Customers are assets to a business because they are the reason why a business exists. Customers keep you in business by paying for your product or service. In fact, more customers mean more sales and more sales can translate to more revenue. How do you then acquire new customers as a business?
To acquire new customers, the business owner or entrepreneur should be proactive. The job does not end in acquiring new customers but also retaining old customers.
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If you have to always spend resources to acquire new customers, it means that you are doing something wrong. Because, the cost of advertising (Billboard, radio jingles, TV commercials and paid online advertising) can be a challenge for a small business. This is why I have compiled creative ways that entrepreneurs can acquire new customers and retain them.
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How To Acquire New Customers For Your Business And Make Them Stay
1) Connect With Friends And Family
Start with family and friends. Your family and friends should be your first paying customer. They should be the first people you speak to about your business.
When your product is standard and your service top notch, you will not have any reservations in speaking to you family and friends about your business. You should also encourage them to speak to their friends about your service as well.
Your phone contact list should be the first place to start your marketing. Send a message across to them informing them of your services before even launching out. Who knows, they may be interested in investing in your business.
2) Leverage on Your Existing Network
In business, existing clients are the closest network you can leverage to acquire new customers.
You can ask your customers if they have friends or connections that are in need of your service. Get them to refer their friends for a reward. The reward may be in the form of commission, discount or an upgrade of their existing service or product.
You can also get your existing clients to talk about their experience with your service on your social media. Because, every social media mention counts.
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3) Events And Webinars
A large percent of customers want to physically experience a brand before making financial commitments. You can do this in three ways.
Firstly, by attending events, participating in discussions or speaking in gatherings with your target audience in attendance. This comes handy when you are an authority in your industry.
Secondly, you can organise your own events, sponsor events or participate in charitable events as a form of corporate social responsibility. This will help prospective clients see your brand in a good light.
Finally, you can host webinars or go live on social media to share knowledge with your clients and prospective clients. You will have to announce this before hand to give your viewers time to prepare, tune in and participate.
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4) Create Awareness
If you want to build a brand, you have to constantly be on people’s faces. You can achieve this by utilizing both offline and online marketing strategies. Before marketing a product or service, businesses should first create brand awareness for their product or service.
Most times, when you start off by creating an ad for social media advertising without first creating a brand awareness for your brand, you may not get the intended result because people don’t know about your brand. It actually takes time for people to make buying decision.
Where you don’t know how to create brand awareness for your business, there are many digital marketing agencies in Nigeria that have tailored services to that effect.
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5) Offer Satisfactory Services
When starting a business, the first thing to determine is the value proposition you intend to offer to your customers. After that, you will then determine who the target audience for your product and service is.
The next thing will be to come up with a strategy that will allow you deliver your value proposition to your intending customers seamlessly. You have to deliver on time exactly what you promised your customers.
When your clients are satisfied, they will be evangelists for your business. And when you deliver value, it automatically sets you apart form competition.
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6) Offer Discount And Bonus
Discounts and bonus are one of the best ways to acquire new customers. Also, it influences old clients to purchase more. Discounts has to be timely and communicated properly.
Examples of discounts and bonues are: A 20% slash in price, buy 4 get 1 free, bring a friend and eat for free etc. There are lots more you can employ. You can also have reward programs for your most outstanding customers.
When planning discounts, ensure that whatever discount or bonus on offer does not affect your bottomline. It is all about having the right strategy, so that the bonuses or discounts achieves its set objective.
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7) Give Room For Testimonials
Seeing, they say is believing. Testimonials works like word of mouth advertising.
There is a reason big companies, even multinationals highlight customers testimonials on their websites. Testimonials is proof that your company can be trusted.
Encourage your customers to do a minute video, write reviews or write testimonials stating their experience with your service. Then, post it on your social media page (facebook, twitter, instagram), or have it displayed on your website.
Clients make buying decisions faster if they see someone they can relate to using your product or services.
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8) Get Listed On Business Directories
Having your business listed on business directories can help prospective customers find you.
These days, people search for businesses on popular business directories to know which one falls within their location, cater to their interest, and is readily accessible. When your business is listed in these directories, your chances of reaching your target customers increases.
There are business directories that are industry specific, so list on directories that are relevant to your industry. Ensure that you have your contact details; business name, email address, phone number, and other important details listed.
Also, listing on business directories and websites direct traffic to your business website and improve your SEO.
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9) Social Media And Website
Gradually, the use of social media is evolving. Multimillion dollars businesses are built and run on social media platform daily.
Social media is where prospective clients spend their time and shop. Your business needs to have a social media presence. It is not enough to have a social media presence, you need to know the right social media platform to find your target audience. Study and understand how the platform work and post contents regularly, so you become top of mind for prospective clients.
Also, it is twenty first century, your business needs a website. Most times, when people want a service, the first place they go, is google. Therefore, if your website is optimised with the right keywords, you will be found and contacted.
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10) ‘Thank You’ Culture
Saying ‘thank you’ to customers works like magic. ‘Thank you’ is a customer service gimmick used for customer retention. It shows you value your customers and their loyalty.
For instance, ReDahlia Workspaces constantly look for creative ways to say ‘thank you’ to their customers and show them how grateful they are for their patronage.
People love attention, people want to be appreciated. It is a human need. Incorporating it into your customer service will stand you out from competitors.
If you haven’t been saying thank you, start today. You can start by sending a text message or an email appreciating your customers. Don’t let an invoice be the only thing your customers expect when they open your email.
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In conclusion, to acquire new customers, you have to have the right call to action. Communicating right and never forgetting to ask for the sale is paramount to acquiring a new customer.
Once you have acquired new customers, ensure your customer service is on point, so you can retain them and reduce your customer acquisition cost. Remember, the goal of every business owner is to keep expenses down and increase profit.
Are there other strategies you employed in the past, do let us know in the comment section.
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