3 Companies That Achieved Growth by Investing in Their Customers

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Kiara Taylor
Kiara Taylor


For many years, marketers have limited customer growth to a few metrics and measurements. But, customer growth is more than shares, likes, and subscribers. It's also about how customers talk about their experiences with your brand.

successful rep assessing customer growth

Your customers are more effective at marketing your business than anyone you could ever hire. As trust in companies has dwindled, consumer influence has grown in recent years. As a result, more of a company's sales are directly influenced by its existing customers.

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Discover how to provide positive experiences for your customers, so they're more likely to advocate for you and bring others to your brand.

Table of Contents

What is customer growth?

Customer growth is based on the philosophy that a great customer experience has the power to sell a brand. The data proves this point. According to Semrush, 48% of global businesses rely on word of mouth to market their offerings.

HubSpot research confirms. In our 2023 State of Sales Report, we found that the best quality leads come from referrals.

Of sellers, 61% said customer testimonials were the most effective in helping their team win deals. And in the B2C space, 71% of salespeople said establishing rapport was most effective for selling to new customers.

customer growth, what types of sales enablement content are most valuable

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True customer growth happens when businesses use customer-centric strategies to engage, build relationships, and meet customers' needs.

Of successful businesses, 89% say anticipating customer needs and providing assistive experiences along the customer journey is critical to growth.

While each company and industry defines growth differently, improving your reach involves understanding your ideal clients and improving their experiences.

The Benefits of Customer Growth

A customer-centric growth strategy creates loyal customers that can do the marketing for you. But several other benefits come with developing a customer growth strategy.

High Customer Satisfaction

Happy customers will gladly recommend your company and continue using your products for years.

When you build a marketing strategy that is led by what drives customers to buy, you can create more effective services with a high satisfaction rate.

More happy customers translate into a positive online presence and a reputation for meeting customer needs.

Positive Reviews

Learning what your customers need and providing outstanding service along with quality products increases the likelihood that they will post a positive review.

Reviews can appear on product pages, other brands' blogs, and review publications as they circulate online.

Listen to feedback, give your customers what they want, and the results will be too good for them not to share.

Repeat Customers

Satisfied customers are more likely to return to companies they love in the future.

Repeat customers are a good sign that your customer growth strategy is working. Your customers may even spread the word about their positive experiences with your products.

Plus, a 5% increase in customer retention can increase company revenue by 25-95%.

Improved Customer Success

Customers will have more success using your products when you make updates according to their feedback.

Listening to your customers and providing them with the tools they need to be successful will make your product an invaluable addition to their stack.

Boosts Innovation

One of the best perks of creating a customer-led growth strategy is boosting your brand's innovation ability.

If you understand your customers' needs, you can provide them with new features they can't live without. Product development will also be easier since you already have insight into the minds of your customers.

Customer Growth Strategies

Companies can expand their operations using many business growth strategies, like investing in new customers and adding a new product line.

But developing a customer growth strategy relies on great products, great customer service, and a great reputation.

Use customer experience metrics.

Use metrics to compare your results and find out where you stand before implementing a customer-driven growth strategy. Here are some key ones to evaluate your business:

  • Churn Rate = (the amount of unsubscribed customers) / (the total number of customers at the start of the time) x 100
  • Monthly Recurring Revenue = how much customers spend each month on your company's products and services.
  • Net Promoter Score = rate of promoters – the rate of detractors
  • Customer Lifetime Value = average purchase value x average purchase frequency x average customer lifespan

Create customer-driven experiences.

The customer experience isn't just how it feels to use your app. Customer experience is how customers feel when they interact with your brand.

Creating experiences driven by customer feedback is an easy way to create experiences your users love.

Learn about your customers, ask for feedback, listen to what they have to say, and make the appropriate changes necessary to meet their changing needs.

Let customer feedback drive development.

Customer-led product development depends on feedback from current users to help shape new features, product lines, and services.

According to a recent survey, 90% of respondents reported that they believed companies could provide better onboarding services.

Organizations with a customer growth mindset will discover what customers seek in an onboarding service and develop new products to meet their specific requests.

Respond and engage quickly.

Customers demand immediate attention from brands, making it one of the most important factors in creating a customer growth strategy.

The average response time for customer service emails is about 12 hours, but most customers prefer to hear back within 4 hours. The longer it takes for brands to reply, the less likely customers are to respond back.

Having a great product or service isn't enough. Customer growth requires fast response times and effective solutions.

Incorporate self-service features.

Of customers, 67% prefer self-service compared to speaking to a support agent.

Many customers would much rather find the answer themselves and get on with their day instead of waiting to talk to a customer service rep.

In addition to knowledge bases, artificial intelligence, and chatbots are increasing in popularity.

These services empower customers and make your brand more accessible. Incorporate self-service features to form a more customer-friendly platform.

Anticipate customer needs.

Proactive support anticipates customer needs and creates solutions before issues arise.

Keep track of what people are saying about your brand in reviews and social media, reach out to ask about their experiences, then make adjustments according to their responses.

This shows customers that your brand is dedicated to bringing their vision to life, building loyalty, and improving trust in your company.

Reward customers for their loyalty.

But do it right. Customers are shifting away from points-only customer loyalty programs in favor of premium loyalty memberships and subscriptions.

Paid customer loyalty programs are a great option to help attract new customers, retain existing customers, and give them another reason to love your brand.

Plus, 62% of customers spend more after signing up for a paid loyalty program.

3 Companies That Have Succeeded Through Customer Growth

Customer-friendly companies are everywhere, but these three case studies have all found a way to transform "solving for the customer" from a sentiment to a truly pivotal strategy.

1. Lemonade

Pricing can seem like the least interesting part of marketing and sales, but it can be ripe with opportunities for innovation and customer delight.

Lemonade, an insurance company, doesn't hide pricing. Instead, the brand creates an experience around it.

By being transparent and changing its pricing model to incorporate charitable giving, Lemonade earned customer trust and a creative opportunity for word-of-mouth promotion.

Customer growth strategy, example from Lemonade and their pricing tool

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In the words of Dharmesh Shah's Customer Code, "Customers don't mind paying, but they do mind being played.” Lemonade tried to upset the traditional view of insurance premiums by divorcing the company's profits from the claims process.

Here's how it works, according to the company's website.

  • "We ask members to choose a Giveback cause when they sign up. People choosing the same cause form a virtual group, or a 'cohort' in our terminology. Behind the scenes, we use each cohort's premiums to pay their claims, and we Giveback leftover money (up to 40%) to their common cause."

This strategy gives customers a meaningful tie to Lemonade via causes that are unique to each individual. It builds relationships and fosters trust, which is crucial for the insurance brand. Plus, charitable contributions give customers a good reason to tell their friends about Lemonade.

Pro tip: HubSpot Research asked buyers how pricing affected their purchase decisions. Of respondents, 69% said confusing pricing would keep them from purchasing. Turns out clear pricing not only drives purchases. It can also drive word-of-mouth.

2. Airstream

Most B2B or high-price-point marketers send leads through a careful lead scoring and nurturing process, helping them separate the high-quality leads from those who aren't ready to buy.

This is designed to keep your company from wasting time on deals unlikely to close.

However, this doesn't do much for the customers.

The travel trailer brand Airstream segments its database into two groups: "Streamers" and "Dreamers."

Streamers are people who already own or are likely to own an Airstream soon. Dreamers are those who dream of owning one someday.

Airstream consciously decided not to filter out interested but unlikely buyers and instead to leverage their passion as an extension of the Airstream marketing team.

They feed the Dreamers content and ideas to spark their imagination. They encourage social sharing and pivot their marketing to reflect their fans' perspectives.

Dreamers readily share their stories on Facebook and Instagram. #LiveRiveted is a popular Airstream hashtag, with 84,000 entries on Instagram, countless tweets, and a steady stream of inspired stories on their community blog.

Customer growth strategy, the Airstream hashtag #liveriveted on Instagram

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What we like: Airstream credits its tenfold growth in the last three years to the momentum built by its audience. As Stephen Hileman, a marketing manager at Airstream, explains, "They're all influencers for us that would cost us millions to reproduce if we did it in a more traditional way."

3. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Growth adds operational complexity in a business that we inadvertently pass on to customers — and so it was for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Customer growth strategy, Rock and roll hall of fame

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The museum began to notice that many of its customers fit into numerous cohorts and were receiving several different fragmented emails for each group they belonged to.

Customer personas spanned a range of needs — they could be a member, a one-time visitor, a future donor, or a student in Hall's educational programs. Many fell into more than one of these categories at once.

"Each of our departments had their own way of speaking to their audience, their own cadence, their own look and feel to their emails. It was all over the place," explains Risa Goehrke, Director of Marketing.

"Our customers could have been receiving three to four or five emails a week from us, and cross-departmentally we wouldn't even have known that. The reason this causes problems for our customers is it can lead to a certain point of confusion, and eventually even a distrust."

Seeing the friction it had begun to create for visitors, the Hall of Fame completely transformed the company's approach to customer interactions.

They got their marketing, sales, donor relations, and site services teams working out of the same database with a shared view of the customer.

They're now on the same page when it comes to customer interactions, and the friction in that experience has been minimized.

Pro tip: Develop a communication strategy using technology to target key points of friction throughout the stages of the customer experience. You can make a meaningful difference in a short amount of time.

The Power of Customer Growth

Every business wants to solve for the customer, but those who make the strategic shifts to align their team's incentives to their customers' success grow better.

This requires a shift in mindset to the long-term and the willingness to sometimes take short-term hits to your numbers for better and more profitable long-term relationships.

All the search engine optimization in the world can't outweigh the impact of a successful and happy customer.

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