7 Integrated Strategies for Customer and Revenue Growth
by Blackwood Impact Group
How to increase customers and revenue is always a top concern for business leaders. With so many different methodologies and strategies to choose from, it can be hard to know where to put your focus. A great concept to start with is to consider putting more attention to retaining customers.
According to Invest (https://www.invespcro.com/blog/customer-acquisition-retention), it costs 5 times as much to acquire a new customer than it does to retain existing ones. Yet 44% of companies spend most of their efforts on new client acquisition strategies. Here at Blackwood Impact Group, we agree that spending more energy on customer retention strategies will pay off big in the long run.
If you are unsure of where to start or which strategy to focus on, consider the following seven. They can be tackled one at a time or in an integrated, layered fashion as your team has the capacity.
Strategy #1 – Create a Tighter Bond With Your Existing Customers
When customers feel as though the company they are working with or purchasing from does not care about them, they are more inclined to switch away and find someone else to work with. (Source – https://www.newvoicemedia.com/blog/the-62-billion-customer-service-scared-away-infographic). It makes customer service and the process that happens after the sale extremely important.
Help your customers feel appreciated by checking in on them regularly. That may look different for each company, depending on the nature of your business. Product-based companies might have a customer service team who is tasked with reaching out to clients regularly via email, answer questions through a chat function on the website, or even by phone. Some might also have dedicated staffers to respond to comments, questions, and tags on social media.
Service-based businesses might utilize account managers to check in with clients on a regular basis throughout the engagement. It is essential to keep track of the results of the check-ins to spot problems early and to handle issues before the customer reaches a critical level of dissatisfaction.
It is vital that your customers “feel the love” from your whole company, and doesn’t get endeared to just one account representative. This is especially true in service-based businesses. It becomes too easy for a customer to leave when their favorite account manager accepts a similar position elsewhere. When your customer gets touched by various people and departments within your company, you are helping them to feel as though you care. It helps to lay the groundwork for the following strategies we’ll discuss.
Strategy #2 – Sell More to Your Existing Customers
Examine the products and services your customers have already purchased from you. Are there any other related products and services that you provide which they might find helpful? Offer it to them. Would an upgrade or newer model be of benefit to them? Make sure they have an opportunity to participate. Have clients been asking for a particular product, service, information, or experience that you don’t currently offer? Investigate what it would take to develop what they want and then provide it.
While you should continue pursuing new customers, don’t overlook the opportunities to sell to your existing ones. Part of the reason new client acquisition is more expensive, compared to making offers to your existing ones, is because much of the marketing and branding budget is spent on building awareness and trust. Current customers are already aware of you and trust you (provided you’ve been giving excellent customer service along the way). If you can show your existing customers how you can continue to offer them value, new sales are almost guaranteed.
Strategy #3 – Increase Your Referrals
Another underutilized marketing strategy is establishing a formalized referral program that incentivizes existing customers to spread the news about your company. Formal referral programs can look different across industries and business types. But consider offering discounts off their next purchase, gifts, gift cards, access to events and experiences, and more as a reward for helping you close sales.
Your program should make it easy for them to give and for you to receive and keep track of those referrals. In service-based or B2B environments where an account manager may be working closely with your clients. Utilize them to ask for specific referrals. Go beyond the standard “Who do you know who could use our services?” The question to be more specific and help them genuinely help you. Don’t be afraid to do a little research and investigate their LinkedIn profile and identify companies or individuals they are already associated with who you think might be a good fit; ask them to facilitate the connection.
Strategy #4 – Improve Your Conversion Rates
To improve your closing and conversion rates, you’ll need to work closely with your sales and marketing team to establish baseline statistics. You’ll need to know how many qualified leads marketing is sending over to sales and what percentage of those leads turn into paying customers. That is your conversion rate.
Once you have that information, you can start analyzing your sales and marketing processes for any gaps and opportunities for improvement. Start by taking a look at the sales that didn’t close. Did they drop off before or after they received a proposal or the price (did they abandon your online shopping cart)? Consider examining your pricing strategy or ensure your sales team is engaging (or your web sales page is being shown to) well-qualified prospects.
If prospects are falling out of the sales process even earlier, then examine your lead generation strategies to make sure you are attracting the right type of prospects for your products and services. Ultimately, you want to identify where you are falling short in the sales process and keep making improvements until you are converting at a healthy rate.
Strategy #5 – Increase The Perceived Value of Every Transaction
Sometimes, just having your customer understand that they are getting more value than what they are paying for is enough to endear them to you. Without having to raise prices or add on more peripheral products, clients can be well primed to recommend you and to buy from you again in the future.
It all comes down to your positioning. Be sure you know how you are distinctly different from your closest competitors. Understand how you stand out and be sure you communicate that value to your customers. You can even add more helpful tools or services without charging extra so that the client feels as though they are getting a deal by choosing you.
For example, if you write a book, you can provide a link to your website where you offer more resources for your readers for free as a way to thank them for investing in the book. Maybe a differentiator for your local business is your customer service app that allows your clients to quickly book appointments, get their questions answered, or check on the status of their project. Think of how you can give your clients more without asking them to pay more and you will be well on the road to gaining and maintaining their loyalty.
Strategy #6 – Increase Your Client’s Purchase Frequency
While every business is different in nature, you should always seek to put processes and systems in place to help your clients continue their journey with you via additional products and services that help them advance their goals. On the one hand, it must be helpful to the client. On the other hand, it helps you to have a more predictable income, especially if you structure it where a credit card on file is automatically being billed.
Companies that sell consumable products do this well by creating a frequent buyer program. The customer puts their credit card on file, and their favorite products are automatically shipped to them at a regular interval at a discounted rate. It is convenient and cheaper for the customer.
Service-based businesses can consider retainers, support, or “maintenance” styled packages. For a set monthly or annual fee, you can provide a set of regular services, check-ups, or consultation for your client. What you offer should help your customer feel secure as you will be helping them to prevent future problems. For example, a tax accountant can offer a plan where they check-in quarterly and perform maintenance on the financial records so that at tax time, it is not a major headache.
Strategy #7 – Increase Your Number of Qualified Leads
Even though this article has mostly highlighted customer retention strategies, there is still much value in attracting new potential buyers. It is always a good idea to continually examine your branding and marketing strategy to ensure you are drawing the right types of leads into your business. Areas to consider investing in included direct response campaigns (by mail and digitally), online advertising (social media and Google Pay-Per-Click ads), collaborating with influencers and strategic partners, and increasing your brand awareness in communities and organizations where your ideal clients are already engaged.
It can be overwhelming to determine which strategy to focus on first or to figure out all the nuances once you decide to drill down into a particular one. Blackwood Impact Group I can help you prioritize and determine what would be the most effective investment of your time, plus walk with you and provide you with all the tools you need to achieve your growth goals. Get started with a no-obligation consultation with us by contacting us at 770-502-6295 or firstname.lastname@example.org.