Acquiring customers is one of the main goals of a business. By all accounts, it’s not wrong. But it’s not good to invest most of your budget just in acquisitions. What about selling more to your existing customers?
It costs less to invest in customer retention than in customer acquisition. It can also net you an increase in profit in the long run. How, you may ask?
This existing clientele is more likely to return for another transaction and even buy more. They are also the prime source of word-of-mouth recommendations. As a result, the overall return on investment (ROI) is higher.
You might have unintentionally ignored or underestimated the potential of your existing market. But not to worry; here are some strategies on how to focus on existing customers.
- Add service to products.
You want to build on that established relationship with your customer. Don’t let it end with the purchase of a product. Offer a service related to that product, like maintenance or a free replacement labor fee.
These types of offers cultivate the customer’s trust in your business and keep them connected. And with that connection comes a slew of sales opportunities for you to take advantage of.
- Better customer service.
Customer service entails numerous interactions with customers. This makes it imperative that the quality is up to snuff so as not to negatively affect the customer experience.
When your customer service staff is poorly trained, there is the likelihood of more mistakes. People could only tolerate these mistakes a certain number of times, and it takes a lot of positive experiences to make up for that one bad experience. Sometimes one is all that is required to send your customers to your competitors.
Customer service should also not end with the transaction. The after-sales service ensures that a customer remains connected to the brand. It shows customer care, especially when the service is personalized and related to their most recent transaction.
If the size of your business doesn’t allow for a lot of staff, let alone the right training, a cheaper option is to outsource instead. That way, you’ll be able to focus on other priorities and leave that part of the work to a team of experts.
- Conduct a market research.
Data is priceless. Besides the usual sales reports, you also want to know more about your customers.
You don’t have to acquire it through dubious or even illegal means. With the right strategies, the customers themselves will be the ones willingly divulging useful information for you to make use of. It kind of sounds bad, but it’s really not.
Customer satisfaction surveys are one of the most common methods to acquire this data. Another way is to interact with people on social media and create user-generated content.
Then gather all this data and watch for trends. Look for the most common denominator and use it to predict what your existing customers need next, what needs to be improved, what works, and what does not work. Determine and understand your customers’ behaviors and act according to what is needed.
- Employ upselling and cross-selling.
Have you ever encountered a situation in which you’re checking out items and the staff is recommending other products to you as well? Sometimes, it even happens while you are picking out products or are currently availing of a service. Upselling and cross-selling are two techniques for increasing sales.
Upselling is a sales technique in which you convince your customer to purchase another item or service in order to increase profits. Cross-selling, meanwhile, is the technique involving the actual sale of another item or service.
For example, a customer would be purchasing a bottle of body soap. You offer to include a loofah and a bath bomb with it when you check out.
This method can also be considered a kind of proactive customer service. It personalizes their experience while also showing care for their satisfaction.
- Add loyalty perks.
Reward your customers’ loyalty to your brand by creating some kind of perk or loyalty program. It improves their loyalty while increasing your sales at the same time by encouraging them to buy more at your business.
Even simple discounts and rewards can go a long way. Or if your budget can’t allow for that, pair some items and sell them at a lower price.
Of course, it should not come at the cost of damaging your business. Plan the loyalty program’s system well and schedule your plans in a way that won’t strain your business.
Try to partner up with other businesses if you want to add variety to your offers and rewards. When paired with a related product or service from that partner, the partnership can also add value to your products.
- Refresh your listings.
Other than a downward slope, stagnancy is not a state you want your business to be in.
Strip away low-selling items and fill up your catalog with items that your customers actually want. Offer limited choices to help your customer decide and go through with a transaction.
Update your products in a way that makes sense. Like, if you’re selling organic shampoos, the next logical step would be to venture into an organic conditioner as well. The products are still related, and your clients that have tried your shampoo can attest to its quality and are therefore more willing to try this new product.
And of course, don’t forget to show something new. Be aware of supply and demand, especially when rising demand results from current hype.
Your existing customers are familiar with your brand and therefore don’t need the usual song and dance when appealing to new customers. When you have their trust, besides shopping again, they will also be more willing to spend more simply out of preference for your brand.
Customer acquisition is good and all, but it’s moot and even damaging, especially when you can’t scale up your business in order to keep up. Meanwhile, you can develop marketing strategies for existing customers.
Customer retention has a huge impact on sales, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. And in this period of rising inflation, every customer is precious.