Customer acquisition is critical for all types of businesses, regardless of age or size. It enables your company to:
- Generate revenue to cover expenses, pay employees, and reinvest in growth; and
- Demonstrate traction for external parties such as investors, partners, and influencers.
The ability to attract and convert new customers, or nurture them, in a systematic manner keeps businesses healthy and growing — and investors happy.
Benefits of Having Quality Customers
Acquiring new customers is costly and time-consuming work. Studies show that customer acquisition cost has grown by 60% in the last decade. In comparison, it is 5 to 25 times cheaper to convince an existing customer to do business with you again, according to Hubspot.
The money saved means there is a greater profit margin from transactions with retained customers compared to new ones. Increasing your retention rate by just 5% can grow your profits anywhere between 25 to 95%. Studies show that repeat customers also spend 67% more by their third year with your company compared to their first six months, making their customer lifetime value increase the longer they patronize your company.
Having your customers’ loyalty opens more opportunities for upsell and cross-sell. Since they already believe in your value, they would be more open to suggestions for added and adjacent services or products. They tend to buy more frequently and spend more, too.
Customers who trust your products or services can also drive further business growth by referring you to friends and family, indirectly increasing your revenue through these new transactions. It is also easier to earn the trust of referred clients, since you only need to prove the referral right. You won’t be building the relationship from the ground up.
Customer Acquisition Strategies
Companies must continually fuel growth in two ways in order to remain viable and competitive. First and foremost, they must recruit and convert new clients. Second, they must persuade current clients to increase their spending. A well-planned and expertly executed customer acquisition strategy can also help conserve resources and increase ROI by targeting the right prospects and delivering the right message at the right time.
Research Your Market & Create Customer Personas
Small businesses don’t always have the resources for data-intensive market research. It’s tempting to cast your net wide to catch as big a slice of the market as you can, but pre-qualifying your customers can help focus your resources on your most lucrative audience.
Identify the behaviors you want in your target market. Use these qualities to craft customer personas (or buyer personas) whose needs and goals you can specifically target in your marketing campaigns.
Set Expectations and Live Up to Them
Set your customers’ expectations for your company as early as you can… and remind them of it often too! Clearly setting up the roadmap of your relationship takes away uncertainties about how and when you will reach your common goal. This prevents them from getting upset about assumed results that were not met.
Communicate with customers as you progress towards each milestone to keep them in the loop. Open communication allows your clients to anticipate delays and look forward to results. Consistently meeting expectations builds trust, and with time, clients will know they can rely on you to get the job done and deliver on your promise when you say you will.
Be the Best Solution to Your Clients’ Problems
Put your best foot forward when writing your value proposition. How you explain who you are and what you offer should appeal to the client personas you have created. Be honest when you set your product or service apart from others like it; your claims should be backed up with concrete numbers to set the right expectations. Otherwise, you will run the risk of disappointing new customers and gaining a negative reputation.
Highlight case studies that show how customers have benefited from your products and services, with testimonials straight from the source! Use them to illustrate how much better your solutions address their pain points compared to your competition’s.
Taking this a step further, you can also add self-service tools on your website to give prospects an idea of what to expect in terms of pricing and options from you while they shop around for companies in your niche. Giving them that added value with no strings attached can help you stand out among their choices.
Leverage Social Proof
Prospective customers are more likely to trust the word of fellow customers and people they know over anything a company says about themselves, so you need to be aware of what the general buzz about your company is. A good reputation should be the first thing future clients find out about you.
Reinforce your credibility by asking your existing customer base to leave public reviews about you on popular review platforms like Google and Yelp. Most of the time, people who trust your brand are more than willing to do this favor for you – it just hasn’t crossed their minds. You can then advertise these reviews on your website and online channels to broaden the audience of your reviews.
Reading about the good experiences of your customers will make others want to check you out so they can enjoy the same top-notch service. It can also reinforce trust in clients who haven’t gotten in touch with you in a while. The fear of missing out is a powerful tool for increasing both acquisition and retention.
Assemble a Customer Service-centric Team
Your employees are the first faces customers see in your company; so it is imperative that they make the best first impression. If customers suspect bad customer service off the bat, it will be an uphill battle to keep them from churning.
Just as you would with customers, you need to communicate your expectations clearly to your teams so everyone knows their roles and responsibilities. This includes explaining your client nurturing strategies’ purpose and implementation. Make sure that each one understands how these align with your company’s values so customers don’t get mixed messages from different employees.
Reward your best performing people and highlight their achievements to inspire the rest to do the same. When those working for you are driven and committed to giving the best customer service, client satisfaction will inevitably be high.
Conduct periodic audits of your internal team to find avenues for improvement, both from your assessment and their feedback. Ill-equipped employees will find it difficult to meet your expectations, so make sure to back them up with the right tools and training. Building a strong team is key to reaching your company’s goals.
Put a Human Face on Your Business
People appreciate it when they feel they are interacting with real people when dealing with a business.
Show the personal side of your company by sharing behind-the-scenes news and photos with your clientele. Tell stories about your employees or your community involvement. You can also share company assessments and your plans to improve on your practice. Being transparent about changes in your company keeps loyal customers invested in your growth.
Apologize for your mistakes as soon as possible. Owning up to your shortcomings and taking steps to rectify the situation can save you from losing valuable customers. It is inevitable for people to make mistakes, so you must have a written policy on how to deal with them in any of your business transactions.
Let your customers know you appreciate them as well. Take the time to say thank you – in person or online – not just for their business, but also for their support. Celebrate their achievements on your channels. This kind of sincerity goes a long way in building a positive image for your company.
By setting expectations at the start of your customer relationships, you also benefit by knowing exactly how you can exceed them. Meeting expectations keeps your clients satisfied, but going beyond what you promise will be a delight every time.
Happy customers will want to repay your kindness in any way they can – be it in added transactions or spreading positive word of mouth.
Give them reasons to reciprocate with surprise gifts to celebrate milestones, or added perks free of charge. If you have properly communicated the scope of your service, it will be obvious when you are going above and beyond what they originally signed up for.
Acquire Quality Customers with the Help of Neovora
We at Neovora aim to provide to gold standard in providing quality customers to our clients. Business growth — and ultimately success — all require the right pieces to fall in the right places. Acquiring the perfect customer that meets all your needs, while at the same time providing them with a service or product that will foster a good relationship and reputation towards one another. That is what Neovora can do for you. For more information on how we can help, visit our services or request a free quote from us today.