One of the biggest challenges for any new company is to get new customers and keep them coming back time and time again. In this guest post Nora Mork, Digital Strategist, Business Consultant, and Business Journalist takes a look at how companies can create a sustainable stream of customers.
Guest Author: Nora Mork, Digital Strategist, Business Consultant, Business Journalist
It can be a daunting task to acquire customers when you’re just starting off. Getting momentum behind your growth is key, after all your customers are what will make your business. Here's a few tips to help you get them in the door.
Who Are Your Customers?
First thing’s first, you need to understand who your customers are. Who is your target audience? Who is going to want to purchase your products or services? You will need to know their age group, income, likes, dislikes and more. The more information you have on your customers, the more you will be able to cater to their needs and wants. The better you can cater to their needs and wants, the more likely it is that they will become a returning customer.
Marketing to your customers is going to be one of the key components of your business but it isn’t possible to do it well without understanding who your customer is. Once you understand who they are you will be able to communicate to them better and take their opinions onboard.
Personally Interact With Your Customers
The personal touch can make all the difference, especially in a startup where your customers don’t yet know you. Creating an emotional bond between you and your customers is going to make them associate more positively with your business. Needless to say that a positive association with you and your business means they’re more likely to keep coming back.
To many people a business is just a business, it’s not the people behind it. You can change this preconception in several ways. Make sure that you interact with your potential customers and community. Whether it’s over social media, through an email or in a physical location, introduce yourself and make that personal connection with each customer individually. If the customer feels important and included, it will help to build their loyalty.
Show your customers that you are people and not just a group of robots behind a screen. Having up to date, friendly images on your team page on your website and on social media will show them you have a face. But it needs to go deeper than that, show them that you’re just like them, bring your humanity into your bios. So, rather than just saying that you’re a business graduate who has 10 years’ experience in the industry, add to that that you like to go fishing with your friend on a weekend or your love for a certain TV show. If a customer can relate to you, it will make your startup feel like a more welcoming place for them.
Make the Most of Social Media
Social Media offers a great platform to give you a head start in building your community. Having a community which loyally follows your business from the beginning is highly likely to convert to them being customers. Use social media to your advantage, you can run targeted ad campaigns which will get your startup seen by the relevant people. Keeping your page up to date and active will help you to retain those followers.
Your social media pages also offer you the perfect location to interact with your customers. Get to know them and what they think. Ask them for their opinions and take them into account while you’re growing your business. If a customer feels like they are being listened to, they feel like they are valued, a valued customer is much more likely to stick around for the long term.
Events and Special Offers
Events, contests and special offers can be a great way to spread the word about your startup. Everyone loves a good bargain or a freebie, it will grab their attention and entice potential new customers to check out your business. The challenge can come when trying to retain those customers.
This is where customer loyalty rewards come in. Customer loyalty rewards, whether that’s a points card or exclusive offers, will encourage customers to keep coming back. It’s especially helpful if you’re up against some bigger competitors, if what you offer is better for the customer, they will keep coming back to you. To make it better you need to make sure it’s convenient, achievable and good quality. As a startup you’re asking the customers for a lot more faith than an established brand, so you need to reward them well for giving you that faith.
“Events can be an ideal opportunity for you to meet your existing customers, do some networking and make new customers too. It’s a way for you to put a face to the business in a more personal setting than a blog or social media post. It can be a chance for customers to ask you questions and for you to address any concerns they may have. Also you’ll have the chance to pitch your products to them face to face, adding that personal touch,” says James M. Ray, business writer for Bigassignments and Academized.
There are a lot of businesses and different products vying for a customer’s attention. It’s your job to make sure that your startup stands out from the crowd. Don’t be afraid to do something a bit different. You need your customers to remember you, so they will return. Their experience of your business needs to be relevant, new and exciting. It needs to be something that will get them talking.
One of the best promotions for your startup is through the customers. If a new customer has a great experience, they’re likely to come back to you. Not only that but they are also more likely to tell a friend. If you can consistently provide a positive customer experience, you’ll receive a chain reaction occurs between customers telling their friends and family, then they tell their friends and family etc.
“To stand out you need to look at the competition and see what you can do better. Don’t be afraid to ask your customers for their thoughts, they’re the target so they will have the best input on what you should be doing,” adds Nicholas B. Silva, entrepreneur and regular contributor to Australian help and Oxessays.
Make it an Easy Choice for Your Customers
If you listen to your customers, show you appreciate them and keep them talking about you for all the right reasons it will be a natural process to grow your community. The experience you create for new and existing customers will determine your success, so make sure it’s a positive one.
The opinions of our guest bloggers are their own and not those of 1871. Business and marketing journalist, Nora Mork, works at UK writings and Boom Essays agencies. She shares her experience by writing columns for online magazines and blogs, such as Essay Roo.