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Keeping and gaining customers is a must for the growth of any company, whether it is small or big, whether it is a product or a services company. The major goal of business development, therefore, is to keep and gain customers.
In this direction, knowing customers is the magic key to business development. That is what we have discussed in a previous article. In the same article, it was mentioned that your current and past customers are only a part of the existing market. They provide you with clues about what the rest of the market wants.
Grow your business by keeping and gaining customers
Thus, to grow your business, it is not only important to keep your existing customers but also to gain new customers. However, it takes a lot more effort and cost to get new customers than to keep the existing ones. In every industry vertical, costs and efforts can vary. Some verticals may involve more costs and efforts than others.
Some studies show it costs 5% more to gain new customers than to keep the existing ones. Research by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company shows that keeping customers by 5% boosts profit by 25% to 95%. It is also opined that selling success is 60% to 70% for existing customers, whereas it is 5% to 25% for new customers.
However, you need to look objectively at your business growth in this background. Ask some questions yourself in this direction.
The above questions are only indicative. You can include as many questions as your imagination takes you. This will help you strategise how to keep your customers as well as attract new ones as a part of your business development efforts.
Get rid of complacency in business development efforts
Do not become complacent in your business development efforts, whatever growth stage you are passing through. Let it be the early years of your business, or maybe after a few years have passed since your business started. Always think you are just beginning your business. This helps you keep your efforts on the toe.
Every industry faces competition. So you need to be even smarter. Do not neglect your existing customers and try spending more time with them to understand them. Ask them what and how they want improvements in your offerings or services. This gives immense pride to your customers as they see you care for them more than anything else. Surely, they will show interest in the growth of your business too.
Try introducing a reward program if you have not done without hurting your business financially. Reward both repeat buying and new customers. Maybe with rewards, new customers may become repeat buyers.
As said earlier, every industry faces competition. Also, the pattern of consumption is the measuring mark of repeat buyers or onetime or few-time buyers. Repeat buyers can be continuous buyers or few-time buyers. That gives you a clue why some repeat buyers have stopped after a few purchases. For example, let us take milk in consumer packs. Many brands of milk are available in the market. If a customer is accustomed to a particular brand, he may buy this brand continuously day after day and month after month. If after a few days or after a few months, this buyer stops purchasing that brand, it means his preference has changed. It may be because of a problem related to quality, price, packaging, late delivery, or any such reasons. If you can talk to this buyer, you will come to know the real reason. Then you have a chance to rectify the defect and get back that customer to your brand. If you do not do this act, you will lose your customer permanently.
Take a leaf from the marketing ideas of big business
You may be a small business. You may have no ability to spend as much as big businesses on marketing, advertising, or other developmental activities. Even so, you can adopt some marketing ideas of big businesses such as reward and loyalty programs to keep and attract customers. One thing is sure. In so far as you maintain quality in your offerings or services and provide value for customer money, your business can continue attracting customers without spending much on advertising. Satisfied customers’ mouth-of-word advertising ensures market growth for you.
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