The success of your business or product depends on the patronage, registration, or usage by customers; both paying and non-paying. The extent to which you maintain repeat customers depends on how they are treated when they do business with you. Customer acquisition and retention is an art.

Keeping repeat customers is the backbone of a successful business. You need to be good at both attracting new customers and retaining old ones.”We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”  says Jeff Bezos.

1. Get to know your prospective customers. If you know who your audience are, you are more likely to know what they want and expect. You should know what you audience are reading if you can, the blogs they most interesting in, where they hang out, which social tools or platforms they are constantly using, search terms they use on weekly basis. Find out who your audience follow on Twitter. Once you have an idea about where they hang out, go there and learn even more. The more you know, the better for your marketing efforts.

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. ~ Bill Gates

Google is interested in your digital footprint because they want to serve you ads you are more likely to click than a random ads that are more likely to be perceived as random. Brands are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on customer/user behaviour because they don’t want to advertise to everybody. Targeted ads deliver amazing results. If you know your audience, you will know where to reach them with your product.

2. Focus on selling benefits not features. Don’t just talk about how great your new features are, show how customers will benefit from them. They care less about your new amazing feature. How will that improve their lives and make their work even better. People are looking for tools and resources to make their lives easier. If you can solve even a single problem they face, you will get their attention.

3. Don’t over promise and under deliver. Never mislead the customer. Highlight the advantages that your product has over the products of your competitors. Some people know what they want before they decide on the company that can best provide it. Others know they have problems that need solutions. What is the one thing you can do better than your competition. Focus on being the best at one thing and deliver just that. Think Google (search), Apple(design) or Amazon(eCommerce).

There are way too many options for consumers. Focus on the one thing makes you indispensable. The moment you get the attention of prospective customers, explain in the most simplest way how they stand to benefit from your product if they sign on with you. And most importantly deliver what you promise.

“The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then not to just meet them, but to exceed them — preferably in unexpected and helpful ways.” – Richard Branson

4. Don’t sell. Inform and educate. The new way sell is to offer something of significant value. Educative marketing is here to stay. If you are interested in the education of your audience, they are more likely to come to you when they need related and relevant products or services. Invest time and resources in content marketing and promote them instead of just marketing your products.

Find the best and relevant topics in your industry and educate your customers about almost everything they need to know. Focus on the content formats that works best for your business and attract the most users. Lengthy posts, whitepapers, eBooks and infographics have proven to be most useful for almost every industry.

Make a customer, not a sale. ~ Katherine Barchetti

5. Business is personal. Make it personal. Customers  are more likely to do business with vendors who value their business. Maintain regular follow ups if you can. Show genuine interest in how your customers are using and benefiting from your products or services. Seek feedback. Solve issues on time. Don’t put your customers on hold. They will hate you.

Customer service is a make or break for most businesses. Focus on delivering the best after sales service possible. A happy customer is worth more than a new sale. It pays to listen. Ask how they being treated by other employees. Listen and changes where necessary to satisfy your customers. Plan giveaways and offer something for free for a period of time. Customers love freebies.

Loyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you. ~ Chip Bell