As a company, you must dominate market share and own the overwhelming majority of customers within an industry, right?
This wasn’t Apple’s strategy, and it shouldn’t necessarily be yours. In fact, Apple was happy with a relatively smaller market share of enthusiasts, who not only purchase every one of their products, but act as brand advocates to spread their message. Ultimately, it was these early Mac adopters, otherwise known as their original core customers, that helped turn Apple into a global conglomerate and the most valuable brand on the face of the Earth.
More often than not, it’s these types of customers that corporate executives are tasked with strategizing how to obtain more of, especially at the expense of their competitors. Why not? Isn’t that the goal of business? To not only be profitable, but become the industry leader while providing a valuable product or service?
In today’s technologically advanced and digitally connected society, that is not necessarily the case. Instagram alone has given more rise to new, emerging brands, who actively curate audiences by demonstrating product offerings and having ongoing conversations with their core audience base. Ironically, many of these new brands don’t have millions of “fair weather” followers, but tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of “loyalists” who will follow the company’s journey, then ask for more.
Social media platforms are perfect use-cases for what is transpiring across the globe, as emerging brands use these platforms’ ability to pay close attention to their current customers and loyal followers.
Whether it’s online or off, in the game of sales, here are four reasons you need to stick with current customers and keep them coming back to you.
1. Current Customers Already Use Your Products and Services
Customers who use your products and services are already comfortable spending money with you. That means that your brand resonates with them, and that they trust you too. Getting a customer to spend their first dollar with you is a big deal, and you have to treat it as such. The reason being that if you provide them with stellar customer service, they will continue to trust you and spend their money with you.
The lesson is that you don’t have to worry about constantly getting more customers if you take care of your current ones. Repeat purchases are a testament to that.
2. Current Customers Are Your Market Research
Customers will tell you everything you need to know about them. They will tell you how their current experience with your products and services are going, any additional features and upgrades they may need, what complimentary items interest them or simply seek to give you positive feedback. If you listen to them and respond in a positive manner, you will increase the likelihood of purchasing from you again.
In short, customers want to have a conversation with you. That conversation is your gold mine. Not only do current customers represent your target demographic, but they give you constant feedback on how to improve the quality of your offerings.
One thing you should additionally consider is cultivating an audience from the very beginning of your brand. Maybe you haven’t launched your products yet, but you know who your target demographic is. If that’s the case, you should consider content marketing as a pre-launch strategy. Put your brand out on social media, and also promote it through a blog on your website. Start the conversation and build rapport. Ultimately, you will curate a following and become known as a leading authority within your space.
I did this with my online publication brand HDFMagazine.com. In six short months, it’s amassed a small viral following via Instagram, which has in turn driven more market research into my niche, as well as more traffic than I’ve ever seen on any other platform.
Curating an audience ahead of time will allow two key things to happen.
- Your customers will let you know their thoughts and feelings. Hence, if you’re building products or services for them, you’ll be able to make the necessary changes or pivots.
- They will know where to go when it’s time to purchase anything you have to offer them.
Market research is huge. If you extract data and feedback from your current customers and/or your current followers, you’ll be able to create a long-lasting relationship that’s potentially profitable.
3. Current Customers Are Your Advocates
Treat your customers well. Answer as many of their questions as possible, and they will love you. A customer who loves you becomes an advocate for your brand.
They will talk about you to their friends, family, colleagues and more. When you think about it, you don’t even have to market to more customers because your current ones are already doing it for you. Essentially, the people they hang out with are also your target audience, otherwise known as “their circle of influence.” Your current customers will ultimately draw in their circle and bring you more customers. Simple math.
4. Current Customers Spread Your Brand’s Message
While this is similar to the previous point, this concept is an extension of it. Current customers who become brand advocates will not only talk about you to their circle of influence, but they will talk about you to everyone outside of it. This is where your brand’s message achieves “reach.” In essence, your customers are now amplifying who you are to the point where your identity pops up everywhere, especially online. Once that happens, you start to enter the household name level.
In summary, your current customers are everything. Instead of worrying about more customers, worry about giving your current ones the best possible experience. Doing so will not only create repeat sales, but will bring you more of your target audience in time.