You can convert your customers into marketers if you know what to do
How to get customers is the main challenge for most of the new small businesses. So, if you are facing this challenge, you are not alone. The essence of this website is not just to suggest business ideas to you without providing a guide on how you can run the business when you have eventually started. Perhaps you are contemplating about how to get customers to start and continue to patronize you, this article will give you a relief. There was a time I sat down thinking why some skilled and well talented employees have refused to quit their jobs in spite of the job dissatisfaction they complain. The answer that came to my mind was that, even though they are skilled at providing service, the main challenge is how to attract customers if they should go on their own. You may be an employee reading this article, thinking about how you will get customers if you should start your own business; I equally put you into consideration. I have been there and I know how intimidating the change over process can be.
Let me start by saying that the main challenge is not how to get customers coming to you. The main challenge may be how to get your first customer. If you have been working with people before, this again should not pose a challenge for you. How then can you get your first customer? Very simple! Having conducted your market research and you are convinced about the feasibility of your business idea, you are set for business. Please, ensure you start your business the right way. This will save you some unnecessary costs and pains in the future.
Your first customers are the people you are already familiar with. They can be your friends, relatives, colleagues, customers or suppliers in your former place of work. You can easily reach this people with words of mouth. Because they know you, they can easily buy into your idea. Let’s even assume that they are not interested in your business idea, you can convince them by offering a free service. Your first customer does not need to be a paying customer. Once you have one person as your customer, it is easier to convert the person to a paying customer or get other customers through him. This brings us to our topic: “How to convert your customers into marketers”. To do this, you just need to follow these simple steps:
Offer quality service
This is one of the secrets of any thriving business. If you offer quality service to your customers, they will not have any other option than to come back to you. The rule of the game is; offer quality service and enjoy customers’ patronage. On the other hand, if you offer bad customer service, even your closest friends will likely go to your competitors. For an example, if you are a fashion designer and you make a good dress for your customers. They receive compliments from their friends because they admire the dress. What do you think will happen? The customers will not only come back. Those people that admire the dress may likely want you to sow some dresses for them. What am I saying? See every customer as an avenue to get more customers. The only way to achieve this is by satisfying your customers. If possible, you can surpass their expectations. Let them have new experiences each time they come to you. You can achieve this by constantly developing yourself. Be the best you can per time. Don’t do a shoddy job. By this, you are indirectly turning your customers into marketers.
Furthermore, I should restate that quality service is a continuous thing. I have seen some businesses that started well but as they continue to grow, they forgot what took them up to the levels they are. The main problem is that, when they started employing staffs, the staffs don’t have the same level of commitment the owner has for his business. Before long, this will begin to show in the delivery of service. Truly, it is impossible for the owner to continue to do everything. However, you need to ensure that you hire people with the right attitude. I usually tell my clients that skill is not enough. A skilled individual with a bad attitude can tear the whole business apart. Also, you will need to keep training your staff especially on customer service. Any staff that has direct interface with your customers should possess inter-personal and customer relational skills. You should consider changing the roles of staffs who are not good at customer service. Putting the square peg in the round whole will not do your business good. After making the change, if you don’t notice any improvement in such staff, it may be better to show the person the way out before your business is put into jeopardy.
Ask for referrals
The second way you can turn your customers into marketers is by asking them for referrals. Of course, good service can promote your business. But there are customers that will not refer people to you unless you consciously ask them. Make enquiries about their friends and colleagues. You can even suggest that they come with their friends next time they are coming to you. By this, you can market them directly. If you are asking your customers for referrals, you should ensure that you arm them with basic marketing tool such as your business card. Personally, this has worked for me over time. By the nature of my work, I have access to accounting information of my clients. So, as I am working, I am also looking for how I can increase my clientèle base. One day, it occurred to me that the suppliers my clients usually paid regularly might equally need my service. Do you know what I did? I simply asked my client to help me ask some of these suppliers how they were keeping their records. To his amazement, some of them did not have any accounting system in place, whether computerised or manual. He briefly let them see the reasons why they needed to keep their accounting records properly. That was how he mentioned me to tell and handed them my business card that they should call me. Meanwhile, I had given him enough of my business cards. Can you guess what happened next? I started receiving calls inviting for a meeting. One good thing about this arrangement is that it is not difficult for me to close the sales. When a customer makes the first move to you, it is much more easier than when you are trying to sell your products or services to them. The reason you may not secure such prospective customers is the issue about your pricing. If they consider your price too high, they may not buy from you. That is why you may adopt penetrating pricing strategy to get them in. When that have enjoyed your product or service and they have realised the benefits it offered them, they may be willing to pay if you later increase your price.
The third way you can turn your customers into marketers is by offering them incentives. Some people will not take any action except they can see something as benefits coming to them. Incentives can be in form of discount or commission for every paying customer they bring to you. This is a win-win approach. Every rational being will buy into this. But you need to understand the category of people you can discuss this with so that they don’t see it otherwise. Offering incentives to your customers is a cheaper way to marketing your product or service. Why is it cheaper? For instance, if you employ a marketing personnel, you will need to pay the person salary. The salary becomes a fixed overhead. Even if you base his compensation on commission, there are other incidental costs you may need to incur for hiring a staff. Of course, you need to provide him with working tools. Possibly, you may need to get a bigger space in other to accommodate such staff. Also, if you place advertisement whether online or offline, it comes with its costs. But if you offer incentives to customers, the incentive will only come after they must have brought a customer. Therefore, this approach provides you a guaranteed result.
Refer customers to them
Respect is reciprocal, they say. What is good for goose is good for gander. Do to others what you would like them to do to you. If you want other people to refer customers to you, then be the first person to do it. If you refer customers to other people, you will be the first person that will come to their minds if they are asked of anyone that renders the service you provide.
From the above, you can see that there is no rocket science about how to convert your customers into marketers. I have tested them and they all worked. Anybody can do it. So I can conclude by saying that, if anyone practices the points mentioned above, he will easily convert your customers into marketers.