In the world of business, a customer is often described as the “king”, for without them, suppliers will not grow in their business. There are many suppliers of the same products in the market which make them to develop new techniques to lure customers to buy from them. Listed below are the basic techniques you can use to maintain and acquire new customers.
1) Use of convincing words.
Customer acquisition is not very easy if you are a new or small supplier as you may think. With this customer acquisition strategy, you communicate to the customer in a way they prefer that is being empathetic with the customer. In fact business is increasingly becoming consumer driven. Using convincing words to sell your products to customers does not mean you should lie. You just need to be authentic with what you have to offer. In an attempt to convince customers not only does your choice of words matter but your intonation. Let your tone not be too high as though you are commanding nor be too low. Take the time to have a meaningful conversation with your customers whether they are new customers or old customer. Discuss with your customers to better sale what you have to offer and also help to direct you better position your brand in a world of evolving and increasing niche markets. Convincing words should not only be used when you meet the customer face-to-face but through packaging as well. The write ups on your brand should be convincing and real. Let your customers know that your brand is professional but also fun and relatable. You are not only out to sale your products to customers but also to help them make the right choice of what they want to buy. Through your words, new customers can be created that can carry your business forward at a very rapid space.
2) Build a strong marketing strategy
Marketers strive to communicate to customers in a way that the customers prefer. For instance, with the use of social media marketing, brands can be communicated directly with their customers to develop products that sell thereby making them “co-partners”. Success in business today depends greatly on your marketing strategy. Since you have all the time and more talents than disposable resources, customer acquisition means discovering what makes them tick and investing heavily in unbound marketing strategy such as building an email market and content. Marketing can be strategized as follows:
- Content marketing
It is absolutely the best tactic to acquire new customers. Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuables, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly define audience and ultimately to drive profitable customer action. With Content marketing, not only new customers are acquired but loyal customers are maintained as well. It increases your sales and also reduces cost thereby helping you maximize profit. This customer acquisition strategy is mostly prefered by most top business to get and satisfy their customers.
- Email Marketing
Another customer acquisition strategy is the email marketing. Email marketing is the act of sending commercial messages using an email. Research has proven that 89% of marketers are very impressed that email marketing is their primary channel for lead generation. This makes email a very important customer acquisition tool for business owners. Using email is relatively less expensive and has great and tremendous benefits. To better benefit from email marketing as a tool for customer acquisition, you need to use the right platform. You need a platform that allows you build a list, track performance, create and send professional looking messages. In order to acquire new customers using this tool, you should search for quick means to send your mails such as mailchimp, Aweber, vertical responds, and constant contact. Also you need to make every communication relevant and important. As frequent as messages are sent to your subscribers, the easier it will be for your business to build credibility. It will be waste of time to send irrelevant messages, send messages that will either update your subscriber or create awareness of a new product.
3) Community outreach
Strategies for customer acquisition abound but most companies that seek to build, sustain, and grow new customer relationship, talk very little about community outreach. Community outreach improves image and brand reputation. Individuals are less likely to do business with companies that are perceived to be irresponsible or illegal. According to research carried by Cone Communication, 9 in 10 citizens globally say they would boycott a company if they learn of irresponsible or illegal behavior. Companies that are able to openly and visibly showcase their ethics and values to the commitment of the community are more likely to have a stronger reputation and new customers who are loyal about what the business stands for. Research carried by Harvard Law, community outreach and social responsibility programs create distinct values that leads to increased customer loyalty and willingness to pay premium prices and lower reputation risk in crises situations. Again, a study by Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business about how outreach can influence customer attitudes shows that a grocery retailer experienced a one-unit improvement in customer perception and a 1.8-point increase in share of wallet after it invested in employee fairness and local sourcing as part of its community initiatives. So if you desire to have new customers who are loyal to you, get involved in community outreach.
4) Consider your product
In marketing, a product is anything that can be offered to a market that might satisfy a want or need. Every business man needs to acquire new customers to make their product and business known. In using this customer acquisition strategy, it is important you ask yourself if your product is ready for user acquisition. A famous quote by Mark Zuckerberg’s “move fast and break things” motto may be a very good advice for startup businesses and it may not be the best advice when it comes to customer acquisition. The decision to take your product to the market to seek for customers, should give it the weight it deserves. What is your targeted market? Is your product ready for some or many users? These questions should be given a careful thought before launching your product to the market to avoid embarrassment or loss of trust. Though Zuck’s saying “done is better than perfect” can be true, it will be terrible to launch a “half-ready” product.
5) Attractive Packaging of Products
The way your product is packaged will attract new customers? Successful packaging sells. Any company that invest in product development definitely expect return on it. Packing is an inevitable component of the shopping experience and should not be taken lightly if your strategy is to acquire new customers. The design of your product will determine if customer will pick it from the shelf into the shopping cart. For every product category be it wine, soap, toilet tissue, perfumes, successful design connects emotionally. Your packaging will speak either positively or negatively to the customer.
6) Build good customer service provider
This is a customer acquisition strategy that is needed by every business. Customer service provider is a person that takes customer calls, answers their questions, address their problems, and submit detailed report on such activities to the boss. A customer service provider is the first person the customer sees and the way the service provider relate with customers will tell if the company have the chance to sustain their customer and create new ones or not. Using this tool to acquire new customers implies you go in for qualified employees. There are some qualities that every customer service provider must possess;
Ability to communicate properly
A good customer service provider should be able to communicate the product and services they are offering to the customers. In the world of business, there are five categories of customers and it is the duty of the customer service provider to be able to identify and group these customers in the different categories so as to better communicate with them; potential customer, new customers, impulsive customers, discount customers, and loyal customers. These customers need different ways of communication.
Potential customers are those who are at the top list of your sale funnel. And the way you will communicate to such a customer really matters. These potentials customers need to be shown value. Make him know that you or your organization hold him in high esteem and also make him to know he can come for advice at any time.
A new customer is someone who has just bought things for the first time and is still learning to know your product. At this stage, it is within your power to lure the new customer to yourself by the way you communicate. Take enough time to explain how your product works and if possible the benefits or bonuses involve in buying more of such products from your organization. Keep your doors open by giving your contact in case the customer needs help while at home.
Impulsive customers are those that can buy provided the condition is conducive for them. If your communication is very clear in their ears, they buy. With this category of customers, you don’t need too much explanation but putting everything short and on track will help
Discount customers are customers who love a product but will not want to buy at a full price. Here, the customer service provider needs to explain the deal very well and offer added advantage of the product.
Loyal customers are those who buy and keep coming for more. The best communication as a service provider is to be appreciative to the customer.
So as a customer service provider, through communication, you can sustain, build and develop new customers.
A good customer service provider needs to be patient with their customers. There are different categories of customers with different reasoning and understanding. A good service provider should be able to take time to explain to new customer the products the company is offering and to be able to answer questions from them.
As a service provider, you need to know the professional ethics of your organization. There are information that need to be kept far away from customers. Be careful to tell customers only what they need to hear.
A customer service provider needs to be empathetic that is putting self in the position of the customer. Have concern about the well-being of your customer. Give advice on products that you think can be harmful to the customer, and avoid charging very high prices if the product is not worth it.
Having a good customer service provider is a strong customer acquisition strategy that every organization who want to stand out in the world of business.
7) Establish a strong life time value of a customer
Life time value of a customer can be defined as the dollar value of a customer relationship, based on the present value of the projected future cash flows from the customer relationship. There are some strategies that can be followed to establish a strong life time value of a customer;
Invest in building a strong-term relationship with your customer
Building long term relationships even though it may take a little extra time, care and consideration, it’s a great way to increase revenues from existing customers without simultaneously increasing your expenses. These three techniques can help you build a good customer relationship
Be truthful This means always having your customer’s best interests at heart, regardless of whether you get a smaller sale, big or lose a sale to a competitor. You and your customer are both aware your reason for building a relationship is to grow business.
Be generous. You have a skill and knowledge beyond the breadth of what you’ve been tasked to provide. Share it for free to boost your client’s confidence in your abilities if need be while also exposing them to a range of other products and services.
Be a partner. Create a strategic partnership with your customer’s business if he is a business person. Mutually beneficial relationship is the best and easiest way to build confidence and trust. Create a lifetime value customer by referring their business and acquiring their products or using their services as well.
Create brand loyalty
Brand loyalty is a pattern of customer behavior where consumers become more committed to brands that motivate them to make repeated purchase. Brand loyalty increases the life time value of a customer because it encourages trials of a new product and facilitate repeat purchases. Three major determining factors of brand loyalty are the quality of your products, strong customer service and ‘shared values’. Keep your product quality high, provide exceptional customer service and repeatedly demonstrate your company’s mission statement to build brand loyalty and elevate your customer life time value.
Motivate them with good rewards and incentives
Companies and business organization spout all kinds of offers to get attention. In other to create and maintain the life time value of a customer, incentive scheme is a necessity which not only grabs your customers’ attention, but maintains them too. Incentive scheme is a customer motivational program designed to encourage them to buy more of the firm’s products. Your reward’s system can increase the life time value of loyal customers and increase profitability in the long run. With this in mind, it is advisable to stay away from discounts, and instead offer exclusive products or value-added services. Research by Chubbies showed that lifetime value of customers acquired through discounts was lower than customers who were not acquired this way. Also, research has shown that discounts decrease has made many customers perceived a decrease in quality of the items while free gifts maintain quality perceptions and increase value deal. It will be good you stay away from heavy discounts and use your rewards system to increase customer retention which increases the life time value of the customer without compromising your bottom line. When choosing an incentive scheme, it would be good you remember the following;
Notify your customer. Raise awareness and educate your customers on potential rewards. Many of them may not know such rewards exist. Through public relation officer or the customer service provider, the customers can be informed.
Set achievable rewards. Avoid giving unrealistic promises to your customers. Achievable rewards are engaging for high-value customers, provided they are equitable and competitive with others in the industry.
Make them complimentary. Choose rewards, which compliment your brand. For example don’t give away sugar if you produce water as your brand.
8) Attend events or trade show
Markets and business relationship today have become global in a way that trade shows and exhibition industry has experienced a rapid growth. Exposing your product through trade shows are considered as a vital means to communicate and sale your products or service. As a business organization that desires to get new customers, attending such events is a step to achieving your goals; it offers possibilities for sales and sales promotion, building strong customer relationship, undertaking and maintaining good international business relation.
9) Customer’s feed back
Through customer’s feedback, new customers can be acquired. To deliver a great service that builds strong customers, you must learn to listen to feedbacks from your customers. They can help you develop better products, offer more value and better services. By listening to your customer feedback, you can increase customer satisfaction, build stronger relationship and reduce customer churn. Why then is customer’s feedback a tool for customer acquisition?
- It guides you to make better decision. Be it the decision about the quality of the product, the packaging or the way you deliver your service, your customer is at best position to give you advice.
- It helps you identify “at risk customers”. Through customer feedback, you can identify those customers that are not 100% happy with your product. They will tell you how they really feel about your company.
- It helps to solve problems. Customers will tell you just how it is. Customer feedback can help you solve the problems that make them unhappy.
- It helps discover potential advocates. By gathering feedbacks, you can know who your happiest customers are and this will give a better platform to look for ways to motivate them into raving advocates. For they will be the ones to recommend your products to friends and colleagues.
Ways to get feedback from customers
1) Customer survey. This is a great way to start your customer feedback process. For they offer a medium that most people are familiar with and they give you the chance to asks specific questions. You need to be very clear to your customers. Don’t ask questions that will make the customers think too much. You need to be specific. Do not ask questions on a broader concept. It will be good you ask many questions as it will give you enough information you will need.
Telephone survey: These are survey conducted through phone call. Calling your customer to know how they feel about your product.
Mobile survey: This is the use of ipad, phones to carry your survey. Researches have shown that 47% of customers now opening emails through their mobile device, and an average person looks at his phone 150 times a day. With this, mobile survey should be part of your customer feedback. The platforms you can best use is mPoll.me. It gives you the ability to build and deliver stunning mobile survey that is distributed through text message. Using this platform, you will need to educate your customers on how to respond. This form of feedback is good because you can tap into the feelings of the customer right at the point of delivery.
2) Feedback forms. Hard cover question can be printed and used during meetings or kept at the counter to gather feedbacks from customers. Using this form, it is advisable you follow some guidelines;
- Asking ten questions is enough and try not to ask more than three open ended questions.
- Your form should clearly spell out the purpose of your research
- Do not forget to put your brand on the feedback form that reflects your business as it builds trust.
- Ask for personal details-name, phone number.
- Thank everyone for their feedback and make sure you follow up those whose scores are below average.