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Executive's guide to customer base expansion

Learn how to scale your customer base and be a customer magnet. Know the difference between customer base and acquisition, the right strategies, and more.

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"How do I get more customers?"

That is a question business owners out there ask themselves at almost every point of their business.

In addition to getting new customers, businesses are also focused on retaining old or current customers. One of the reasons for that is the fact that almost 65% of a company's business comes from repeat or loyal customers. More than that, a 5% increase in customer retention rates can become a 75% increase in customer lifetime value and can boost a company's profits by 25% to 95%.

Nowadays, with modern technology, businesses can reach and connect with their customers anywhere and they can do almost anything to grow their customer list. However, with a constantly evolving market, there are challenges and roadblocks that cause business owners to struggle and effectively acquire and retain customers.

To keep your business growing, however, you must be able to do both at the same time: acquire and retain. Here is a breakdown of what you need to do.

What is a Customer Base?

Your customer base is a group of customers who repeatedly go back to your brand to buy your products or avail of your services. They're the ones who often engage with your brand and provide the most financial value to your business. Depending on what industry you're in, they can be a target audience based on a buyer persona or simply a specific group of people.

Identifying your customer base is incredibly important for your business. They're the ones who buy your products and services the most. Recognizing them will help your sales, marketing, and customer service departments to create better strategies and a better relationship with them for happy customers.

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Customer Acquisition vs Customer Base Expansion

More often than not, customer acquisition and customer base expansion are pitted against each other. The reality is the two are like the wings of a bird. If one is missing, then flight will become impossible. In order for your business to thrive, you need both. However, you also have to understand that these two drive growth in very different ways.

Customer Acquisition: Customer acquisition is about promoting your brand and designing conversion experiences in a way that leads potential customers to make their first conversion. In the customer onboarding process, you need to tell your ideal customers a powerful story on why their current situation is not ideal and how you could help change that situation. The process can also take several steps as your target customer moves from being unaware of your brand to considering your product and finally moving to buy.

Customer Base Expansion: When it comes to expanding a strong customer base, the focus of your marketing efforts is on developing better relationships with your current client list with the goal of driving repeat purchases and increasing loyalty. In this process, you take the opposite route of what you'd do in customer acquisition. Instead of trying to change their mind about their current situation with you, you lean into their present situation and only reinforce your value in their life. Here, you have to deliver contextual messaging that is in line with your customer's interests and preferences.

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Customer Expansion Strategy

While your marketing and sales team plays a huge role in attracting customers, it's your customer service team that plays the biggest role in expanding your customer base by giving excellent customer service and creating a delightful customer experience. This is what would keep customers coming back for more and allow you to upsell or cross-sell. Here are a few tactics to help you build that solid customer base.

Provide Excellent Customer Service

Customer service plays a big part in customer retention. According to studies, 67% of customers stopping their interaction with a brand can be prevented if the customer's issues are resolved with the first service interaction. Research also shows that 93% of customers are likely to repeat purchases with brands that have excellent customer service.

If you want to provide excellent customer service, you shouldn't view dealing with needy or unhappy customers as a chore. Take it as an opportunity to expand your client base and learn more about what your customers need.

Create Freemium Offers

With this, you give away something of value for free in exchange for information from your customers. It's like giving them a taste of how your products or services can be of value to them. You can then create personalized customer service and sales offers for them.

Encourage Customer Advocacy

Nowadays, customers aren't easily swayed by advertisements or other marketing efforts. They have to feel that what you are offering them is indeed aligned with their needs and their goals.

To build this trust, leverage your customer advocates. Let them provide testimonials or referrals that would make your brand more credible to their fellow customers. Encouraging and publicizing their feedback will help make your company seem more trustworthy.

Create A Customer Success Program

In a customer success program, customer success teams monitor individual accounts and look for roadblocks in their customer journey. Anticipating this, the team can then reach out to the client and help navigate them around the problem before the issue becomes a big problem. When you remove pain points before a customer even knows they exist, you can easily prevent customer churn.

Optimize Your Customer Loyalty Program

According to a survey, 69% of customers say that a brand's customer loyalty program influences their decision when interacting with new brands. It can keep your most loyal customers engaged and you can use it as a competitive advantage when your company is compared with competitors in the market.

One way you can optimize your customer loyalty program is by creating a tiered membership model. Each tier should get its own special rewards with the rewards increasing as customers move towards the higher tiers.

Personalize Customer Onboarding

Just because you've gotten a customer to buy or sign up doesn't mean that's the end of it. If your customer doesn't know how to use your product, they may abandon it altogether. According to Wyzowl, 55% of customers returned products because they weren't familiar with how to use them.

A personalized onboarding program can help solve this. Have your team reach out to your customers and see if they can determine their individual needs and goals. In addition to that, make sure that your customers can easily reach you if they have a question. Display your contact info where they can easily find it so your customer service team can provide reliable, real-time support.

Never underestimate the power of customer base expansion. While it does take some time to achieve, you get the opportunity to nurture a loyal lifetime customer which helps maximize your ROI. Start growing your business by expanding your customer base. 

We help executives strategize and execute meaningful brands that their customers would have no problem becoming a lifelong customer for. Contact us today so we can start planning your growth tomorrow. 

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