Pay More Attention to Your Existing Customers. Here’s How (and Why)
In marketing these days we want new leads, more followers, and surging page views. But sometimes we focus so much on the new, that we fail to properly acknowledge the existing. Your job isn’t done once you win over a prospect’s business, so let’s talk about customer marketing and some key components of a killer strategy.
Just to make it crystal clear.. customer marketing is any kind of marketing that is tailored to appeal to existing customers. Although leveraging your current customers can be incredibly beneficial, it’s a process that is difficult to navigate.
Thus, here are five key components of a successful customer-driven marketing strategy:
Leverage buyer personas to help you learn about your customer base: A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customers based on data and research. Try to identify multiple segments/interests/sensitivities within your customer base and determine what type of marketing best suits each.
Provide stellar customer service: This is a no-brainer, but no-less important. Whether it’s through an email, live chat, on the phone, or in person, it’s important that you are both responsive and thorough. Taking 3 days to get back to someone is not responsive and a surefire way to lose a customer.
Listen to feedback and engage with your customers: Your customers’ input is basically a free marketing guide. For instance, if many have expressed difficulties in finding items (whether online or in store), it’s time to make a change. Also, social media is your best friend. Read customer comments and engage when they express negatives AND positives. Making someone feel heard goes a long way, trust me.
Incentivize loyalty: Customer loyalty programs incentivize long-term business. It can be as simple as offering a free coffee once they’ve purchased eight, or a chance to shop a sale before everyone else. Customer loyalty programs like coupons, point systems, free products, and early access have been around for ages— because they work.
Have systems in place to generate referrals: I love to tell people about great products and services, but it doesn’t usually come up in conversation unless they specifically ask. Your job is to start the conversation. Meal delivery services, for example, are great at this. Many of them ask existing customers to provide a friend’s details, so they can send them a free (or heavily discounted) box. A free box is a small price to pay for a new long-term customer.
Regardless of the nature of your business, or even the size, you have a lot to gain from an effective customer marketing strategy. Make new customers, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold.