How To Grow Your Customer Base

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated November 12, 2021

Published January 5, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

The marketing department for most companies spends a good deal of time evaluating the organization's customer base. For many businesses, the customer base provides not just a consistent flow of revenue but also a good sense of how the company is operating overall.

Knowing what a customer base is and the best way to keep your primary customers happy and committed to your company is an excellent skill for those in the marketing field. In this article, we explain what a customer base is, describe how to build a strong customer base and offer tips for maintaining an excellent customer base.

Related: 9 Types of Customers and How To Approach Them

What is a customer base?

A customer base is the group of customers who purchase products or services the most frequently from your business. Your customer base is usually composed of particularly loyal customers who have made repeat purchases over an extended period of time. A few factors that can influence your customers to become loyal, repeat buyers are:

  • Your product appeals to them specifically.

  • They respond well to your marketing and branding.

  • They're an active part of your brand community.

Related: Guide To Customer Service

How to build a strong customer base

Building a customer base takes time. It involves not just attracting customers but maintaining them long term for multiple purchases. Follow these steps to help your organization build and grow a strong customer base:

1. Establish your brand

Begin by establishing your brand. Your company name, logo and values should be readily recognizable within your target market. If you're a new company just entering the market, then ensure your branding is cohesive and aligns with your goals. If you're an established company, consider assessing your current branding and updating any elements as needed. A firm and cohesive brand will help attract and maintain customers.

2. Know your target market

Make sure you're catering your message directly to your target market. Perform market testing and create customer personas so you know exactly who you're trying to reach with your marketing message. The more specific you can be when identifying and categorizing your target market, the better.

3. Cater to the right demographic

Once you've optimized your branding and established your target market, make sure you're aligning all your marketing and advertising efforts with your target market. Ensure you're engaging with potential customers on their social media site of choice. Use actors and models in print or video marketing that resemble your target audience. Do your best to align your marketing with your target demographic however you can.

4. Offer excellent customer service

Getting customers to engage with your brand or product is the first step in creating a long-lasting relationship. Hiring outstanding customer service representatives and establishing effective customer service practices are great strategies for ensuring those customers make a purchase and return for more. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, make sure shoppers feel well taken care of by the staff. If you sell primarily online, ensure it's easy for customers to speak with someone from the company for help or information.

5. Encourage customer marketing

Use your current customers as marketing ambassadors for your product or service. You can solicit testimonials and reviews from satisfied customers to post on your website or use in other marketing endeavors. You could also establish a full customer advocacy program, in which you create marketing relationships with some of your best and most loyal customers, and ask them to share their experiences with your brand with their family and friends.

6. Provide free resources

Depending on what you sell, you can offer free trial access or a free sample to interested potential customers to entice them to make a purchase. Consider how you might make this model work for your company and product or service.

7. Solicit feedback

Ask your customers for feedback, both positive and constructive. The positive feedback you can use as a part of your marketing efforts. The constructive feedback can help you improve your product, service, sales experience or any other aspect of the customer sales cycle.

8. Set up a customer success program

Once you've started establishing a customer base, consider creating a customer success program within your customer service department to track and evaluate your customer experiences. A customer success program allows you to closely monitor your customers' purchases and feedback and quickly respond to any questions, comments or concerns to help create and maintain a positive and long-lasting relationship.

9. Ensure your website is accessible and friendly

One of the best ways to ensure customers return to your company and to entice new customers to make purchases is to optimize your website for accessibility and ease of use. Keep your webpage both desktop and mobile-friendly. Make sure you're not running any programs that require certain updates from people's phones or computers to work correctly. The easier it is to navigate and interact with your site, the more likely people will do so.

10. Make a customer loyalty program

Create a customer loyalty program to turn one-time customers into returning customers. Depending on what you sell, you might consider offering a free or discounted item after a certain number of purchases or offering discounted service upgrades after a certain amount of time as a user. Rewarding customers for remaining loyal to you is an effective strategy for building your customer base.

11. Personalize interactions

When sending marketing collateral through email or traditional mail, personalize as much of the copy as possible. Include the customer's name and cite past purchases they've made or additional products or services they might be interested in. The more personal you can make your relationship with the customer, the more appreciated they'll feel.

Related: What Is a Customer Success Manager?

Tips for maintaining a customer base

Use these tips to help your company maintain a strong customer base:

  • Send a newsletter: Give your customers a free newsletter that contains useful information and potentially even discount codes or coupons.

  • Ask for opinions: Solicit opinions from customers and potential customers about their buying experience, your website design or any other aspect of the sales experience you want feedback on.

  • Check-in: Make sure you're splitting your time between engaging with potential new customers and checking in on existing customers to ensure their needs are met.

  • Update your content: Keep the content on your website new and fresh. Make sure there's something new for customers to engage with every time they visit your website.

  • Optimize your social media: Interact with customers and potential customers on your social media accounts. Post regularly and respond to questions and comments.

  • Network: Use your network as a marketing means. The more people know about your business, the more likely they are to visit your website and potentially make a purchase.

  • Partner with others: Create partnerships with other companies who complement the product or service you provide to help each other grow.

  • Share your strengths: Know what your company excels at and what specifically separates you from other businesses in your field. Share those strengths widely with customers and potential customers.

  • Adapt as needed: Adapt your marketing strategies and other business elements as needed to reflect your customers' needs and desires.

  • Monitor your metrics: Keep your metrics in mind when evaluating the efficacy of marketing efforts and other customer outreach endeavors. Know what's working and what to update or remove.

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