As the owner of a new or burgeoning business, you need to do everything you can to not only get customers in the door but retain them for the foreseeable future. Once you have them, you need to run your business in such a way that those customers stick around and refer their friends so your company can grow to new heights. If you are just starting out, this may seem like an impossible task, but with the right processes, you can achieve your goals.
Today we will talk about some great methods that you can use in our ever-changing world to get customers in the doors and keep them for years to come. Tactics such as engaging on social media, helping the community, and offering a secure place to shop can make all of the difference. Let’s talk about how to get started.
1. Get Customers in the Door
Before you can work to retain your customer base, you need to get them in the door in the first place, and as a new business with a potentially limited marketing budget, that may seem tough, but it is not impossible. During the first stages, you can acquire customers by offering discounts on your products and creating incentives for new customers. This is a good way to get them to see what your company has to offer.
Although it may seem counterintuitive at first, another great way to bring in customers is to partner up with a complementary business so you can help each other. For example, if you are starting a new sporting goods store, you could partner up with a well-known tennis coach and they could recommend your products and vice versa.
You could also look into networking events and local organizations where you could attend and talk about your products in the hopes of luring in more customers. By becoming a part of the community, you will become a company that people can trust.
2. Build a Community
Once you have built a suitable client base, you will want to continue this sense of community by engaging with your customers and showing them that you value their opinions and their business. Many companies, including Harley-Davidson, have grown by leaps and bounds because they don’t just sell to customers and leave it at that, but they encourage a sense of connection so customers don’t feel like they are giving their money to a greedy and faceless organization.
There are many ways that your business can create this sense of community. One way is to let your customers be a part of the conversation. When you create a new product, send it to a group of your clients and have them test it and provide feedback, and then take their comments into serious consideration. Your customers will love that you take their opinions to heart.
You can continue this sense of community by being active on social media. Create a company page on a site like Facebook and keep your customers involved with daily updates. When people comment on your post, make sure to reply. If you ever get a negative comment from an unsatisfied customer, comment on those as well and offer a resolution. Doing so will show that you value your clients and want them to be satisfied. When others see these interactions, your community will continue to grow even stronger.
3. Security is Key
These days, more people are shopping online than ever before, so you need to have a high-quality website where customers can view all of your products and order anything they need with as few mouse clicks as possible. While doing so is essential, remember that even if you have the best-looking website in your industry, if it isn’t secure then customers may shy away.
Clients and consumers are very much aware that their data is at risk, and it will likely only take one data breach for them to stop doing business with you immediately. Think like a customer when building your ecommerce site. How are consumers taught to protect themselves while shopping online? Turn this information into precautions for your own site that protects your customers, including protecting all systems with complex passwords, encrypting any data and payment information that goes in and out, and having antivirus software installed so that you can catch any threats immediately.
To put customers at ease, you can put a security notice on the bottom of your website that informs them of the precautions you take to keep them safe. You can add this information to your emails as well so consumers know they are always protected.
4. Make A Difference
A common mistake that many new businesses can make is assuming that retaining customers is only about discounts and putting out the best products, but it is more than that. While buying what they need is important, many customers are also choosing the companies they frequent based on how that business works to help their community and the world in general.
In fact, 78% of consumers expect businesses to pursue social justice matters by making their products affordable and available to everyone and by giving back to their communities through charitable endeavors.
As climate change continues to be a talking point, many customers are also looking to companies that are willing to help the environment by utilizing sustainable packaging materials and reducing waste via clean energy and water conservation. Your company should be transparent about your sustainable practices to stakeholders and customers alike and they will spread the news to their friends and family.
In the end, a business is only as strong as its customer base, so you need to evolve with the times so your customers know they can always count on your company. Try the tactics above and bring your business to the next plateau.
Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.