It’s an overly cited, but nevertheless true statistic: Attracting a new customer costs five times more than it does to retain an existing one.
No matter your industry, you can fritter away a fair amount of your marketing budget, resources, and time trying to win over new customers. But here’s the good news: by adjusting your marketing strategy to focus on nurturing relationships with your existing customers, you can actually attract new customers through your efforts — in addition to reaping other rewards like brand loyalty, happy customers and increased sales.
(Related: How to Build Your Online Reputation)
Below, we’ve outlined four strategies to grow your consumer base by establishing meaningful relationships with existing customers:
1. Go above and beyond.
As the time-honored adage goes, you should always under-promise and over-deliver. Exceed customer expectations by delivering products with speed, convenience, knowledgeable help, and friendly service — these are the most important elements of positive customer experience, according to 80% of American consumers who participated in a PricewaterhouseCoopers customer experience survey.
When you provide your customers with an exceptional experience, they are likely to buy more, remain loyal to your brand, and share their experience with others. By delivering great customer experiences, you can encourage your consumers to leave five-star reviews and make glowing referrals while preventing the negative experiences that typically lead to bad reviews. Which leads us to our next point…
2. Invite and respond to feedback.
In our digital world, online reviews matter more than ever. Because most purchases start online these days, consumers increasingly turn to reviews to evaluate products and make a buying decision. Today, consumers rely upon online reviews as one the most trustworthy and credible sources of “advertising” — meaning existing customers can be some of your company’s best marketers. Research has shown that reviews influence consumers across all industries, with 90% of people telling a Zendesk survey team that positive reviews drove their decision to make a purchase. To share some perspective from our experience at True Blue Life Insurance: we’ve found that earning a single five-star customer review on a third-party website like Yelp, Google, or the Better Business Bureau (BBB) can yield up to a $250 return on our investment.
To build brand credibility, attract new buyers, and ultimately boost sales, you can encourage your customers to provide feedback by sending follow-up emails at the right time — such as right after they experience or demonstrate success with your product or service or make a repeat purchase. In the message, be sure to make it easy for the recipient to leave a review by including links to the review platform(s) where you want customer feedback.