How to get more customers on board

Last week I shared my thoughts on why businesses should be collecting customers’ details. It’s pretty straight forward. If you have the details of people who already love what you do, it’s the perfect way to keep in contact, to ensure they stay customers and hopefully become so connected to what you do that they’ll tell others about you too!  So this week it’s all about the ‘how you do it’ that’s the focus.

Sport brand Nike has used the phrase ’Just Do It’  since 1988. It sums up what the brand wants for it’s customers; ‘Just Do It’ simply means ‘get started, keep going, get results.’ In no way does it mean get started, do a bit here and there and boom! you get to be fit, healthy and successful. If it was that easy we’d all look hot and buff. Just like building fitness levels, building a strong customer database can only be achieved by actually starting, doing it properly and most importantly, persisting. Increasing business, making more money and building more value in your business only happens with consistency.

Here are my top tips you’ll want to follow to get your customer database up and running:

Get Started

Invite your customers to sign up every time. Determine how many customers you’d like to have on your database in 12 months. Think about what is realistically achievable, divide that goal into monthly and weekly goals and stick to it. Ask everycustomer to join by telling them what the value is in them signing on…

Offer a clear benefit

In my business we gave people a $30 voucher on their birthday. When we stopped telling them they’d get updates for great events coming up and started telling them straight up what was in it for them, we doubled our weekly sign-ups. Don’t give them a big story. Keep it short and to the point. This generous, real-value gift was loved by our customers. The $30 birthday voucher was without conditions. It was a clear-cut gift. It brought hundreds of large group functions that we may not have had otherwise.

Make It Easy

Ensure your process doesn’t drive customers away. Don’t ask for too much information. People are increasingly more careful about who they give their personal details to, especially businesses. Unless you’re really going to do something worthwhile with it that benefits the customer, don’t ask them for a stack of details.

You don’t need someone’s address unless you’re going to post them something. If you want to give your customers something on their birthday to thank them for being a valued customer, just ask them what month they were born instead of the whole ‘dd/mm/yyyy’ field.  If you want to know how old they are, provide them a tick box option with a range of ages. It’s far less intrusive and you can still make good decisions by knowing an age range rather than needing exact details.

Think carefully about what information you need from your customers and keep it lean. Less sections to fill out equals a higher rate of people willing to come on board.

Keep your eye on the prize

Like the saying goes ‘all good things come to those who wait’. Creating a considerable database takes time but don’t wait until you’ve hit your goal number of sign-ups before you do anything with it. Make contact within the first month.

Perhaps you might SMS them as a follow up to their visit thanking them for their custom, email them to let them know what information or value they’ll be getting as part of signing on (plus it’s an incentive for them to open future communications), or give them some information they’ll find interesting, perhaps a recipe, a guide to seasonal product, something you feel confident they would be shareable, valuable or interesting.

The intention for collecting customer details is not just for the sake of it. So many businesses have a database but they do nothing with it. They start out enthusiastically and drop the ball. Get started and JUST DO IT.

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