Boosting Revenue Through Customer Acquisition And Retention: The How-To
The math is simple: new happy customers equal more revenue.
This article has been built in collaboration with Young Arab Leaders, a not-for-profit organization founded by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, to develop the next generation of leaders in the Arab world through entrepreneurship, education, and employment.
If employees are the backbone of a business, the heart of it is the customer. When a business solves a problem for its ideal customers -doing so with data-driven decisions, right customer acquisition and retention strategies, and visionary outlook- it builds a potential to grow by leaps and bounds. The math is simple: new happy customers equal more revenue.
Despite this knowledge, a significant number of entrepreneurs tend to avoid having a strategy for attracting and converting new customers. Even if they do spend time and resources on this front, the cutthroat competition in the market can make it more difficult for entrepreneurs to convert prospects into clients/customers.
So, how can one devise the right customer acquisition strategy? What can entrepreneurs do to boost their revenue through this route? Here are three steps you can make use of to do just that.
The first step is to remember that customer acquisition is no longer limited to adding new customers to your business. It also includes retention, which plays a huge role in whether or not you get repeat business from the same source. This can be done by providing value through your products or services. Do that consistently, and you'll have a strong foothold in the market because of customer loyalty.
The second step is where you can do the groundwork to set up a strategy for your business. Consider the following:
1. Market research It takes more effort to convert an unwilling mind than to convince a willing one. Make market research a starting point for every venture, every project you embark on. This will help you and your team identify the markets, segments, even locations, where your unique products and services have a high number of potential customers. Call this your network map; treat it as a baseline for your business decisions.
2. Brand right Branding does not equal marketing. It's all about building a rapport with your audience/target customers. Use your network map to:
Identify the exact customer needs that your products and services can meet
Identify the challenges your prospects may be facing while using your competitor's products and services
Once you've done this, choose the best medium to reach your audience: it could be social media, university campuses, workspaces, or a combination of these. Then, help your audience understand you, what sets you apart, and why you are worthy of their time and trust.
3. Build trust Just saying it is not enough. Show consumers they can trust you. One of the best ways to do that is to use testimonials from your existing clients/customers. When you do gain their trust, make sure you deliver on your promises to build a long-lasting partnership that benefits you and your customer mutually. Good communication and customer service will go a long way to ensure this.
4. Collaborate "Competitors should not collaborate"- this is a big myth! A product or service line can only be sold to a set of prospects. Collaborating with a healthy competitor -whether it is to create a captivating new product line, or a superior service offering- can shoot up your brand's visibility. You could also consider collaborating with existing customers or influencers on social media to enhance your brand's visibility and reach. Choose social media collaborators with care- make sure they can help you reach your target audience. Don't forget to reward your collaborators with goodies, discounts, etc., when they do help bring in customers for you.
5. Offer ease of purchase This is the age of ease and convenience. A prospect you're targeting may love your product and have the need for it. But if the process of acquiring it is too tedious and straining on their pocket, while your competitor offers multiple payment methods with a smooth purchasing process, you'll lose the lead right before they turn into a customer. With the evolution of credit lines (cards, loans, payment wallets and applications), you can even offer buy-now-pay-later options for bulk orders. Make the user shopping experience a delight, and see how they come back with more orders and new customers for you.
6. Communicate Connecting with your existing customers periodically is a vital step for boosting their loyalty and retention. A five-minute conversation seeking their feedback and capturing their expectations could be all it takes to deepen their loyalty to your brand, and make them feel important.
The third step is understanding people. When you sell a service or product, you may naturally focus on what you're offering, rather than whom it's going to serve. But all successful businesses have one thing in common– they understand people: people who have emotions and sentiments, who live in communities, have social circles, who may have a need for your product/service right now, or in the future. Ultimately, all businesses -no matter the technology and automation in place- deal with humans. Therefore, it is essential that as a leader, you understand human psychology, study the people you're trying to convert into customers, and focus on solving a problem for them.
Focus on the following aspects:
What are your customers like as people, as normal humans in their everyday lives?
What would they get out of your business?
Will your customer service make them feel important and valued?
When they reach out, are they made to wait, or given prompt information?
When customers/clients feel like a brand "just gets" their problems, and wants to give them the best solutions, both in terms of pricing and quality, they feel valued and understood. With the right brand positioning, they might also feel aligned with your values and mission. Creating this kind of customer experience requires an empathetic approach to business; however, once done the right way, it can make business growth easy and less risky, because you would already have loyal customers!
In a gist, your business could have a solid foundation if you allow research, data, and experts to inform your decisions. But to boost revenue and scale operations, pay attention to what your customers want and feel. That is the best tactic, and the most effective strategy there is.