How investing in customers can help SMEs grow – The Manila Times

WHEN running a business, getting customers to try your product and keeping them loyal are equally hard tasks. Most small businesses often focus on getting more customers and forget about the easy ways they can make sure new customers come back.

“Don’t I need to focus on getting more customers because that’s where most of the money is?” You may ask. You’re correct! But applying those easy hacks to keep customers loyal can save you thousands in marketing costs while increasing revenue.

Outbound Engine, a marketing agency servicing clients around the world, recently shared the following insights on the impact of loyal customers:

– Getting a new customer can cost five times more than keeping a customer loyal.

– Increasing customer loyalty by 5 percent can increase profits from 25 percent to 95 percent.

– There’s a higher success rate (60 to 70 percent) of selling a product to a customer who has already tried the product, while the success rate of selling to a completely new customer is 5 to 20 percent.

Here are five easy hacks that can help your business, but keep in mind that not all businesses are the same so the solutions may not have the same impact. Don’t be afraid to change your approach depending on your customers.

Build an educational guide. Customers who understand and know how your product or business works will make your life and your customers’ lives easy. Why is that? Once they know what your business or product can do for them, the next step is to try it out. If they truly understand the benefits of what you offer, there’s also a high chance they’ll share those with their networks.

Invest in digital advertising. Have you ever been followed around by advertisements online? If yes, this is likely because those businesses are setting up digital advertisements on sites like Facebook and Google. These businesses make sure you never forget about them and their products so that if you ever need what they’re selling, you’re much more likely to buy from them rather than an unfamiliar competitor.

Interact with your customers. There’s no better way to improve your service or product than by talking to customers directly. You can ask customers to answer a standard survey form or simply set aside a couple of minutes to ask if your services have helped them so far. They’ll appreciate it more if you check in on them so they’re more comfortable and you can relate to them better.

Build a customer engagement list. Got an email about the latest sale from your favorite brand? That’s one of the few benefits of keeping a customer engagement list. Pro tip: Make sure they know that they will be receiving texts or emails from your business. It also helps if there’s a way for them to opt in or opt out of your marketing messages anytime. This means you’ll only be spending time and effort on people who actually want to hear from you and it stops customers from feeling like you’re spamming them.

Some basic things you should ask from customers whenever they’re signing up to receive your messages are their first and last names (separating the first name and last name in your database will make your life much easier later), mobile number, email address and the types of messages they want to receive.

Once you have your customer list available and they’ve told you what they’re interested in, you can use that to engage them regularly. Keep them excited with the latest sales, new features, product launches, or just simply remind them about your services.

Delight them with discounts or freebies. Sending them a small gift or surprise discount on their birthday will make them feel valued. If you’re trying this for the first time, make sure to check how much additional cost you can handle. Some ways to keep costs under control include making sales or discounts available for only a few days at a time, having a fixed number of promo or freebie winners, and only offering discounts or freebies to your best customers.

Getting customers to keep coming back is always tricky. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution but if you do it right you can save a lot on marketing costs while increasing revenue. Also, doing this successfully means you’ll gain loyal customers who will likely recommend your products or services for free.

It might seem overwhelming at first but we encourage you to try these suggestions or even try your own out-of-the-box ideas. Learning is the most important thing when you’re starting out, so don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Just try something, learn from it, improve and repeat. Before you know it, you’ll have a huge base of loyal customers giving you back as much love as you’ve put into nurturing your relationship with them.

Gabbie Angeles handles customer lifecycle management at First Circle. She’s been managing strategy and execution of initiatives from brand to retention-based fintech products over the past four years, enabling her interest in serving the financial needs of the underserved.

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