Are You Making These Customer Acquisition Mistakes?

Common customer mistakes:

The journey to the land of top-notch customer acquisition processes is riddled with twists and turns. And while customer acquisition is challenging, converting new business is vital to keeping a company profitable. Without customers, a company will not survive.

The right customer acquisition strategy should set your customers up for long-term success with your product and or services. However, companies often make decisions against their better judgements and wind up on the wrong path. If executed correctly, customer acquisition will enable you to reach your revenue goals in the near- and long-term. Here are common mistakes that emerge at customer acquisition and tips to avoid them to get on the path to success.

Your Customers Needs Don’t Come First

Do your customers see success with your product or services? Are they happy with the level of service they receive? If you answered ‘no’ to one or both of these questions, now is the time to go back to the drawing board. The needs of your prospects and customers should be the number one priority in your customer acquisition playbooks.

You’ve likely heard the phrase, you only get one shot at a good first impression. We’ve all received bad service in a business setting at least once in our lifetime. How did that experience make you feel? Did you solicit that business again? Or worse, did you post a disparaging review on your page or share your experience with family, friends, and colleagues? An accumulation of bad customer experiences can ruin your company’s reputation.

Bad impressions range from not having inventory to keep up with demand or a negative customer service experience.

You can prioritize the needs of your customers by: Creating a buyer persona to understand prospects and customers needs Investing in strong customer service or customer success teams

Ensuring in-field sales reps have a grasp on customer needs

Implementing a strong customer on boarding or training program

Including a FAQ section on your website or social media handle

Collecting customer surveys and feedback

Not Creating Return Customers

We all know it’s more cost-effective to keep a current customer than it is to attain a new one. In fact, a 5% increase in customer retention rates has the potential to increase profits by 25-95%. Many companies set a goal to gain repeat customers but fail to implement a proper strategy. Don’t fall into this trap.

To transform new customers into loyal brand advocates you need to think beyond the first sale or interaction. What are strategies to encourage a return visit or purchase? A personalised ‘thank you’ note or welcome email can work for some businesses. Offering discounts to entice a repeat purchase is another common tactic.

You’ll need to give customers a reason to come back or purchase again.

Here are a few tips to engage customers and to lower churn rates:
1. Focus on customer education by implementing customer training programs

2. Engage customers through email and direct mail nurture channels

3. Offer loyal customers incentives and rewards

To grab your customers attention, surprise them

Ways to grab your customer’s attention  in a distracted world

Who doesn’t like a surprise? The best way to form an instant connection with your customers is to surprise them. Creating a sense of delight among your customers can help them in staying connected with you for a longer span of time

Target the right audience

If you choose the right audience, it ensures that your brand has a higher probability of success. You need to begin with narrowing down your potential audience. This can be done by analysing current customers and studying demographic trends.

Thereafter, you could study the market and figure out the kind of people that would use your product or service. Once you have done this, you could look at the marketing activities of your competitors in order to identify gaps in the market. Finally, after identifying the gaps, you need to create a compelling brand copy that can grab the attention of your customers and hold it.

By choosing the right audience, you are ensuring that your campaigns are reaching customers that are already interested in the product. You just have to form a connection with them. They are also more likely to share your campaigns with others, giving you free publicity.

Keep it simple

Any campaign that you design needs to be simple. This is because complexity can often prove to be a turn off for your customers. You do not want that to happen, especially in today’s world.

Nowadays, people are exposed to brands all the time. Be it in the online world, or in the real world; brands have become omnipresent. This means that there is a lot of competition that needs to be dealt with. Often, simplistic brand campaigns can work like a charm.

People do not have the time to go through elaborate product descriptions and features. Instead, they tend to look for something that is much more simplistic and yet serves the purpose. By keeping things simple, a brand can ensure that it can appeal to the masses and grab their attention for longer periods of time.

Simplistic campaigns also help your customers in making a quick decision. This can prove to be a game-changer in today’s competitive environment. Once the customer begins to feel that they have seen what they want, they are ready to make a decision. This helps your brand in quickly realizing sales and building your customer base rapidly.

Why You Should Be Radically Transparent With Your Customers

Always set yourself up for success with your customers

Being more open about your products, prices and results will set you up for success. For example when you say, ‘we list our fees on our website and level with potential clients about what they can realistically expect from us’. It makes them feel relaxed and willing to do business with you. 

When it becomes clear that a potential client is hoping, then you will deliver incredible results in an exceedingly short time-frame, be frank with them about how achieving their desired results could require more time. Contrary to what you might think, this level of honesty isn’t killing your sales. Potential clients respond well to straightforward talk about what you can and can’t do for them. Since you don’t over-promise, you are less likely to under deliver. 

In an effort to stay under the radar, sometimes it’s easier for employees to keep concerns to themselves. Given how uncomfortable some companies are with transparency on the inside, it’s not hard to imagine how afraid they’d be of being transparent with their customers.

But as scary as the idea of transparency might seem, in the long run, it’s good not only for your customers but also for your business. In addition to attracting new customers, transparency allows you to better serve your current ones, ensuring they stick with you.

Internal Communication

Interact with your customers and keep them in the loop

Providing good customer service isn’t rocket science – it comes down to a good support tool and remembering to keep the customer in the loop at all times.  Before you know it, you’re the customer’s service hero.

There are a number of reasons to shop with online retailers: to save time, avoid crowds, do comparison shopping… whatever the reason, nearly all consumers have purchased items on-line at one time or another.
The user (Jane) below had a great customer service experience with the on-line click & collect service from food retailer.

I recently filled out a customer service web form at an online food store, asking some questions about a new delicacy (cookies). Since it was an online form, I instantly got a tracking number and an email receipt (good).

However, after I had posted the inquiry, it took 5 days for them to get back to me. After 2 or 3 days without any response, I started getting furious, thinking I should take my order elsewhere.When I finally got a response, I received a long email explaining that they were sorry for the delay, and the reason was that, part of the cookies I ordered was no longer for sale, and also out of stock……. They had to make a special order of a replica from abroad to complete my order. Imagine that; they had gone out of their way to satisfy my order (it would have been cheaper for them to just cancel and refund me), but since they didn’t keep me in the loop, I was by now, a dissatisfied customer, until I got a message explaining the reason for the delay, which indeed impressed me. And guess what? They went an extra mile to deliver my cookies without a delivery fee’.

As she describes in her post, all she had to do was place her order on-line, select a time slot for pick-up, and then when she arrived, a customer service representative brought her order directly to her car. She was impressed, especially by the way the retailer handled the situation when they discovered that a few items she had ordered were out of stock. A friendly customer service representative gave her a call to let her know about the out-of-stock items, and suggested some possible alternatives.

 A key step in providing good customer service in retail starts with remembering that your customers are human and connecting with them… in a human way. This means that you listen to them. Only then can you truly understand what your customers want and begin to build relationships with them. 

When the time comes (and it will) and your company requires understanding and human compassion from your customers, just wait: their reactions and support will reflect the strength of your customer relationships and just how well you’ve been providing customer service all along.

Get as close as you can to your customers

This sounds like an obvious point but service excellence demands that you first know your customers’ needs and expectations better than anyone else.

Yes, some common needs are obvious, but needs by segment are less so. Even harder to discern are individual needs, but if you are serious about excellence then at the very least your regular or repeat customers will expect you to remember their likes and dislikes.

Practical things you can do here include: Define your key customer segments and attribute an overall value to each in terms of what they generate for the business. Which segments deserve most attention?

Hold regular focus groups with customers from these segments to better understand their needs. Conduct wider online/email surveys with larger number of customers to get a broader view of needs. Have effective feedback mechanisms, for capturing complaints, and for gathering general satisfaction data; analyse this information regularly in a meaningful way to identify areas for improvement.

Have systems for capturing and sharing the preferences of existing customers so that you can wow them with your tailored service. It is only by taking proactive action that you can get closer to your customers and if you don’t do so then striving for service excellence is impossible.

Okay let’s conclude this article with
John Russell, post: “The more you engage with customers the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing.”

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