5 Effective Ways to Increase Your Customer Base
5 Effective Ways to Increase Your Customer Base
I have been in business fully a little over nine years and in this time, I have seen a lot in terms of business struggles as it relate with customer personalities. I have seen the good, the bad, and the downright nasty!
However, no matter how good or bad a customer is, the fact is your business needs them to survive and grow. Which is why learning to manage people's personalities, especially the quirky or difficult ones is the first step towards having a thriving business and this post shows you just how you can achieve that.
Here are five tips or keys for increasing your customer base:
1. The Customer is Always Right
The first and the most important way to increase your customer base is to understand and accept that the customer is King and he is always right.
Even when he is wrong, he is right. This is the golden rule of business and every savvy business man knows and imbibes it before before they even open their doors for business.
Never tell a customer he is wrong and you are right as this will only serve to aggravate a possibly bad situation and in turn alienate him.
In my business, when I meet a customer for the first time, I profile them to ascertain what personality type they fall into and how best to manage them. I do this so if issues arise in future, I'm better equipped to handle them.
My first dealings with a difficult customer came a few weeks into starting my business. My business entails making dresses for women and children and I had a lady walk in, wanting a simple A-line skirt for an event.
Now, while I could have agreed instantly to make this dress for her seeing as I was new and looking to increase my customer base, I knew doing that would be detrimental to my business success.
You see, a large part of sewing is analyzing the customer's physique and knowing what will look good on them and what wouldn't and this customer, while having a good body, had chosen the one style her body type shouldn't wear.
I debated within myself on how best to pass this across to her and eventually did. However, she insisted on it and I went ahead to make it.
Two days later she came for fitting, tried the dress on and proceeded to announce with a scowl she hated it.
Of course, at that point I could very easily have reminded her she chose the style despite my advice and left her to deal with the consequences. However, doing that would make me lose her and possibly a few more if she spread the word about my 'bad' service, something unhappy customers are known to do.
In the end, I chose to pacify her by forgoing a chunk of the fee. I also offered to make a dress for her at 25% off and she seemed mollified by these.
2. Never, Ever Argue with an Angry Customer
If a customer feels he's not getting his money's worth, he will feel cheated and is bound to get angry. The worse thing you can do at this time is to get angry yourself and go into an exchange of words.
The best course of action instead would be to keep calm (even if it kills you) and be empathetic. Next, if you believe you are right, explain your views to the customer when he's much calmer. Haven vented his anger, he's more likely to listen to you at this time.
If he still insists on being right, review his point to see if there's something that can be done about it.
It helps to understand that while you might be angry yourself in the end what matters most is retaining the customer for the business and not
3. Have a Loyalty Plan
Understand that your customer could have taken his business elsewhere, but he choice to stick with you.
Reward his loyalty through any way you see fit. It could be something as little as giving some discount on his next purchase, or getting souvenirs to distribute. Whatever it is, know that people like to be appreciated and this will score a point for your business.
A good loyalty plan will do more than keep your old customers, it will increase your customer base.
4. Advertise and Often Too
Advertising might be a traditional way to increase your customer base, but it hasn't stopped being effective.
There are tons of ways to advertise your product or service to get customers through your door from billboards, to the media, street advertising and word of mouth.
Since you already who your customers are find out the most effective way to get to them and keep at it.
5. Social Media
Using regular advertising to increase your customer base is most times capital intensive and if you are a small business just starting out, you might not have that budget.
However, you can still achieve a similar result by turning to social media and targeting your customers.
In April of 2020 there were about 4.57 billion active users on the internet, which is about 59% of the world population. A large part of your target audience would be among these users and you can reach them through various means including Facebook, Twitter, Quora, Reddit, social media influencers, to mention a few.
These and more are some effective and proven ways to increase your customer base. While these points might seem more like ways to retain your old customers, they'll also work to grow your clientele base as a happy, satisfied customer is likely to bring ten more.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Farrah Young