We live in a highly digitalised age and consumers are increasingly relying on the Internet for even the smallest of products and services. It's no secret that it costs much more to develop new customers than it costs to retain existing ones. Regardless of whether this is true or not, it makes a lot of sense to focus on retaining your existing customers. This is especially true in the current day market landscape where a lot of business takes place online.
Social media and its extensive use have made existing customers much more influential and powerful. Even a single comment that a customer posts online about a company's product or service can travel far & wide; it has the potential to reach hundreds and thousands of people instantaneously. In addition to that, the information is open to anyone who traverses cyberspace via their mobile devices and computers.
Regardless of whether it's a negative or positive comment, that information will stay there and anyone will be able to view it, comment on it and share it. In most instances, its negative comments and reviews that run on faster wheels. This is exactly why it becomes important for you to focus on building such a strong customer-base that your reputation spreads like wildfire. That is exactly what building a brand reputation is all about. Once you have built a very strong online community, you will find that you are more confident with your new marketing efforts too.
Many marketing studies conducted in 2014 have shown that:
- Recommendations from people businesses know stood at 84% (an increase from 78% in 2007)
- Consumer opinions that have been posted online stood at 68% (an increase from 61% in 2007)
- Comments on branded websites stood at 69% (an increase from 60% in 2007)
The first 2 are much more likely to come from individuals who have already done some business with your company, rather than from people who have not. This is exactly why the influence that existing customers have on your branding is much more evident now than it was in the past. This particular aspect has certain financial implications- it's good for any businesses that are able to deliver on their promises and not good for ones that don't care. When you start making a consistent effort to connect with your existing customers and show them that they are valued, you will gain a stronger footing in the market.
Things to Remember
Unfortunately, not many companies realize this and they spend a lot of time, energy and money on attracting new customers instead of focusing on the existing ones. Paying attention to acquiring customers is essential, but it should not be at the expense of ignoring your current ones. There is no doubt about the fact that new business is required to keep a business on the growth path. However, if you do this at the expense of the existing customers, you stand to lose in a big way.
Always keep in mind that a satisfied customer becomes one of your best & most cost-effective tools. In the highly digitalised age that we live in, word-of-mouth or let's call it "liking" and "sharing" is invaluable. This is something that you as a business cannot buy, you have to earn it. It's a very important & influential factor in your ability to attract many new customers & build our business.
One of the most important aspects of growing a business is to make sure that you do not cold-shoulder the customers/members/clients that you already have. Once you acquire customers, ensure that you are marketing to them even before you market to new customers. You will find that your sales costs are much lower and that you are able to maintain a good pace in your business as well.
Once you have sold as much as you can to your existing customers, start focusing on new ones. This is not a rigid rule and you will have to learn to be a little flexible with your marketing strategies. But while you plan and strategise, always keep your existing customers in view; it will stand you in good stead!
Thanks for reading, MaxMyProfit Corporate Australia (02) 9111 5000
About the Author
Ben Fewtrell is a sought-after Business Coach, Keynote Speaker and trainer who has featured in Virgin’s Inflight Magazine and Entertainment Portal, SKY Business and “Secrets of Top Business Builders Exposed”. He is also the host of the popular Business Brain Food Podcast where he interviews leading experts on anything and everything business.