking surveys and you should already have contact details for your customers. If you don’t then this will be the first step that you need to take but otherwise what are you waiting for? Get some ideas together and start learning about your existing customers today. This information will lead to you getting more customers just like them.
Tell the market about your values and purpose
Have you spent the time you need to think about why you want to be in the business you are in? What are the values that matter to you and that you want your business to live up to? If you haven’t yet done this well here’s the reason to do it today.
Unfortunately for many small businesses their sales message focuses on benefits that customers will enjoy if they buy their products or services and this is why they are struggling to be noticed and remembered by their potential customers. Using benefit statements is an outdated idea simply because of the huge number of messages which your potential new customers are hearing and seeing every day. Everyone is telling them how buying from them will offer benefits.
So, if you are looking to get more customers it is time to give up the benefit statements and work on developing a relationship with your potential, new customers based on shared values and purpose.
More and more customers are making buying decisions based on values and beliefs that are important to them. Businesses which share their message about the values they are based on and the difference that they want to make in the community are businesses which stand out and get more customers.
Price is less important when your customers feel that they are doing the right thing by buying from you. Which is fortunate because selling according to your values and purpose may mean you are a bit more “pricey” than some of your competition.
Of course you must truly believe in these values and purpose because being authentic is absolutely essential when it comes to getting more customers who share the same attitudes and beliefs. You cannot fake it – it will be really obvious to them.
The reward for taking the time to really focus on what values and purpose you want to base your business on and then in sharing it with the market is that you will get more customers who will feel engaged with your business and potentially become a very loyal community.
Develop a trusting relationship
Trust is an essential ingredient today in the decision making process that your customers go through in deciding who to buy from. And, you need your business to be the dominant one in your niche that people choose to buy from because it is the one that they believe they can trust the most.
Being trusted means you will be recommended by others when facebook “friends” ask their opinion. You will be talked about amongst families, colleagues and people who socialise together. The talk won’t be about how your product or service works or the advantages it offers over your competition – no, it will be about your reliability, your attitude, your willingness to do more and the fact that you are trustworthy and you will do the “right thing” – whatever that is. And that is how you get more customers.
In a world full of options – endless options when we use the internet – what people want is to be able to trust that they will receive the result they are paying for and that when they buy again they will receive that same result. That’s simply what trust is about.
So how do you develop a trusting relationship? It isn’t enough just to give what you believe is great customer service you also need to know what the customers think is great service. Your customer’s expectation of the level of service they should receive is going to colour their judgement of whether or not you reached it for them.
That’s why follow-up is so important when you have provided a product or service or been asked to offer a quote or price to a potential customer. This is because it ensures that you are doing the right things and that people who could be your new customers or repeat customers have a reason to trust you.
I talk a lot more about becoming a trusted brand in this article 7 essential steps to becoming a trusted brand because it is so important to business success. If you want to get more customers then ensuring you are a trusted business and brand will bring results very quickly.
Make every experience with your business a great one
Every time a customer connects with your business they need to feel that it was a great experience. It isn’t enough for them to have an okay or even good experience because they will quickly forget it and you will lose the chance for them to talk about your business and recommend it to others. To get more customers you need great experiences.
So what makes a great experience? For many customers it is about speed. We are all so used to instant responses and speedy transactions so we become annoyed when it takes even a little bit longer than we think it should to receive a response. So you are in the difficult position of meeting someone else’s expectations for speed.
For other customers consistency is what makes a great experience. Knowing that your service or product will be the same every time is important to them. I am not suggesting that you don’t make changes in your business – heaven forbid – we are always doing things to improve our business. But, and it’s a big but, when you make changes it is important to retain as much of the previous experience as you can to ensure the customer receives consistency.
Another type of great experience involves reliability. Always doing what you say you will do and always meeting the deadlines (or letting the customer know quickly if you can’t) takes stress away for the customer. And customers don’t like stress.
So you are required to be speedy, consistent and reliable all day every day. That’s quite a bit of stress on you isn’t it? Yes it is, but it is essential to help you get more customers and it is also achievable especially if your communication at every level of the business is right up to scratch.
Whether it is the way that emails and calls are dealt with or the updated information on your website, communication will make the difference between your customers enjoying an okay experience and a great experience. They need to know what to expect from you, when to expect it and that you will keep them informed of any changes.
If you don’t prioritise your communication then you will waste many golden opportunities to get more customers.
Look for ways to stand out
To grow your customer base you need to make sure that you stand out in people’s minds when they consider buying the product or service that you sell. If you are very similar to all your competitors then it will be hard for people to remember your business.
Your uniqueness or the way you stand out can be created from many different parts of your business. It could be your branding, your business name, the colours you use, the advertising you do, the type of products or services you offer, your staff, your business hours, the customers you target, the way you price your offering or dozens of other aspects that you might choose.
It must be just one aspect though – that’s what unique means – just one. So choose just one to stand out and then find as many ways as you can to promote your uniqueness every single day. Never let any chance to include your uniqueness in all your different communications be missed.
It is much easier to get more customers if you stand out and I am always very concerned for businesses which look, sound and seem the same as all their competitors because they must be constantly struggling to catch potential customer’s attention.
By choosing to be unique now you will find that people remember you and if they have had a great experience before and share your values and purpose then they are more likely to buy again and to tell others when they are asked for a recommendation. Make it easier for new customers to “see” you by creating uniqueness and by claiming it every chance you get.
You can try just one of these ideas or you can try them all – it’s up to you. But if you do try them make sure you measure the results. Ask your new customers what made them decide to use your business. Then make sure they have such a great experience that they come back.
Measure how many repeat customers you are getting and find a way to reward them for coming back. Find out who is referring your business to others and when you do, reward them for helping you to get more customers.
Getting more customers shouldn’t be difficult if you do a better job of targeting them because you have learnt more about your existing customers. And if they share your values and purpose then developing a trusting relationship will keep them coming back. If every experience your customers have is a great one and you stand out in their minds then you may just get so many more customers that you will be looking for expansion ideas next.
To get more customers you will need to change and put in place some new ideas and practices but the results will make you very happy. And I would love to hear about your success so please come back and share it with me.
The Biz Coach NZ