I came across a question on social media which asked what is the best way to get new customers for your business. My immediate and almost instinctual response was taking care of the customers you have. A look at the other responses to the same question left me pondering just how much the satisfied customer is underrated and how perhaps this was a missed opportunity in many businesses. So let’s look at why taking great care of your customers is the best way to market your business.
Sometimes they come back
Good business is predicated on having a good back end. Back end is a term used for additional sales and business done with a customer after the initial sale. These are very important because they tell you just how well you are serving your customers. If they are not coming back to do repeat business it might be because they are not happy with what they have received.
A perhaps unintended consequence of social media is how much it has amplified the power of “word of mouth”. User reviews have become a part of the shopping journey for almost anything these days. For purchases, big and small people are turning to online user reviews to see how others have failed and this is where happy customers come in. Social media as an extension of the internet really does connect people and as such can connect your potential customers to existing ones. You want the potential customers to really get the best impression of you.
Happy customers promote
Happy customers are more than happy to promote the business and do the heavy lifting for you. A great majority of people trust recommendations from people they know and the guys at facebook built a whole feature around recommendations. You can see the thinking here. Many people are happy to let people know just how good their supplier or service provider is. Which brings us to the next reason.
Contrary to popular belief influencers are not people on Instagram with 10000 followers or more. Influencers exist in everyday life. Influence is not to be confused with attention; influence is the ability to mobilize people to take action. Yes, social media and online platforms have made it easier to mass influence but influence is ultimately a process of motivating others to action. If every single customer you brought in could influence one other person to use your business that may keep you busy all year long.
Another often confused principle in business is data. Big data is a big buzzword right now but data use has existed for a very long time in business. It’s the reason why, as far back as you can remember supermarkets have always had chocolate at the tills. In addition to sharing with others, happy customers are also more inclined to share with you. Frankly what they share with you may be more important than what they share with others. They may reveal to you what is missing in a product, why they switched to yours, what needs to be removed and other products related to yours.
If you think about it, having happy customers is a responsibility you must own. Customer acquisition costs are going down in some industries and with technology coming to the party but there is still a cost. The cost of continually acquiring new customers counts. While we would never turn away new customers, we must also have a firm focus on retaining the existing ones and gaining new insights and even business through them.