In today’s world, any company can become an overnight success thanks to social media. As a result, the phrases “growth hacking,” and “customer acquisition,” have been buzzing around everywhere, and companies are more focused on growing their customer base than ever.
The ironic thing is that the businesses spending large amounts of money on marketing could be spending much less and yielding a greater return if they instead focused on improving their customer loyalty. An internal study done by Frederick Reichheld, shows that increasing customer retention rates by just 5% increases profits by more than 25%.
The digital age allows companies to have a direct relationship and interaction with their customers. However, simply creating a profile for your company isn’t enough. If you want to generate a strong response on social media, customers expect you to be active. A study shows that 42% of customers expect a response on social media within the hour, 25% of customers expect a response within the same day, and 9% of customers expect a response within 5 minutes (Hubspot).
1. Man Your Bases
We’ve all been the victim of incompetence or bad customer service before.
As it turns out, according to Zendesk, 95% of consumers have taken action as a result of a bad experience.
What that means is that all successful businesses should have consultants who interact with customers on their social media pages. Don’t make a customer wait for a response via email, or have to call a customer service line. Instead, make it known to your customers that if they reach out to you on social media, they will get a response. Hire people who will take the time to help your customers through their issue or bad experience, not just apologize for it.
2. Take Customer Advice And Feedback Seriously
Staying ahead of the competition means constantly improving. A great way to discern what areas your company can improve in is through customer advice and feedback.
Instead of trying to anticipate what your customer is going to want, ask them. Create a poll where you list your ideas for improvement and have your customers vote on whether or not they would be helpful.
Make sure you have places, such as on your social media pages or your website, where customers can add their own suggestions as to how your business can improve. In order to encourage people to participate in your poll or leave feedback, offer incentives such as contests or a sneak peek of your newest product. The fact of the matter is that most people need an incentive like this in order to feel compelled to put in the time.
3. Make Your Customers Part Of Your Community
Create a community where people are constantly compelled to engage, and you’ll never run out of content. Come up with challenges and contests related to your product or service whereby the contestants submit their entry via their social media profiles.
Notify the winners to create as much buzz around what you’re doing as possible. Share the content that your customers post on your social media pages and blog, and your customers will feel like they are a part of the community you’ve created.
4. Reward Your Most Active Customers
Make a point of noticing which customers are active on your social media pages on a regular basis. These are the people that you should be reaching out to for feedback. Send them products to try and have them tell you what they think. These things take little time and money but can yield a huge return in the form of referrals to that customer’s family and friends.
When a customer does put in the time to provide valuable feedback, make sure you thank them for it. If your business improves as a result their feedback, the least you can do is send them something as a token of your appreciation. Business owners take for granted the effect this can have through word of mouth. When customers receive truly excellent service, they’re bound to tell somebody about it.
5. Give Your Customers What They Can’t Find Elsewhere
It’s not so much about a product or service as it is about an experience. Sell an experience that makes your client’s life easier, and you’ll be sure to see that customer again.
It’s important to fulfill a demand, but if you are doing it in such a way that makes your customer unhappy or uncomfortable in the process, it’s unlikely that they are going to return. You want to be the easiest provider of your product or service out there. Consider all of the different facets of purchasing your product or service. What measures can you take to streamline that process?
Figure out your customer and what their needs are. When your customer starts coming back to you to repeat a good experience, and not just because they’ve run out of your product, is when you know you have established a strong customer base.
Customer loyalty is one of the most important aspects of a business, but it’s also one of the hardest. You need to find the perfect balance between catering to the masses and catering to the specific needs of an individual. Your business needs to appeal to as many people as possible while making the client feel as though he or she is your only customer.