Unless you happen to be in the enviable position of having more work than you can handle, you’re on the hunt for new customers.
The problem is attracting customers costs money so it’s important you find the most cost-effective way of finding them.
You have your website, email marketing, other online marketing strategies, but are they the most effective?
The most effective marketing tool you can have is a happy customer. Why? Because they become a brand ambassador and will tell their friends and colleagues about you – and that’s the cheapest and most effective form of marketing I know of.
The problem now comes to how you can generate more referrals.
The best way is to give your customers something to shout about and that comes down to good old-fashioned customer service and going that extra mile.
Focus on education
Educating your customers is one of the best ways to make yourself stand out from your competitors.
Part of that comes from blogging and article writing, which helps cement your reputation as an expert in your field.
However, it also has to become part of your company’s culture. Once you secure a new customer (or even a returning one), teach them about your product, show them how to get the most of it and make sure they know you’re there for any questions they may have.
Keep the conversation going
Make sure you keep them informed about every stage of their order – when it will be received, if there’s a delay tell them what the hold up is and when they’ll get it.
Keep them in the loop about what’s happening in your business. If you’re bringing out a new model or a new product, tell them about it.
A regular newsletter is great for this, but make sure it’s personalised and the content is relevant to that customer.
Going the extra mile
Your customers love surprises. It could be an unexpected gift, a little something extra in their order (it doesn’t have to be much, Wiggle.com always send out a small bag of Haribo with all orders), perhaps a free sample of a new product you’re introducing. Whatever it is, it will bring a smile to your customers face and give them something to tell their friends about.
Make sure you know what’s happening
Too many companies grab orders, send them out and then forget about them.
Be different – follow up every order to make sure your customer is happy. If they are, ask for a testimonial, if they’re not, find out what went wrong, put it right and send them a ‘thanks for letting us know and we’ve now put it right’ gift.
Even a simple handwritten ‘Thank you’ card with your order makes an impact.
None of these ideas has to cost the earth and by making it part of your company’s culture, it will become second nature.
The result will be very happy customers who come back time and time again with their friends in tow. So, if you want a never-ending referral machine, start using these techniques and make your company stand out as a champion.
Sally Ormond – Copywriterand MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd