Acquiring new customers may be important when you’re just starting out, you must not make the mistake of focusing on new customer acquisition over customer retention.
For instance, acquiring a new customer may end costing you up to 5 times more, and as Forbes reports, your average current customer has a 60% to 70% likelihood of purchasing, whereas, for a would-be customer, the chances of buying are only somewhere 5% to 20%.
And this is why it is crucial to give your existing customers a good reason to come back and give them a valid reason to become your supporters.
The Power of WOMM
WOMM (Word-of-Mouth Marketing) isn’t exactly something new, many companies rely on it to bring in a constant stream of website traffic and transactions. According to Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising report, over 90% of consumers around the world say that they trust recommendations from their close friends and family members more than any other form of advertising.
But while WOMM is up to the customer, many companies forget that it can be guided in their favor. If you take actions to turn existing customers into brand evangelists, you can increase the amount of WOM traffic your customers are bringing. Simply put, customers simply buy things, but brand evangelists will preach the thing that they have bought.
Customer Service and Feedback
The best way of ensuring that your customers become brand evangelists is to talk to them, and even more importantly, to listen to what they have to say.
With customer feedback, you will learn what your target demographic sees as the best and of course, the worst aspects of your product. Furthermore, a study by McKinsey and Co. reveals that more than 70% of purchase experiences are based on how consumers feel that they are being treated.
If you take customer feedback, and actually do something with it, you’ll show your customers that you actually care about them. Especially if you provide a solution for the customers that are not too satisfied with your company or your product.
Reward and Repeat
You would actually be pleasantly surprised by just how many consumers are willing to spread the word about your brand – you only need to give them a little push. The biggest part of your customer base are those who like your brand, but won’t endorse it on their own accord.
But consumers are really motivated when they benefit. In fact, almost 60% of consumers believe they should be rewarded somehow if they talk positively about a brand on social networks.
In addition to prizes and coupons, you should also routinely reward your consumers with competitions, games and quality content. So don’t be afraid to use gamification to engage your consumers or hire a content marketing agency to help you create the right content.
Leverage User-Generated Content
Once the number of your brand evangelists grows to a certain number (it depends on the size of your company, customer-base, etc.) you should start gathering customer-created content.
For instance, large corporations like Dorito’s and Coca-Cola have been building up their consumers’ emotional connection to their brands for years, by asking for content that celebrates customers’ relationship with their brands.
And rather than asking their fans why they love their product, Coca-Cola asks specific questions like how their customers feel when they drink Coke in order to get an emotional response.
Finally, you don’t even have to select between keeping the existing customers and acquiring new ones at all, because customer growth and engagement basically go hand in hand. You only have to learn how to use your satisfied customers and motivate them to spread the word about your business to bring in more organic traffic.
Just remember, your existing customers are probably your biggest allies, so learn how to use them well and turn them into natural brand evangelists. Once you do that, you’ll be able to reap the long-term benefits of WOMM benefits.