Many businesses today have a main focus of getting new customers through the door. Lots of people try innovative marketing, new business strategies, spend thousands on advertising and keep their best deals for their new customers. Getting new business through the door is vital, however don’t underestimate the importance of your customer base- they could even help you with new business.
Recent studies suggest that it’s three times harder to get a new customer on board than it is to renew or upsell an existing one; so what do your customers know that prospects don’t? New opportunities still need to be pursued and your customer base can help you expand your business, you just need to gain the same trust in prospects as you have in your customers.
Here are some top tips on how to get the best out of your customer base.
Listen to your customers
Listening to your customers can benefit you tremendously when you’re trying to get new ones. After all, these people or businesses are using your services for a reason. By handing out surveys, encouraging interaction and getting feedback from your customers you will be able to gauge what they use your services or products for, what problems you solve for them and how it benefits them. These are key selling points to state in your marketing campaigns when trying to get new business. Don’t just send out campaigns blindly and hope for the best; do your research with specific targeting and you will hopefully see a bigger ROI.
Focus on retention
Bain and Co have said that a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%, and statistics from Marketing Metrics states that there is a 60-70% chance of selling to an existing customer, where-as there’s only a 5-20% chance of selling to a new prospect. Don’t make the mistake of doing all the hard work to get new customers on board and then forgetting about them. By putting more time and effort into customer support and up-selling, there could be a big profit to be made from your own customer base. Focus on support lines, keeping customers updated and offering them discounts or additional products for being loyal customers. The more appreciated a customer feels, the more likely they will stay with you; they could even increase their order of products or services from you. Don’t underestimate the value of upselling!
Have an online presence
By having an online presence in the form of a review site or social media pages, your customers can share their experiences online. Encourage customers who you have a good relationship to give feedback, after all a recent study found that 70% of prospects believe consumer opinions. Referrals from customers are like gold dust; ask your customers for them if they are satisfied with your service. If your customers are happy and highly rate your service online or through referrals, new prospects could even find you through the internet organically. With comparison sites encouraging consumers to always fight for the best deal, we have now become a nation of doing research before we purchase; therefore having a good online presence is essential for growing your business.
Cut non payers from your customer base
Non payers or late payers can seriously damage your cashflow, especially if they have big orders with you. If you’re supplying a service or mass amounts of products, be sure your customer can pay you before committing to do the work. Credit checking is becoming vital in business and late payments are fast becoming the business ‘norm’. Do your research by credit checking potential customers before signing any lengthy contracts. If you are aware of a customer being a notoriously late payer, forecast your cashflow so you are able to handle the delay in payment and cause minimal damage. A Creditsafe company credit report can show you a company’s payment habits and how soon they pay their bills. If you have customers who are late or non-payers already and they are damaging your cashflow, take action to either get your money or cease business with them. Monitoring your customer base is always advised, as circumstances quickly change. Our Rick Tracker tool monitors your whole customer base for you on a daily basis, and notifies you if anything changes on their company credit report. Don’t leave payments coming in to chance, stay on top of the game and protect your cashflow.