Your business survives and thrives on customer acquisition and retention. You know the saying… “if you’re not growing you’re shrinking”. Even if you feel like things are ‘maintaining’ well, your business is getting smaller. Whether you see it now or whether you start to notice this in a few months, or years. Growth is crucial. Customer acquisition is also vital to demonstrate traction to future investors and partners you might want to work with.
What’s Your Customer’s Value?
When you start taking things up a notch you really need to be aware of two main figures. The cost of acquiring a new customer and their lifetime value. Without these figures, it’s very difficult to scale acquisition techniques. Step one is to work this out.
A Good Customer Experience
From the moment a customer is introduced to your business until the very moment they make their last ever purchase or exchange, they are on a journey. That journey can either be a terrible experience, or one worth coming back for and recommending to friends. The ‘experience’ starts before a customer has even become a customer. This is absolutely key! Give them a taste of the experience they can expect from you. If you’re giving away a freebie of any kind, treat them like paying customers. If you’re telling a story to encourage engagement, make your branding and values the centre of it.
It’s All About the Interactions
A lot of business strategies don’t involve direct customer strategies until later down the funnel. This makes sense from a cost point of view, but could it actually mean you’re losing out in the customer acquisition game? This really follows on from the point above about customer experience. If you give those customers a direct interaction, (over the phone for example) you’re putting them at the centre and giving them immediate attention. Commonly, after a sale has been made companies try to optimize for fewer interactions. Again, this can be a mistake because follow-up issues often get neglected.
Awareness, Consideration, Decision
Buyers move through a funnel that starts with awareness. This is the point at which they’re introduced to your brand. This doesn’t have to be a time or place in which they are immediately ready to purchase. You can build awareness by using your social media platform, running local ads or of course with direct mail. You don’t need to make awareness campaigns time sensitive. You’re trying to build that connection for the future.
Consideration is the next part in this funnel when someone looking to purchase what you sell starts to consider their options. Due to the awareness you created in the first stage of the funnel, your business is a part of this consideration and might be compared against other competitors. When someone is considering your business they will typically visit your website, or call your business to ask questions. It’s at this stage you should gather their information, so you can re-market to them and help further.
Finally, a decision will be made and a sale will close. This decision might come off the back of a final advert in your funnel, a follow-up call or completely out of the blue.
As long as you’re taking active steps to support people at every stage of the A.C.D funnel you will acquire more customers.