How to Grow Your Customer BaseGrowing your business isn't a goal. It’s a necessity for your business’s survival. Every business needs to keep and grow customers. Getting the word out about your business and attracting customers is just as important as having a great product or service.

Kelly McDonald wrote an article for Fast Company about how to attract different groups of customers.

Digital Media

Many people will find you online, visit your website, or visit your social media networks. McDonald says to make sure your website and social media pages are welcoming to diverse groups. “People always want to identify with someone who looks like them, so be certain you display a range of representation when it comes to showing people,” McDonald says.

Changes to Product and/or Services

McDonald says to reach out to customers you don’t already have, sometimes you need to tweak your product or service. A few ideas include:

  • Sell complementary products or services
  • Teach adult education or other types of classes
  • Import or export yours or others' products
  • Become a paid speaker or columnist

Diversify your product or service so you have multiple streams of income that can increase sales and margins.

Hire Diverse Talent

McDonald says hiring diverse talent is your “single best tactic” for creating a wonderful customer experience. She says, “Who knows better than a Gen Y person what another Gen Y person may want, need, or value? A bilingual employee who speaks Spanish as well as English will be a huge asset, because he or she is likely to understand the culture, not just the language.”

Perceptions of your service are created by a diverse set of experiences. When you hire a diverse group of people you reach new customers by word-of-mouth because your employees all have a network of their own family and friends who they speak with about their job and what their company does.

Advertise and Market to New Customer Groups

There are many different marketing tools and tactics for you to consider when you market to a new customer group including:

  • Business networking: Join the local chamber of commerce as they offer functions that allow you to meet other business owners in the area and generate leads through them.
  • Free trials: Everyone loves to get something for free.
  • Find a niche market: Explain how your product or service will provide a greater benefit to a particular set of customers than your competitors.

Customer Service

Customers expect companies to stand by their products and services. Inc. offers seven rules for fantastic customer service:

  • Make building relationships more important than the sale.
  • Create opportunities for the customer to buy.
  • Have meaningful conversations and never give a sales pitch.
  • Be curious about the customer as a person and let the friendship evolve.
  • Don’t try to be a hero who swoops in to solve the customer’s problem.
  • Believe in your heart that you and your firm are the best at what you do.
  • Deliver exactly what you promised to deliver, no matter what.

After the Sale

The customer experience should continue after the sale has been complete. For customers to remain loyal and become advocates they need to continue to have great experiences with your company, products, and services.

Successful growth of a profitable customer base is driven by a combination of tools and techniques.

Focusing on widening your customer base is smart because customers often come in groups, each individual with a different want and/or need.

How have you diversified your customer base?