Winning customers - golden rules for success

Every company needs customers. A sentence that is easily said. In fact, it only scratches the surface. What businesses really need to thrive are satisfied, loyal customers in steadily growing numbers. Regardless of whether your business is just starting out or wants to grow further: gaining more customers, or rather gaining new customers, is a principle that you should always pursue.

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Who is this article suitable for?
For entrepreneurs and marketing managers
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How do you win customers?

First of all, don't go for being the cheapest. Companies that argue purely on the basis of price have a problem: there is always someone who is even cheaper. Instead, aim to be the best in your field. And in all the points that matter:

  • Products and services
  • Service - before and after the purchase
  • Your appearance as a brand - distinctiveness
  • Your internet presence
  • Credibility

It doesn't matter if you want to win customers online or if you want to win more customers in traditional ways. In fact, the answers to the question: "How do you win customers?" have not really changed. Whether online or at the weekly market, you are dealing with people. All the use of search engines and algorithms ultimately serves the purpose of making these people aware of you. Winning them over is still based on the question of what makes people tick. Certainly, a few things have changed in this regard. Others, however, have remained the same. Combine both factors to succeed. Below you will find a number of valuable considerations.

Look at yourself from the customers' point of view

The times when winning customers was exclusively about products and services are over. Today's customers want more. He is interested in your company. It asks itself questions like:

  • How are the working conditions with you?
  • Are you interested in environmental protection?

Consider a company like Apple: the US corporation always emphasises that it cares about nature. The new company building was built and operated in an emphatically environmentally friendly way. Likewise, Apple offers recycling for used iPhones.

Just Spices deals in spices. The company deliberately presents itself as youthful, fresh and dynamic. The company's website is a prime example of how to convey an image.

In the end, it all boils down to one simple wisdom: you don't sell products or services, you sell yourself! Don't stop at the question of what your customers want to buy. Ask yourself who you want to buy these products or services from.

An easy way to double customers

How about having a machine that turns one customer into two? Enclosed is a suggestion that works amazingly well in practice:

Give selected customers a gift that can only be enjoyed in pairs. The possibilities are almost endless. They range from a candlelight dinner for two to an excursion that is also given to two participants. Person one is your client. The second person he / she has to bring along. Of course, you can also associate the gifts with your business:

If you sell computers, offer a workshop for several people ("Congratulations! You have won! So that it doesn't get boring, you have to bring at least four people. Who would you like to make happy?").

If you run a restaurant, you could raffle cooking classes for two.

Large companies could offer guided tours. Or how about football tickets? Concert tickets? Tickets to the zoo or that great musical coming soon to your city?

There are no limits to your imagination here. Think about it: What could you offer? Maybe you would like to combine the raffle with a special day: "On Valentine's Day we raffle ... Everyone who visits our shop on that day is automatically entered into the raffle. Raffle tickets will be handed out at the cash registers." Such promotions alone generate additional customers.

If you don't have a shop, you can do the same with your online presence. Post the action on Facebook in the form of an event. Then invite all your followers to it and ask them to share the event!

Present your expertise

The local environment offers numerous opportunities to present oneself as an expert. Be it lectures or free "office hours" at the trade show. This way you kill two birds with one stone:

  • You are making a good name for yourself.
  • They become a person or a company that people want to go to because they get a solution to their problem there.

Leave a good impression

The first and last impression counts the most! Why do (cleverly designed) supermarkets present their fruit and vegetable section at the entrance? Because they can score points with it. Imagine you enter a shop and the smell of fresh fruit hits your nose. Then you look at these beautiful, fresh strawberries ...

The last impression in this case would be at the checkout. A friendly cashier who wishes us a nice day is worth its weight in gold. Think of chain shops in the USA, where a dedicated "greeter" greets customers in a friendly manner at the entrance. First impression? Successful! The last impression is then a friendly person standing behind the checkout and bagging the customers' purchases.

You can also implement all of this in the online area. Ask yourself: Does the first impression of your website make you want to stay? If you are asked to "hand in" your email address after just five seconds, something is definitely wrong.

What is the last impression customers get after buying on your website? A friendly goodbye? Or do they just end up back on the home page they saw anyway? Let your imagination run wild!

Generate further revenue from sales

We talked about how important first and last impressions are. In online business, there is another "last impression": the emails after the order. Send a friendly email thanking them for the purchase. After that, it's all about making the most of the favour. 

So, after a few days, you could send another email sending a discount voucher to your lucky buyer. In the modern world, discount codes can be used. The customer enters this on their next purchase to save 20%, for example. All of this can be completely automated so you get maximum effect with minimum work.

What also goes down well is an email informing the customer that their parcel has now been shipped. This is accompanied by a link to the shipping service provider, which they can use to monitor the delivery. DHL has now introduced a function that allows the delivery car to be tracked in real time. Do you still remember how you celebrated Christmas as a child? The joy of seeing the Christ Child arrive at 6:00 p.m., for example? What was it like to count the minutes? What is it like today to drive home from work excited because you know your package has arrived? It was just a little email on your smartphone, but you're thrilled. Give your customers the same joy.

Be well rated online

Now that your customer is so all-round happy, it would be a good time to send them an email asking for a positive online review. Many people now consider reviews on Google to be extremely important before deciding on a business. How good is the local dentist? Inge H. (name made up) writes on Google that she was treated rudely? Then rather go to the dentist in the neighbouring town, he has better ratings! Understand the rules of the game and become a master at it! Get help from us now.

Keep your website up to date

Would you eat the same meal day after day? Probably not. It's the same with your website. There are many opportunities to make small changes to the look. For example:

  • at Christmas time
  • in spring
  • when summer comes
  • at Easter
  • when Valentine's Day is coming up
  • to the Football World Cup
  • the Olympic Games

You should not limit yourself to showing snowflakes on your landing page in winter, for example. In fact, all these occasions can be used to launch prize competitions or promotions of various kinds:

  • The snow is falling, our prices too.
  • The Easter Bunny is coming - and the new BMW. Take a test drive with us now!
  • Show your love on Valentine's Day - with our ... at a special price for a short time only.

Don't limit yourself to your website. Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and the like are powerful tools for communicating with existing and future customers. Above all, Facebook posts can be shared wonderfully. Look forward to new customers.

Advertising: Beat the drum

A wise person once said that chickens make a huge fuss every time they lay an egg. Ostriches, on the other hand, do without this show. As a result, the whole world eats chicken eggs.

What sounds funny at first glance (it is), holds a deep truth: How is someone supposed to buy your products or services if he / she doesn't know you exist? A few suggestions:

  • Poster advertising
  • Press releases
  • Promotional letters that you send by post
  • Flyers that you put out in the cinema, at the bakery, etc.

On the last point: what kind of company suits you? Are you targeting an educated audience that likes to read? Put flyers in bookshops. 

If your target group consists of self-employed people and companies, you have another advantage: you can make cold calls at any time. In other words, you can call them at any time, visit them in person, etc. By the way, trade fairs and trade shows are an ideal place to acquire new customers and business partners from the business sector.

Appearance at public events

Of course, the topic of "trade fairs and co." is not limited to just walking around there as a visitor. Book your own stand and let them find you. A little tip: trade fairs can be very draining. How nice if there is a coffee machine and a drinks dispenser on your stand.

Influencer marketing

Influencers are people who have built up a large following via social networks. If you manage to win these people over, you can be real success boosters.

But do so in a considered way: Not every influencer will be of any use to you. To exaggerate: If you have a butcher's shop, an influencer whose followers are predominantly vegans will be of no use to you. In the worst case, you'll get a shitstorm.

An ideal example:

Her company makes healthy dog food. Now there is this woman on Instagram who has 20,000 followers because she posts pictures of her dog every day. This person would be of interest.

We have deliberately spoken of 20,000 followers here. Some would say this is far too few. Influencers only start from xy million followers. That may be. The question is, where do you currently stand with your business? If your annual turnover is 50,000 euros, it might be difficult to attract Heidi Klum as an advertising figure. Choose a healthy middle ground, start where you are right now and then grow mightily.

On a completely different note, what about existing customers?

In all the thinking about "How to win new customers?", existing buyers should not be ignored. Many a company has put all its attention into attracting new customers only to find that for every new customer they have lost an existing one.

Your existing customer base is your current capital.

The myth of the "useless C-customer

Some companies divide their customer base into three or more classes. This could look like this:

  • A-customers: are highly satisfied, buy regularly and are maximally loyal to the company.
  • B customers: buy from the company with some regularity, but also go to competitors.
  • C-customers: bought from you at some point and have not been active since.

Many companies make the mistake of giving maximum attention to A-customers while completely ignoring C-customers. They are "useless" because they hardly bring any money. On the other hand, massive amounts of money are often spent on getting addresses of potential customers. Yet the C-customers are stored in the system along with their contact details.

C-customers should not be ignored, but (as far as possible) turned into B- and then into A-customers!

This will not succeed in all cases. Nevertheless, it is worth the effort. Especially if they tell you on the phone why they don't want to buy from you anymore. It is a cost-effective way to have an "outsider" point out what may be going wrong with you. Listen to your customers, whether they are new, A, B or C customers. It will be worth your while in any case!

In conclusion: Whatever you do: do it with full commitment!

A famous music industry personality once said: "Success belongs to those who want it the most. The people who are willing to go the last extra mile." This can be applied to all kinds of success and industries. Half-hearted effort will always produce half-hearted results. Give it your all and don't stop there. The right attitude leads to the right actions. From this combination, success is hard to avoid. Get in touch with us now to win more customers!

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