Women In Business

5 Golden rules to grow your customer base

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In today’s fast-paced, globalised business landscape, there is increased pressure to not only be able to meet the demands of an existing customer base, but to grow it sustainably to meet your business needs.

Whether you are building a customer base from scratch, or managing a large-scale multinational account, the opportunities can be both exciting and challenging.

Here are five tips to help you get by:

  1. Pick up the phone

In today’s highly digitally enabled marketplace, it’s easy to fall into the habit of communicating via email, messenger or text. And while that’s ok for small-scale discussions around simple subject matters, I do believe more complex business negotiations need a more human, personalised touch – which comes from having an actual conversation. Whether it’s a tough conversation delivering bad news, or passing on exciting good news, say it over the phone. Then of course, by all means, back it up by email to confirm your discussions.

  1. Respect irrespective of hierarchy

Whether you speaking to a business executive, account holder or support staff, show everybody equal respect, and nurture your relationships equally. This is because in fast-paced industries, especially like advertising, digital media and technology, talent can shift and be promoted very quickly, and if you’re working in an industry where everybody knows each other, you want to maintain a good reputation as a respectful, personable and engaging professional.

  1. Network like you don’t mean it

You might not consider yourself to be a great networker, or find pre-organised  ‘networking evenings’ a little contrived, but that doesn’t mean you’re not a great networker. In fact, often the best customer relationships are created when you’re not networking in the traditional sense of the word. If you love people, and love driving conversation and sharing stories, than that, in itself, is a powerful networking tool that you can leverage every day in your business communications. Networking happens organically, it should feel natural and not forced.

  1. Leave the labels behind

If you’re working for a well known brand or globally recognised company, it can often be relatively easy to leverage off the existing brand reputation to impress new and existing clients However if you are working for a start-up or a company that is still expanding its brand present, you will need to work that little bit harder to leverage your existing contacts to build your customer base and find fresh opportunities.

  1. Be strategic and prioritise

When managing a large customer base that has a mix of large, medium and small accounts, it’s critical to be able to prioritise your time and be very strategic in your approach, so all customers feel their queries are being heard. Never make the mistake of putting so much time to your larger accounts that you ignore smaller clients. Otherwise you put your reputation and your company’s reputation at risk. If you want to maintain good, healthy customer relationships, it’s imperative to ensure your response turnaround is timely

About Sandra Scott

Sandra Scott is Director of Customer Growth – Agencies, where she is responsible for leading the charge in developing Bonzai’s agency business streams.

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