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How your customers can help you market your business

Many business owners routinely make the mistake of overlooking a business marketing resource that they already have-their customers. Your customer base can be a powerful marketing tool if you know how to use it. Best of all, these are the people that have already been convinced to come and buy from you which makes your job a lot easier. In addition, utilizing your customer base to help you market can help to put a more personalized approach on your marketing which makes it a great deal more effective. Here is what you need to know about how your customers can help you market your business-

- Offer the best in customer service-The number one way to use your customers to help you market your business is by providing the highest quality of customer service. Studies have shown that a majority of people will return to purchase from a business again simply because of the service they received. Best of all, this repeat purchase is made regardless of whether or not the business has the lowest price. This makes it crucial that you train everyone who works for you that customer service is the number one priority in your business. Once you establish a culture of customer service your customers will begin spreading the word to their family and friends about what you can provide. The best part of this type of marketing is that it requires no cash out of hand but can have a large payoff in expanding your customer base.
- Ask for referrals and recommendations-Your customers can be a valuable source of information in how you can spread your marketing message. When your customers are satisfied with what you provide you can then ask them for referrals and recommendations. This makes it even easier to approach new potential clients since you can mention that you got their name from your customer. This networking like approach to marketing has been shown to be highly effective since most people are far more likely to try a product or service that has been recommended by a friend. It is important to set up a marketing process that will allow you to contact customers to get this information. This can be done in numerous ways including but not limited to: personal interviews, phone calls, emails, texts, and other customer surveys. Keep in mind that the best time to get referrals and recommendations is when your customers are the most satisfied which is usually right after making a purchase.
- Offer incentives for repeat purchases-Another customer related marketing method is done by offering incentives for repeat purchases. Many times business owners focus their marketing solely on attracting new customers. It is important to remember that nearly 80% of your sales come from your existing customers. This means that you can use your customer base to expand your sales with less marketing that it takes to attract new customers. This can often be done by offering discounts and incentives for repeat purchases or for bringing in a new customer. However, in order for this type of marketing to be effective you should include an expiration date in order for it to create a sense of urgency that gets your customers to act.
- Ask for testimonials-You can also use your customers to help you put together marketing materials. Your happy customers can help you to put a face on your marketing by giving their testimonial about their satisfaction with your product, customer service, or some other aspect of your company. While many people may be willing to do this for free it an also be helpful to offer some kind of incentive for their testimonial.

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