The term ”customer base” often puts many businesses in a state of dilemma. Striking an excellent balance between reaching out to new customers and efficiently catering to the existing ones becomes a bit challenging. This, more often than not, results in the needle gradually tilting toward the latter.
Also, statistically, the option of increasing the customer retention rate proves alluring. Reports suggest a 5 percent increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75 percent. Besides, the exhaustive efforts and large sums of money needed to expand one’s customer base make it reasonable to prioritize keeping one’s existing customers happy.
No matter how feasible it seems to work on customer retention, it should always be backed by a deliberate and continuous effort to expand the customer base, if necessary by finding creative ways to do so. Given that every business has customer churn (it loses some customers over time), refraining from doing acquiring new customers may seriously compromise a business’ future cash flow, and obstruct growth. This, in turn, may pose a survival risk.
This blog is about how you can grow your customer base, without shelling out large sums of money or trying extremely hard.
Here is what you need to do:
Use Social Media Influencers
By definition, a social media influencer is one who has a large following on their social media accounts, be it Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc. A micro-influencer is anyone who has close to 50,000 followers whereas a macro-influencer has more than a million. Their activities and deep knowledge about a subject allows them to build a reputation within a certain niche of people, who look forward to their posts and take them very seriously.
So, instead of taking the pain of promoting your page on your own with paid ads and slowly waiting for the number of likes to swell, it might be more effective if you exploit an already-existing base by paying a social media influencer to market your product.
This won’t just widen your reach and quicken the whole process, but it will also make your product more credible as people trust what comes from the accounts they follow.
Go for Website Localization
Unlike the past, English is no longer the lingua franca of the internet. Only 27 percent online users browse in English today and more than 50 percent prefer to surf and buy only in their native language.
Clearly, as per statistics, if your website is not tailor-made according to the preferences of different audiences, you are losing 50 percent of your potential customers straightaway.
By opting for website localization, you can reach a huge chunk of people, who have remained out of bounds until now. It is not a costly investment, especially if compared with other strategies, and is devoid of any complexity. You may try Bablic, one of the trusted names that offers localization services in almost all languages.
Engage With Your Existing Customers
Whether we are talking about attending an online course, purchasing a pair of shoes, booking a hotel room or anything else, customer reviews hold the potential to influence a user’s decision. Data reveals that more than 92 percent consumers read reviews and close to 72 percent of them trust these reviews and take them as personal recommendation. Interestingly, 40 percent people form an opinion about a product/service by reading 1-3 reviews. Hence, even a single bad review can be a game changer.
You certainly cannot change what people have written; however, by replying to a customer’s negative comment promptly, either by accepting their concern or simply sympathizing and making a commitment to resolve the issue, you can lessen the impact of the negative review on other potential customers. If it is a fake comment (e.g. someone leaving a negative review without having tried your product/service), you will need to point that out to the general public.
Constant engagement is important to win the trust of existing as well as new customers, as it indicates that you are genuine and care about your customers.
Churn Out Informative, SEO-Based Content
“Content is king” may sound clichéd; however, its truthfulness has been beyond doubt since its first use by Bill Gates in 1996 until now. Content is your only way to let masses know about your talent, knowledge and uniqueness and with the internet at your disposal, no company is too small to chip in.
With consistent, high-quality content based on SEO, you can slowly make a space for yourself in the midst of other giants and pop up right at the top of all search results.
As more than 90 percent of all online activities starts with a search engine, you have a fair chance to slowly make your mark.
Give Referral Bonuses
Nothing works better than a few freebies. Your services and products may be excellent; however, there are chances that a happy customer may not bother to let others know about you. However, if you attach an incentive, there are high chances that this ploy may work.
Referral bonuses, no matter how small they are, encourage users to refer a product or a service to others. This works in two ways; first, it multiplies your reach among the masses, and second, it increases the customer retention rate.
Expanding your customer base is crucial for your business and it may not be a good idea to put it on the back burner. If one does not have the resources to do so by following the traditional approach (e.g. paid advertising etc.), the above ways can be followed to set the ball rolling.