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How to build your customer base


As the web makes the world a smaller place, it creates opportunities to deliver excellent customer service. At the same time, it makes customers harder to hold onto than ever. So how can you build a secure customer base for your business?

Customer service in the internet age is both a tremendous challenge and an enormous opportunity, because many businesses are now competing with companies not just on the other side of the block, but on the other side of the world.

Like no other time in history, companies that take their customers for granted will most likely lose them to competitors. So how do you win and keep customers?

Deliver beyond expectations

The best way to win new customers is via recommendations from existing clients. The best way to get existing clients to actively promote your service or product, is to deliver above and beyond their expectations.

Small details like unexpected free gifts, coupons, and birthday or thank you cards, are all excellent ways to surprise and delight customers and give them a reason to mention you and your services to friends and family.  

Never compete on price

While it might be tempting, trying to compete on price will ultimately eat into margins and reduce your capacity to deliver the excellent customer service you need to impress existing customers and win new business. Entering a price war can affect the perceived value of your products or services; a customer who sees a suddenly lowered price might question the quality your business is offering and thus look elsewhere to ensure they receive the best value for their money. If you lose a customer for price reasons, try to win them back on service rather than being drawn into a cost-cutting battle.

Go to the customer

The traditional approach to business and customer service is to entice people to come to you, however, as competition increases, another way to surprise and delight customers is to take your business to them. From mobile coffee carts to mortgage brokers, there are any number of industries that have won new business by going mobile. So, rather than discounting this approach as not applicable to your industry, try to think of ways you could make mobility work in your favour.

As traditional boundaries are torn down by the web, customer service needs to be creative, proactive and excellent so you can hold onto existing customers and win new ones along the way.

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