Put Customer Engagement to Work to Grow Your Startup
When you start your business, chances are good that you do so with the understanding that you might struggle at the beginning. However since, as Salesforce notes, half of small businesses fail before reaching their 5 year anniversary, it’s imperative to begin with a strategy that will help you grow to reach and surpass that 5 year mark.
Happily, (CRM) platforms like Salesforce can help set you up for success, and Wombat Solutions can help you identify your next steps, implement them, and train you to monitor and manage the results. But first, here are some pointers to help you hone in on your customers so you can enjoy a profitable journey in both the short- and long-term.
The Foundation to Growth
A key in growing your business includes identifying your ideal customer. This includes doing some brainstorming about who you expect to connect with; what demographics make sense for your product or service? How old are they, where do they live, and what does their lifestyle look like?
However, if you're adopting growth strategies, it's more than just knowing your ideal customer. It’s also vital to understand your customer purpose. What problems does your service or product solve? What questions does your company answer? What will drive customers to engage your business? As ZenBusiness explains, creating a practical marketing plan will help you develop strategies for answering these questions.
Customers are the lifeblood of any business. By thinking through these aspects of how they fit with your overall plans, products and strategies, you can cultivate relationships that will be meaningful to your bottom line.
Communication Strategies for Growth
When you consider your customers, what does communication mean? How can you connect and build your relationships with your customers?
Of course, you provide a valuable product or service and are working to develop repeat and long-term customers. You also need to develop a deeper relationship with your customers, ensuring they feel heard and valued. This can fuel concerns like your return policy and how accessible you are when they have problems, but it can also go beyond that.
Think in terms of specifics that allow your customers to share ideas and information with you about what they want and need. For example, customer surveys are a great way for them to provide input into the direction of your business.
Ask them how they prefer your communication: emails, phone calls, even direct mail is still valid (and can be surprisingly cost-effective marketing!).
After finding out the most popular communication methods for your customers, narrow your marketing efforts in those directions. For example, if most prefer emails, send a weekly newsletter with your latest sales and discounts.
Many of your customers likely use social media; establish reasons for them to check in with you and announce it through your newsletter so they become part of your following. You might have a giveaway or photo contest on Facebook. Think about what makes sense for your product and audience, and how you’ll capitalize on your various communication channels.
Set clear customer service expectations and boundaries, and offer automated options that fill in gaps. Establish your working hours, typical customer service response time, and be clear about these hours with your customers. For the off times, automation options like chatbots allow you to meet many customer service needs, making it feel like your business is available 24/7.
To truly seal the bond between your business and your customers, it may take some good old-fashioned human-to-human connection. When your customers ask questions that your self-service portal can't answer, having a customer service representative reach out to the customer can go a long way toward keeping the customer loyal to your business. As Emarsys points out, statistics indicate loyal customers spend 67 percent beyond what new customers spend, so it’s well worth going the extra mile for them.
Grow Your Business
Develop a clearer picture of your current target market, your ideal customer, and how they like to communicate with your company. These strategies will help you develop meaningful relationships and increase your profit for years to come.
Wombat Solutions offers Salesforce consulting, customization, and implementation to maximize your customers’ experience.