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Why customers are the best acquisition tool

Why customers are the best acquisition tool

Here’s how your existing customers can help you secure a larger market share

The biggest challenge for any business is growth and new customer acquisition.

New customer acquisition is not only a costly affair in terms of time, effort and money; it can also become very overwhelming for the recipient due to the quantum of communication received.

More often than not, this ends up alienating the potential customers from the very brand or a service they were intended to get close to.

But there is a readily available resource to help companies overcome this problem.

In order to remove the wall of doubt and instil a sense of assurance, companies can use one of their most important assets – their existing clients.

These are people who use the product or service, have first-hand experience, and have chosen the organisation over others after evaluating competition. A testimonial from these clients is a strong marketing tool – especially in the B2C sector where a potential client is reassured by the fact that a provider has worked for other customers and delivered the desired results.

In the digital age, word of mouth has expanded its reach vastly – people are able to compress their thoughts into 140 characters and shoot them across the internet. Hence, favourable feedback has become vital. A company’s digital presence must be strong to direct online traffic that links to new customer interest. Word of mouth today is the fastest and most effective way to reach a wider network in the digital space.

Customer acquisition tactics that involve existing customers need to be employed to benefit the company. These can include the following.

Your existing customers can become your influencers and brand advocates

Brands need to grow their own network of affiliates comprised of their existing customers. When existing customers advocate for your brand and promote or appreciate your offerings on a personal level, it helps expand the horizon of your business. Your loyal customers can become your best influencers. Brand advocacy, especially from social media influencers, directly correlates to increased recognition. People really believe in the promotions that come from the social media icons they follow.

Reviews from existing customers almost always affect the buying decisions of new customers

Getting good reviews from your customers on websites like Yelp, Google Local Guides and Amazon can do wonders to the sale of your products. Reviews are considered to be credible sources to obtain information about any particular company. Your existing customers have the power to make your products popular by writing good reviews about them as new customers depend a lot on product reviews before making their buying decisions. The higher the number of good reviews you have, the higher the number of new customers you acquire.

Involving existing customers in your advertising plan can make a world
of difference

The existing customers of a brand can act as a tool even for advertising. For example, food company Maggi invited its customers to contribute their personal Maggi stories and recipes that were later printed on their packs.

Existing customers can even be used as a part of the ads to help the brand connect with the masses. For example, Dove uses customers and not celebrities to get across its message of real women and their beauty stories. This not only helps the brand understand what it means to its customers but also helps potential customers see what the brand means to its existing customers.

The social media activity of your customers can give a great boost to your brand

Likes, shares and comments from customers on a brand’s or its products social media pages and posts are helpful in increasing a brand’s reach. Customers can be encouraged to be more involved by tagging the brand on their social media activity that is related to it or by uploading and sharing pictures that include the said product/service. For example, when customers buy clothes of a particular brand and upload pictures of themselves wearing it, this acts like a personal advertisement of the brand among their social media followers. This is useful in attracting the millennial consumer base.

Staying connected with existing customers and inviting feedback
from them can be beneficial

A brand that stays connected with its existing customers makes them feel involved. When these customers contribute appreciative testimonials it increases the brand’s credibility in the eyes of new customers. Customers can also help build a brand through recommendations and by tagging and mentioning brands on networks like LinkedIn. Personal assurances to potential customers from existing ones are almost like friendly guarantees. The more brands communicate with their existing customers, the more these customers tend to communicate about the brands to potential customers.

Brands can convey and encourage these ideas and methods to their existing customers through their campaigns, events and other marketing activities. This not only helps the brand get a strong recognition among its existing customers, but also assures potential customers about the brand’s competencies through the trust that existing clients place in them.

Aman Roy is general manager of Watermark Marketing Management

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