With increasing competition both on and offline, it isn't enough to have a great product or service at a good price. You can't afford to wait for clients to discover you. Instead, you have to be aggressive about finding them and winning their loyalty. The ability to not just find customers, but keep them, is crucial to your business' future. There's no single trick to guarantee you'll accomplish this. Instead, you need a mix of some proven strategies related to best represent yourself.
1. Find effective partners
Don't look on other businesses, even rival ones, as competitors. By forming a preferred network, you can optimize your combined marketing. A preferred network means building referral relationships with other companies. This could be related companies, such as a tailor and dry cleaner, or similar ones. If you're a contractor that's overbooked or lacks certain skills, you could refer clients to partners that can handle it, and vice-versa. If the client is happy, you’ll be seen as trustworthy, and everybody wins.
2. Improve the customer experience
Generating repeat business is about keeping customers satisfied. Providing an excellent purchase experience will do this. Empathize with your customers, and make it a point to listen and understand what they're looking for. Be flexible and willing to customize your services. Netflix's personalized recommendations have earned them over 75 million customers from around the world.
3. Think branding
Today's audiences are subjected to an enormous amount of marketing. Your company needs its own unique identity, or brand, to sustain visibility. This is everything from visual elements like color schemes, images, and logos to the attitude and philosophy behind your company. Builders could be pro-environment, game makers, high-tech, or wineries committed to quality. Find what suits your audience.
4. Use social platforms
Billions of people are using social media. This is a marketing channel you can't afford to skip. You have the potential of reaching millions of consumers at a very low cost. Just don't forget that “social” implies a two-way connection. Don't use a social profile to hard-sell your products or disparage competitors. The point is to build positive relationships.
5. Respond to feedback
Social media and web content like comment sections or surveys can help you collect honest feedback from consumers. You can address any criticisms in the negative feedback, and identify your strengths from the positive feedback. Be appreciative of any suggestions. Your goal should be to give customers what they want. Feedback allows you to gauge customer reactions and show them you care.
You don’t necessarily need an MBA or decades of experience to have a reputable business and a firm customer base. Staying competitive and relevant requires occasional shifts in marketing. Basing your strategies on customer demand and testing the effectiveness of every change will allow you to draw and retain more customers.
This guest post is courtesy of Dixie Somers.