Look after your customers and they will look after you. In fact, if you’re wise, they could prove to be one of your most valuable assets. Here’s how your customers can help you grow your business:
Most satisfied customers will be happy to write a testimonial. It’s best to seek their permission, or make it clear from the outset, if you intend to use it in flyers or on your website rather than just in a company testimonial file that people view in your office, for instance.
Allowing You to Take Photographs
If you’re a tradesperson, designer or undertake any kind of creative work that you can photograph, ask your customers if you can take pictures of the work you’ve done for them. They may share their own photographs among family and friends too. Seeing is believing and a photo of an impressive conservatory or bridal bouquet can be a powerful selling tool.
Allowing You To Exhibit Company Boards or Add a By-line
Have you fitted extensive double-glazing? Designed and printed some fabulous flyers? If your customers are happy for you to so, announce your pride in your work by displaying a company board at the property you’ve worked on or adding a by-line with your company name and a contact number to printed materials.
Carrying Your Business Cards
It’s good practice to leave your business card with a customer, both on initial contact and when your work is done (just in case the first one has gone astray!). It’s a good idea to attach one to any paperwork you give them – and an even better idea to ask if they’re willing to accept a few extra business cards that can be given to friends, family or colleagues who might need your services.
If they’re happy to take a bundle into work for the staffroom or a work notice board, all the better. Best of all is a customer willing to pin up your card on the notice board at work with a little note attached, along the lines of ‘Anyone need a plumber? Dave was brilliant.’
Whether they’re on your own website or on general review sites, good reviews from customers can go a long way to giving you a great score on review sites – often putting you in a ‘top ten’ list – and persuading potential customers that you’re the wedding dress designer/carpenter/mechanic to go to.
Supporting Your Social Media Campaigns
Of course, you use social media – as it’s one of the best ways to promote your business without spending a penny (although you can usually pay for extra promotional services). However, social media only works for you if your message spreads across the web. While good social media management is essential to make this happen, so are customers.
Ensure they carry on following you by providing interesting, helpful posts – and ensure they keep sharing and liking those posts by doing the odd giveaway (that’s dependent on likes or shares) and offering exclusive discount codes etc, or even admission codes for special events such as discount shopping evenings etc.
Make sure you offer your best customers (or all of them, if you wish!) referral codes for their friends, family and colleagues. These should be tempting for both parties, i.e. the potential customer should be offered a discount or free gift, whilst the existing customer could be offered either of these or reward points they can ‘bank’.
Hopefully, you’re now feeling inspired to reach out to your customer network and magically make them efficient, well-rewarded sales staff – and your business will get a well-deserved boost!
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