You may not believe what I’m about to tell you but it’s the whole truth and nothing but the truth which lots of people do not know. Perhaps they don’t just understand the rule of consumer/audience behavior.
This is the secret: “You don’t need more customers more than the one you’ve got”
It has a context anyways and it simply applies to the customer retention principle which I’d explain. If you’re running a company and chances are your customers are more likely to jump onto other products due to the seasonal use of the product, then this method works.
What I’m simply saying is that you should focus more of your efforts in protecting the few customers you have than searching for new ones. I have not said don’t search but your major focus should be on how to make the few ones become part of your tribe, your business, your community, loyal to your brand. Customers are scarce, new brands emerge daily. New writers emerge daily, new artists emerge daily, new small businesses are built every second and if you’re not careful enough, you will lose the few ones you have if you don’t do the necessary thing to keep them.
Well, it’s not all customers that you’re expected to keep. I mean the ones that are not bringing value to your business, rather a headache; you shouldn’t bother about keeping them. But the relevant ones should be part of your community. This is the 21st century and I’ll tell you the whole truth, customers are scarce. I’ll let you know the big mistakes people make when they need customers for their products, when they need audiences for their skills, they actually seek a crowd. I mean they seek millions of people. Fine, you could get that in the 90’s but not anymore. The marketplace is over saturated.
I will teach you what you need to do and how you need to go about it but I have to let you know where you’re missing it. A typical example are those who sell watches. They are in a haste to sell all the watches in their stores to anybody who wants to buy. They make all the shouting, the advertising, they tell friends and they get people to come buy those watches from them. But do those people eventually return a second time? Do they see a need to buy another watch? And even if they do, do they see a reason to return back to buy from you or even tell a friend about you?
Most times, the answer is no and that is because you are only focused on selling than the value that you will add to them to retain them. Yes, you sold, they bought, deal ends. So you begin the whole process of looking for another new set of people, another new way to market, another new sets of friends.
By the time you’re doing this the third time, there are no customers anywhere and you don’t have anyone attached to your brand. So this takes us back to what I said earlier that your focus should be more on protecting your customers than searching for new ones.
A bird in hand is better than 100 in the forest applies when it comes to long term businesses. If it’s a short term business, you don’t need any loyal customers. Perhaps you want to sell ice cream or even shoes for three months, you really don’t need to work on protecting any customer. You should rather focus on getting as many as possible to come and go. However, if it’s a long term business, then you need to create a community of loyal customers.
Why is this important
- They help advocate for your brand anywhere and anytime
- They help spread your idea among friends
- They come back to get more products and more products so you keep selling even though you’re not doing so much marketing
- They are always the first to try out your new products, services, books and all.
If on the other hand you don’t have and you want your business to be a long term business then you’d suffer from not having all these. So the next question to ask is how do you protect them. Mind you, I’m not throwing away the fact that you need new customers so I’d teach you on how to get new customers as you’re also protecting your customers.
How To Protect Your Customers
- Build a community: When I’m saying build a community, this can be done offline if your customers are within a location, or not too far from themselves. However, if they are not then the best place to get it done is online. You need to form a community online. It is a psychology. People get to interact more if they see others interacting. Remember, I said that you need to create contents that are either educative, informative or entertaining. But you need to create content whichever way. What will eventually happen is that they will help you spread your idea or business faster than you can even imagine. And they will always want to come around your brand because they know there’s a value you’re offering.
- Build Trust: This is very important. This doesn’t work online alone, it works offline as well. There’s no way you can get referrals if your clients do not trust you. You should under-promise but over deliver. It works well here. One thing clients or audience or customers or consumers love is to be surprised. Why do I stick to one barber, I expected less of him just like every other barber. But he spent over an hour on my hair and gave me the best haircut. He won my trust. I have for over one year stuck to his brand.
- Offer Quality: Well, it’s easy to scale when you don’t have quality as well. But there would be a time when you come in contact with another brand with high quality. Your consumers who love more quality stuff would change base. This is why the race should be more on how to convert all the strange customers to friendly customers so that you’d be safe.
- Offer extra value: Now this is as important as having a brand itself. The extra value you offer is what should make you stand out. It could be an extra care to them. It could be weekly mails of how you appreciate their patronage or SMS. It could be small cards to them monthly as a thank you card. They don’t forget easily. I mean we don’t forget easily, we’re customers at one point in time or another. It could be a question and answer time out, it could even be free prizes inside the product. It could be extra consultancy and all. I bet you, these would keep your customers glued to you so you don’t have to stress yourself on keeping them rather on getting new ones.