Whether you've been in the courier industry for a few months or a few decades, finding ways to grow your customer base is always important. There's more competition than ever, and to be successful in business, you have to stand out.
Here are seven things courier businesses can do today to find more customers at little to no cost.
Finding New Markets
Finding new markets is the first step to growing your customer base. Start by looking at your service areas for market expansion opportunities. This could include furniture stores, pharmacies, big-box stores, offices, grocery stores, and restaurants. You can also contract with a larger delivery company, such as FedEx, for final mile delivery.
Many of these niches require a degree of customization, such as refrigeration units, to ensure the products don't spoil before they reach their destination. It's important to consider these additional costs before entering a new market.
Networking is still one of the most effective ways of promoting your business. And best of all, it's very simple. All you have to do is get out there and talk to people.
There are many networking groups available to small businesses. Often, the best place to start is your local chamber of commerce, but there are many other options you can try. Like all industries, success in the courier business has a lot to do with who you know. Relationships and partnerships with the right people can greatly impact the growth of your customer base, and the only way to grow these relationships is by putting the time in.
Creating a website can help you reach a new market, as more and more people will only book delivery services online through a website. With a well-constructed website, you can generate trust and respect from visitors and build brand awareness. You'll want to provide all the important details about your company, including contact information, pricing, and services.
Platforms such as WordPress and Wix make building and managing a website relatively simple. It's also important to make it as easy as possible for customers to make instant bookings and track the status of their parcels. With the right solution, you can link a customer web portal to your website and design it to match, allowing your customers to find everything they need, from order entry to tracking features.
Online marketing allows you to reach a massive audience. According to a recently conducted survey, 35 percent of respondents stated they use the internet to search for local businesses multiple times every week. Additionally, only 1 percent of those surveyed said they don't search for local businesses online. How can you gain some of these prospects as customers?
One of the most effective ways is through search engine optimization (SEO). Your goal should be to rank with the keywords your target customers are likely to type in when searching for local businesses.
With over four billion active users, social media marketing can also be a productive method. Each channel has a unique user base, so it's important to thoroughly research each to choose which to use for your business. After you've selected the platform, the next step is to source or create content. You can build trust by introducing your followers to the people who make up your company and showcasing how existing customers are using and benefiting from your products.
With each new customer comes an opportunity to find new clients via referrals. According to a study conducted by the Wharton School of Business, referred customers have a 16% higher value than your average customers.
The most important factor for getting these referrals is a high quality of service, but there's more to it. Here are two very effective referral marketing strategies:
- Rewarding your customers for making referrals increases engagement and brings in new prospects. But for this strategy to be effective, you have to understand your customers and offer them rewards they'll value. For example, you could give them free deliveries for a week, a 20% discount for a month, or gift cards for a local coffee shop.
- Customer reviews. When choosing between you and a competitor, how does a prospect know that all other things being equal, your business has superior customer service? Good reviews can be the deciding factor, so always display them. You might ask a third-party review site to review your business, post video testimonials on your website, or invite customers to post reviews on your Google business account.
Delivery customers are always looking for the most cost-effective services. Promotions are great for attracting new, long-term clients without permanently lowering your rates.
These incentives are frequently offered as promo codes or volume discounts. Here are a few different possibilities:
- 50% discount for first-time customers
- Complete five successful orders, and get one order free
- 20% off discount code for a new area
Although online advertising is becoming increasingly common, print advertising can still be effective, especially when targeting local small businesses. In fact, according to a study conducted by Marketing Sherpa, four out of five Americans said they trust print advertising, which was more than any other medium.
Brochures and flyers are an ideal marketing tool for a small budget. Flyers are affordable both to print and distribute. Then, you can create a direct-mail campaign to send them to local businesses.
You could also place an advertisement on your car. Your vehicle is free real estate, so take advantage of it. Once you cover the initial investment, it's a low-cost marketing technique. With customized graphics on your car, you are advertising your business non-stop.
Keeping Customers Happy
Finding new customers is great, but your best results are going to come from keeping your customers happy long-term. The right courier management software can provide the technology you need to bring your business to the next level. Courier software can help you to manage route optimization, software integration, and billing management.
OnTime 360 offers all of this and more. It has both low startup costs and the ability to scale up as your business grows. If you'd like to try it out, contact us to book a live demo or trial.