A business has customers who tend to make huge purchases or order by the bulk, those who buy in smaller volume but on a regular basis, and there are those who are easy to manage and stay up-to-date on payments. These three are among the most valuable customers of any company, making it essential to build and maintain a relationship with them.
The business should also set its sights in attracting new customers and building a customer base with similar profile. These loyal customers and potential ones just like them will get the company through an economic slowdown and keep it afloat. Below are the steps to identify and find more of those valuable customers who bring in the profits.
1. Understand the customers
SMEs that took the time to know their customers will be able to sell more because they know how and when to approach customers with what particular offers. Aside from becoming aware of what customers need at present, SMEs should look out for any changes in their future requirements to be able to address those too
2. Create a customer profile
Information on existing customers will make it easier for the company to look for prospects. At the same time, the company will be able to efficiently close transactions and personalize offers to customers, with the help of historical data and available information.
3. Analyze customers
With a customer database, the company will be able to determine which ones are profitable. It can also tailor fit current business priorities to target customers. In short, the company can plan ahead and is better prepared to meet market demands if it has the information it needs.
4. Nurture loyal customers
The company has a lot to gain by taking care of its loyal customers. Aside from upselling to them for added sales, they can be influencers who can spread the word about how good the brand is. They can even be tapped for testimonials.
5. Listen to customer feedback
Customers can be sought for inputs through web surveys or feedback forms. Find out how they feel about the product or service, why they prefer the brand, and what they like about it. Some companies even offer freebies to encourage customers to complete the surveys.
6. Find new customers
A strategic way to find new customers is to go after prospects with the same profile as the company’s existing customers. But it is also a good idea to widen the scope, especially with the growing number of customers who rely on the internet for information on products and services. Take the search for new customers to Facebook and Twitter, maybe even to blogs and forums that deal with the products and services the company offers.
7. Engage customers
Nowadays, SMEs can engage customers in a personal way through social media. Besides making it possible for the business to connect directly to customers, it is so much cheaper and easy to use. However, before making a sales pitch, it is best to observe first by going through previous tweets and posts. While doing so, “retweet” or “like” appropriate messages. When the business has something to share, do it selectively – which means do not bombard customers with information everyday.
8. Build a customer network
As the company interacts with potential customers online and maintains a profile of existing customers, it should be able to build its customer network. It can market and sell its products and services more effectively to this network because it knows how to reach the customers it is targeting and what they currently need. The business can also explore sales opportunities using the information available in its database, which it should continue to update and build.