What Is a Customer Base? (With Steps to Grow Yours)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated January 13, 2023

Published January 3, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Having a strong customer base can help a business become more successful. A loyal customer base provides a business with consistent revenue through repeat purchases of your products or services, and they also provide potential growth by recommending the business to their network of friends, family, and coworkers. Understanding how to build and maintain a strong customer base can help you develop skills to increase profits and build brand loyalty. In this article, we explain what a customer base is, review how to build a strong customer base, and discover how to maintain a customer base.

What is a customer base?

You may be wondering, "What is a customer base?". A customer base is a group of loyal customers that continue to engage with and frequently purchase from a business. A loyal customer base is essential to the success of a business. Their repeat purchases help maintain consistent revenues, and their engagement with a brand encourages others to visit the business and become customers themselves.

A customer base is different from a target market. A target market is the group of ideal customers on which a company bases its marketing decisions, with the goal of converting interactions into sales. While a target market may not purchase from a company, those in a customer base have already made a purchase and may continue to do so.

How to build a strong customer base

Here's a list of steps you can follow to build a strong customer base:

1. Establish your brand

Having a strong and identifiable brand can help attract and maintain customers. A cohesive brand that aligns with a business's corporate goals and values can help customers build trust in the business. An identifiable brand sets a business apart from its competition. Branding includes the company's name, logo, values, and customer experiences. Even the colour scheme of a business can have an impact because of its symbolism and influence.

Related:

  • What Is Brand Marketing? (With Elements of Branding)

  • Customer Loyalty's Importance (And Tips for Driving Loyalty)

2. Identify your target market

The next step to building a strong customer base is to identify and define the target market. You can perform a SPIN analysis to understand the product and service of a company, and identify and understand the target market and what can influence their buying decisions. Here's a list of the components of a SPIN analysis:

Situation

Here's a list of questions you can ask to determine the situational aspect of your target market:

  • Who is the ideal customer?

  • What characteristics do they have?

  • Which demographic group or groups do they comprise?

  • What makes them an ideal customer?

Problem

Here's a list of questions you can ask to determine what problem or pain point your product or service solves for your target market:

  • Why does a customer purchase the product or service?

  • What pain point does the product or service solve for customers?

  • Does the product or service address a particular desire of the customer?

Implication

Here's a list of questions you can ask to understand what may happen if a customer doesn't purchase from you:

  • What happens if a customer doesn't purchase your product or service?

  • Why is it important for a customer to purchase from you rather than from a competitor?

Needs met or payoff provided

Here's a list of questions you can ask to explore how a purchase meets the target market's needs and to determine the payoff they receive:

  • What value and benefit does the product or service provide a potential customer?

  • How might a customer feel after purchasing from the business?

Related:

  • Target Market Examples (With Considerations for Your Own)

  • Write a Strategic Business Development Plan

3. Cater to your target market

Now that you understand your target market, you can focus your marketing efforts on them more effectively. The goal is to convert those in your target market to your customer base by having them purchase products or services. Try to demonstrate how your product or service can eliminate their pain points.

Customers are more inclined to purchase a product or service when they can relate to it on a personal level. In marketing campaigns, use actors and models that most resemble your target market. If your target market uses one particular social media platform more than another, consider focusing more of your social media activities on that platform to help gain their attention.

Related:

  • 8 Advertisement Types and What Makes Them Successful

  • How to Find Clients Online in 10 Easy-To-Follow Steps

How to maintain a strong customer base

After building a strong customer base, you can follow these steps to help maintain it:

1. Provide exceptional customer service

Providing exceptional customer service is an effective strategy to retain customers and have them continue purchasing from the business. Long-lasting business relationships are more likely to form when a customer feels taken care of and satisfied with the business and its products or services. These long-lasting relationships result in regular revenue streams and further growth. Consider the ideal customer service experience and build your customer service program around that vision. Ensure employees are well-trained and consistent in delivering your customer service vision.

2. Connect with your customers

Regularly connect with your customers to nurture and maintain relationships with them. A customer relationship management (CRM) system is a great way for a business to organize and centralize customer information. You can divide your time between connecting with your new customers and contacting existing ones. Your existing customers are the foundation of the existing customer base, so ensure that their needs are still being met. Sometimes businesses may only focus on growth and gaining new customers, which can result in losing existing customers if they no longer feel appreciated.

Here's a list of ways that you can connect with customers:

Send a newsletter

You can send regular newsletters to your customers to help keep them informed on updates about the business. Consider providing discount codes or coupons within the newsletter to help acknowledge their previous support. Try to personalize the newsletter as much as possible. You can use their name, cite past purchases, or suggest additional products or services in which they might be interested.

Engage on social media

You can use social media to post content and engage with existing or potential customers. This is another way to provide discount codes or coupons to help attract customers. Consider running targeted ad campaigns to reach your identified target market and convert them to your customer base.

Create a loyalty program

By creating a loyalty program, you can provide limited-time coupons or product samples, or host raffles or giveaways. Consider running a points system based on accumulated purchases that earn discounts. You can also have referral programs to encourage and reward customer marketing.

Related: What Is a CRM System? (Types, Features, and Benefits)

3. Keep your content up to date

Keep your content up to date and accessible on all channels available to customers. If outdated or inaccurate information is on your website or social media feeds, customers may start to lose confidence in the business. Here's a list of places you can assess for current and relevant information:

Website

Try to ensure that the website is both desktop and mobile-friendly so customers can access it regardless of the device they use. You can assess the navigation and functionality to help ensure it works properly and that customers can complete each action. Try to gain customer testimonials and reviews and display them on your website to demonstrate customer satisfaction with your brand.

Social media

Regularly post content to inform customers about the business and announce updates. Ensure your profile information, including your location, contact information, and hours of operation, are accurate. You can also use social media to market the strengths of the business. To help with social media activity and customer engagement, be sure to respond to questions and comments. You can also encourage customers to share their experiences to help build social credibility.

4. Monitor customer satisfaction and engagement

Regularly monitor customer satisfaction and engagement to evaluate the effectiveness of your customer service and marketing efforts. Here's a list of some of the ways you can accomplish this:

  • creating customer outreach programs, such as follow-up emails or direct phone calls

  • running customer satisfaction surveys through email, websites, apps, or social media

  • offering a live chat support function through your website or dedicated customer service telephone line

  • offering incentives if customers provide feedback, such as discounts or coupons, towards their next purchase

  • using website metrics, such as abandoned cart feedback or website visitor conversion rates

5. Address complaints and negative feedback

Customers may have a negative experience with a business. By promptly addressing customer complaints and negative feedback, a business can show its commitment to customer service. This also protects your brand image and helps to keep your customer base.

Related:

  • How to Find Clients Online in 10 Easy-To-Follow Steps

  • What Is Customer Experience? (Importance and How to Improve)

  • What Is Customer Communication? (And How to Improve It)

  • What Is a Sales Analyst? (With Responsibilities and Skills)


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