Every new business strives to spread awareness about their brand and acquire as many customers as possible. At the initial stages, it’s all about getting people through the door or in many cases, to the landing page of your website.
As someone who has solely focused on increasing traffic to their website will tell you, looking at your bounce rates is quite a sobering experience. Yes, it’s good to have a lot of people come to your site and learn about your business, but if most of them are not hitting the cart to keep your bookkeepers busy, probably your efforts are going in vain.
In the same vein, attracting lots of new customers is an expensive endeavor, and if they don’t stick around or spend a lot of money, you will have a hard time growing your business. With this in mind, let’s look at some of the reasons why you need more that just new customers to enable growth.
Customer Acquisition vs Customer Retention
As the old saying goes: “You need to spend money to make money”, but you need to make sure that you consistently spend less to get more. Acquiring new customers can be fairly expensive, sometimes so much that mismanaging this part of the budget often destroys startups.
Look at it this way, if you spend a significant amount of money on getting people to come to your website, and most of your customers only show up and make a one-time purchase, never to be seen again, you will quickly drain your budget.
When it comes to business growth, you need to shift your focus towards customer retention. Repeat customers will not only ensure that you have a steady revenue stream, but can also act as brand ambassadors. So, how does one create a base of loyal customers?
Failing to Inspire Loyalty Through Exceptional Customer Experience
At the end of the day, your primary goal should be to offer an amazing experience to all your first-time customers. Failing to do so will cost you quite a few return sales. This sounds difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. An incredibly quick and simple way to significantly improve a customer’s first impression of your business is to use live chat support software.
Live chat has proven to be the best way to dramatically increase customer satisfaction and improve ecommerce sales. People like to have their problems resolved instantly and the new generations are most comfortable communicating through text messages.
There are a few tricks you can use to get the most out of your live chat software, and since it is a fairly inexpensive tool, it is great for startups on a lean budget. Options such as ProProfs are quite easy to setup and intuitive to use, so you can get started within minutes.
Of course, having an intuitive website design that is easy to navigate and properly optimized pages is a must, but going the extra mile to make sure the customers have their questions answered is what will get them coming back.
Failing to Reward Loyalty
Keeping a customer coming back is a lot cheaper than constantly looking for new ones, but there is a difference between a return customer and a loyal fan, and it’s all about the level of engagement. Most customers are there to buy an experience, a lifestyle or a feeling. The product is only a means to an end, and if you don’t understand your target audience’s underlying needs and their goals, you won’t be able to connect with the customers on an emotional level.
Most importantly, you want to have a clear way of rewarding loyalty, a reason why they should come back and do business with you instead of heading over to the first similar site that pops up in their search. There are plenty of straightforward loyalty programs that work well, you just have to make sure that you are giving your customers what they want.
You can also use different incentives to get your loyal fans to become more vocal about the brand on social media, leading us to the next point.
Failing to Listen to Your Customers
One of the biggest mistakes new companies make is not listening to their customers. No has ever gotten a product just right on their first try – prototypes are tested and have all kinds of kinks ironed out, the product is used in the field and changes are made over time based on real-world experience and customer feedback.
Be sure to engage your customers on social media, in the comments section of your blog, and through your live chat software, answer some of their questions and ask a few of your own. You should look for honest feedback and suggestions on how your products or services can be improved.
Of course, you can also have some fun contexts where you can get lots of great user generated content, inspire social media shares and create a buzz about your brand. The simples form of contest that has proven to work exceptionally well is to have people take creative pictures of them using or wearing your product and share them online, where a select few winners get some small prizes.
You can also have people sign up for your mailing list and keep them updated with the latest offers, sales and interesting content. Some free content is a good way to keep people interested and coming back for more.
If you have ever wondered why your business just can’t seem to grow despite the fact that you already have quite a few new customers, these points should help clear things up. Always remember that you need loyal fans and brand ambassadors if you want to expand your brand, so focus on providing a great customer experience and engage your audience.
Jason is a technical writer currently associated with ProProfs Chat. He enjoys writing about emerging customer support products, trends in customer support industry and the financial impacts of using such tools. In his spare time, Jason likes traveling extensively to learn about new cultures and traditions.