It’s no secret that without gaining new customers your business can’t grow. Then once you have attracted a new customer, you need to ensure their needs are met so they’ll be satisfied and continue spending with and advocating for your brand. Acquiring customers at a low cost and then retaining and engaging them will help you create a profitable customer base and allow your business to thrive.
Acquire Customers at a Low Cost
You’ve likely heard that attracting new customers is more expensive than keeping existing ones. With traditional, expensive marketing campaigns taking a backseat to online and social media, however, you can use several effective approaches to acquire customers at a low cost.
One effective way to do this is by boosting your website conversion rates. Knowing what works and doesn’t work for your website—backed up by concrete data—is vital to increasing your conversion. Using A/B testing will help you identify where to improve and give you the best results. It may be your content that needs improvement or it could be the layout of the page itself.
Having a strong social media presence is an impactful way to draw people to your site. By joining relevant conversations on Facebook and Twitter and answering questions related to your field, you can position your company as a thought leader in your industry. Showcasing strong visuals of your product on Pinterest and Instagram can lead to increased traffic as well.
Retain Loyal Customers
Once you’ve acquired your customer, your work doesn’t stop there, you need to quickly act to bring them through the customer lifecycle. People want to be valued where they spend their money. Treating your existing customers well means providing excellent service as well as an experience that delights them from start to finish. To do this you will need to ask for feedback to ensure you’re meeting their needs. Giving them a channel to share their thoughts—and then acting on them—makes customers feel like they are part of the process and important.
Harvest Profit From Engaged Customers
Fully engaged customers—according to Gallup data—will go out of their way to locate their favored product or service, and won’t accept substitutes. They are emotionally attached and loyal. As brand ambassadors, these are your most valuable and profitable customers. Gallup’s research shows a powerful link between customer engagement and real outcomes. In the consumer electronics industry, fully engaged shoppers make 44 percent more visits each year to their preferred retailer than disengaged shoppers. During these visits fully engaged shoppers buy more items than they originally intended to.
Research on customer engagement shows that customers make decisions from their heart rather than their head. To engage your customers the key is to create a sense of community. Northwestern University Business School highlighted ways to engage customers and found that Nike is one company doing it well. Instead of putting all of its resources into a single ad campaign for sneakers, Nike now advertises by giving customers workout advice and helping them build online communities around fitness. They also created Nike +, a website designed to make it easy for customers to track fitness progress.
If your resources allow, dedicate an employee or team to each of these specific customer management areas. The more research you perform on your intended customer the more attuned you’ll become at reaching them and meeting their needs. Gaining, retaining and engaging customers will allow you to realize the profits you need to be successful.