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  • Annand Sharma

🧭 Land and Expand

These last few months we’ve written about sales and marketing processes and software tools to help you get new customers and close more sales. While it's important to have your sales team focused on winning new business, your existing customers have a lot more to offer than just their money. Your customers are your greatest asset and without customers, there is no business. So, let’s make use of modern customer communication and success tools and talk about 3 ways you can grow your business from your existing customers.

New customers have a fresh perspective on your business. It’s likely they evaluated a few competitors before choosing to work with you. Gaining insight from that evaluation process can be valuable to you. Understanding why customers are buying from you over the competition can help you build on that advantage.

Most of your customers will share those insights with you for free. Being deliberate about collecting customer insights is a great way to engage your customers and show them you care. Let’s go get all the feedback we can!

For Google Workspace users, an easy way to get started is by creating a free survey using Google Forms. While it’s tempting to ask a series of open-ended questions, try to limit these surveys to take 3-5 minutes and focus on specific points. Be sure to send these surveys out consistently in order to collect as many data points as possible while also gaining a longitudinal look at the feedback.

There are also fantastic tools like SurveyMonkey or Qualtrics that allow you to be even more methodical about gathering data.

Qualtrics’ survey creation tool

These tools will help you automatically send surveys to customers and will integrate with most CRMs out of the box. These tools help you design and send surveys that can be branded, are mobile friendly, and most importantly collect and measure so many data points beyond just the answers. For example, these tools will tell you if people are opening your surveys, how much time it takes to complete, and if customers are dropping off on certain questions.

Qualtrics’ customer satisfaction survey dashboard

Keep in mind that the primary goal is to collect feedback from customers as easily as possible. With the CRM integrations, you can create new workflows. For example, you can automatically send new customers one survey, whereas after a customer support inquiry you can send a different survey.

A good, digital survey tool paired with your CRM has an amazing side benefit. They enable you to collect more customer data that will then let you build customer segments. Gathering, refining, and then using this data will enhance your sales funnel with more qualified leads. Better prospects should translate to more revenue!

Next on our list is your market perception. Whether you are just starting out, or a 100-year-old family business, or somewhere in between, customers always want to know more about your business. Your marketing material, website text, etc will tell the customer who you are and what you do. Customers really want to know whether they can trust you.

A good customer reference will beat the best sales pitch every day of the week. Marketing companies and agencies have surveyed consumers and found over 50% of prospective customers trust a business more when they see a few positive reviews. These are massive gains in your sales funnel that you can’t ignore.

We can’t just give every prospective customer a list of our happy, satisfied customers. That’s work the prospect doesn’t want to do, and you’re giving new work to your customers and yourself. Instead, let’s just show them!

Did you know that 70% of customers will leave a review if you ask them to? If you’re just getting started, decide which platform you want to have reviews on. That could be Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc. Set up your profile and start asking customers to leave you reviews. One idea is at the end of the survey, include a link to ask customers to leave a review on that platform.

Tools like Reputation or Podium will further help request, collect, and organize these reviews. The tools can help you manage reviews in all the places your customers will find you. The tools also have widgets and integrations so that you can put reviews or customer testimonials up on your website or social media presences. Prospective customers can use these reviews to build trust with you before even having a conversation. More qualified conversations should lead to more sales, all thanks to your existing customers for providing their feedback!

Finally, we come to customer support. Many people think of customer support as a cost center. Maintaining and servicing our most important asset will keep them coming back, generating future revenue. Unless you’re selling coffins, odds are you want the customer to come back at some point in the future. So, how do you keep customers happy in the most cost-effective way possible?

ZenDesk's website chat feature

Customers expect to be able to email you with questions or issues. Whoever your email provider is, you can set up mailing lists and email forwarding so that everyone can chip in. But what happens if someone is out sick and you can’t get into their inbox for an urgent customer inquiry? Most CRMs will have a customer service or customer support feature in their solution and you could start there.

In our opinion, the best customer service tools come from companies whose sole product is to build customer service tools. This is where a tool like FreshWorks, ZenDesk, or even Intercom, comes in. Immediately these tools will give you and your staff a centralized place to communicate with customers.

There is even more, incremental value when you spend more time with the tools. If you want to get really advanced, you can work with chatbot features and set those up to automatically answer common questions. They can redirect more advanced questions to a human. Now you have 24x7 front-line customer support.

These chat conversations, emails, texts, etc are all logged into one dashboard. This way, anyone with access can see the whole story and work on the customer issues or questions.

The ZenDesk interface for managing customer conversations

The goal of using this software should be to help improve the productivity of customer support staff and learn from common questions and issues. These tools will let you tag and track conversations. Use this data and information to continue to develop your marketing message, your help content, and even your sales pitch. A great customer service experience and all of this data should help you win repeat customers as well as continue to close on new customers.

These 3 key areas of engaging with your existing customers can all work together to further grow your business. There is a famous quote wrongly attributed to Henry Ford which says, “if I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” In fact, he actually said, “​​If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person's point of view and see things from that person's angle as well as from your own.”

Wondering where to open a new location? Or how to expand your product or service offering? Using the tools we’ve mentioned you can group your customers by any factor (size, location, what they bought, etc) and look for new patterns you wouldn’t have seen before. You can then make a better-informed decision.

There’s never been a better time nor means to get all the details, perspectives, and angles to see your business as your customers see it. Use these tools to learn what your customers really need or want and then let’s get to work!



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