5 Ways to Build a Strong Customer Base

Jillian Falconi offers 5 tips to keeping your company’s customers happy and encouraging repeat business

5 Ways to Build a Strong Customer Base

Customer endorsements and advocacy hold the key to future business growth. Research shows that the majority of a business’ revenue comes from just 20% of existing customers. This is good news for you as the probability of selling to an existing customer is around 60 to 70%, compared to just five to 20% for a new one – and therefore costing your business five times less than acquiring new customers too.

So for most businesses, whilst growing your customer base is indisputably important, keeping your existing customers happy is arguably more so. Here’s fives ways business owners can solidify their firm’s customer retention strategy.

1. Showcase your customers’ happiness

Businesses believe only a fraction of their customers leave because of poor customer service but in fact the figure is much higher. Good service fortifies trust whilst poor service drives customers to your competitors. Ask consumers for the opinions, be that with a suggestion box in your storefront, an email survey, or an online review. People love to complain so some issues mentioned may not actually be a problem, however watch out for reoccurring complaints and focus on implementing ways to reduce them.

Additionally, showcase customer happiness – so if a consumer praises something then let your other clients know about it. And by listening and acting on the voice of the customer, and ensuring your business offers a quality service you will also drive new business.

2. Address customer concerns

Not all customers will be happy all the time, but don’t underestimate the opportunity to turn negative criticism into positive feedback. Negative feedback, especially when you are on a social platform, is inevitable but consumers are more likely to do business with a company after reading a response to a negative review that was resolved.

By not evading responsibility, you can show existing and future customers that you are an honest and transparent business who values each and every customer experience.

3. Create a buzzing community around your brand

Customers active within a business’ online community are proven to spend more with that company than those less engaged. A buzzing community provides reassurance to the consumer in their purchasing decisions through the power of peer review so it’s crucial that you invest in creating brand buzz. Consider your social media presence, business blog and the content you share directly with your customers as this is a way to build relationships, market your business’ offering and give your company an identity.

4. Have consistent communication with your clients

More than two thirds of consumers have left a business because they felt uncared for, so keeping in touch regularly with your customers is crucial. Making sure they are up-to-date with business developments and milestones can stimulate repeat business and remind your brand advocates that you’re keeping them at the front of your mind. This will also help cement trust within your customer base and give existing customers a reason to use you again.

5. Make it personal

Personalisation is more important than ever before, and each year increasing numbers of customers cite a personalised brand experience as a key purchasing driver. Additionally people tend to return to a business that delivers personalised content, such a blog or social channel. With online marketing and location tagging, you can collect insightful data, such as reviewer demographics and preferences. This also helps better segment your market allowing you to tailor customer service and identify new product opportunities that arise in real time.

There are many small and easy-to-initiate ways in which your business can boost its consumers’ experience and therefore loyalty. For instance, a recent survey we conducted discovered that nearly half of businesses using online reviews noticed increased customer loyalty as a result. Building trust within your customer base will keep your consumers coming back time and time again as well as openly referring friends and family, resulting in business growth, both in reputation and your bottom line.

This article was written by Jillian Falconi, vice president of marketing at Trustpilot.

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