If I could just come up with some magic dust to make this happen, I could probably buy an island. Unfortunately, attracting more customers does not come easy. It takes solid work. Whether you are selling B2B to retailers or institutions, or B2C, here are a few ways to make gaining new customers easier and how technology can help.
#1 Focus on food safety
It is estimated that 1 in 10 people in the world become ill from contaminated food each year.
In a recent SimplyFood survey of food consumers, 79% said they would be willing to pay a premium for food that can be verified safe. Maybe you are not thinking of new ways to use technology to make on-demand food safety data available to your customers, but I can assure you some of your competitors are. And not only will they attract new customers (maybe yours) they are going to be able to exact a price premium for their efforts.
#2 Engage your customers and prospects
I think a number of food processing companies take a Field of Dreams approach to customer acquisition: “Build it and they will come.” Maybe. But if you truly want to grow your customer base in a methodical manner, you are going to need a coordinated plan.
An excellent way to do this is through an integrated CRM system. Manage your marketing campaigns to your customers. Do you know which contacts in that email campaign opened the recent email you sent? You should, and so should everyone else in your company. Use that data that you have in your system to remind prospective customers why you are the best option for them.
#3 Make it easy for customers to do business with you
Customers talk to each other. Who do they talk about most? The companies they love and those they hate. Of course nobody wants to find themselves in the latter group. But almost as bad are those food companies that are not in either conversation. You want to make it a goal to be in the “loved” group of companies that your customers share with others. How can technology help with that? Make it easy for them.
EASE OF ACCESS – Give customers the opportunity to see updates to their account, invoices, orders, products, shipments, etc., without having to contact you every time they need something.
PAYMENT OPTIONS – Give customers options on how they can make payments. Credit card, ACH, check, payment apps, etc. And make it painless and paperless for them to do so. Customers love these options.
FREE SHIPPING – If you are selling via eCommerce, use an industry leading eCommerce platform like Shopify or BigCommerce to make the customer experience awesome. In our survey, we also found out that57% of food consumers would increase their online food purchases if there was a free shipping offer. Lesson: If you are not offering free shipping to your customers, you better start now.
None of this is rocket science, but almost all require an integrated technology plan, and a modern ERP system such as SimplyFood is a perfect place to start.