STOP CHASING COLD TRAFFIC!
Seriously, I’m getting rather peeved at the amount of time and effort people are putting into continually trying to put new prospects into the top of a colander they call a funnel!
OMG he’s mentioned a new kitchen implement!
Is this code, some new algorithm or acronym for a new get rich quick methodology?
No, it’s the truth!
Most businesses are pouring more and more of their effort, time and money into filling a broken funnel! By not accepting the many HOLES in the funnel! EVERY time someone is placed into a funnel and doesn’t come out exactly where you had previously predicted, ITS A COLANDER! Furthermore, rather than seeing this as FAILURE, you should learn to CELEBRATE these people, as they are THE most valuable ones in your prospecting field right now!
You see, whilst they may not have spent any money with you, or at best made a cheap one off purchase never to be seen again, they have helped YOU identify where the hole is! If the exited at anywhere other than where you previously predicted, then its a GOLDEN opportunity to LEARN!
What’s that…..you DON’T Predict where they are going to exit?
Argh! Then why on earth would you expect them to appear where you WANTED them to do so, if you haven’t even properly mapped out where that is!
Again, another GREAT lesson here. MAP the journey before you expect people to follow a journey, and then observe, review, amend and trial again and again and again until they are starting to and continually coming out where you had previously planned!
While bringing in new customers is an important part of business, its a simple FACT that retaining customers is even more valuable to today’s companies. The benefits of going the extra mile for your first-time clients make it well worth the effort, both this and EVERY time.
SMART businesses are focusing on customer retention more than acquisition because it costs five times less to keep current clients than it does to acquire new ones, meaning greater return on your investment.
Your repeat business could be worth ten times more than your first-time clients, so a plan to create loyalty is crucial to your company’s success.
The first time a new customer uses your service, will they leave feeling like while they had a good experience, they could have the same experience with one of your competitors? If so, there is room for improvement. Mediocre service is for mediocre businesses. Show your customers you are not just a cut but the cut above the rest by exceeding their expectations at every turn.
To delight customers (old and new) and keep them coming back for more, put the following four tips into practice right away.
1. Provide an Exceptional Customer Experience
Providing a top-notch customer experience is essential to retention. Business has become increasingly competitive and being average is no longer enough. When you consider that increasing your retention rates by a mere 5% can increase your overall profits by up to 95%, the importance of standing apart from your competitors becomes clear.
Recognize and acknowledge that the client, and make sure your team is on the same page and ready to promote a positive and helpful experience. You only get one shot to nurture and grow the customer relationship, so make it count. Remember this should NOT stop once they are ‘regulars’ surely there is SO MUCH MORE value in repeat business than in first time business, and so your level of customer EXPERIENCE (not service) needs to continually IMPROVE and not slacken off!
2. Be the Solution to Their Problem
Solving your customers’ problems the first time will create a lasting impression. Instill confidence in your first-time clients and they will trust you to make things easier for them again in the future. Show new customers that you are knowledgeable about how their needs and your industry intersect. Ask questions about your first-time customer’s situation that shows them you are knowledgeable about how your products and services can make things easier for them. They will appreciate your insight into your base and come back to you because they know you can be counted on for delivering results.
Simply accept: “It’s not about you!”
It never was, and it never will be. Get out of your own way, and understand that your PRIMARY role and purpose in your customers life is to be a solution to their problem. If you can’t ADD VALUE either directly or indirectly, then stop trying to buy loyalty with nothing more to give than taking up their time and space! You HAVE to get into the habit of understanding your customers wants and needs, and become forward enough thinking to provide solutions to the problems they have and the ones they are YET to have!
3. Give More than What’s Expected
Want to dazzle first-time clients? It’s time to get familiar with the concept of under-promising and over-delivering. Anytime a company does business with you for the first time, consider that they are taking a risk and most likely wondering if it will pay off.
Set reasonable expectations that are clearly laid-out, and then double down on delivering. Promise two-hour turnaround if you know you can do the job in one. Include personal touches like thank you cards and discount codes. This shows your first-time client that returning to you down the line is a risk-free proposition and a gamble worth taking.
You might think this is the same as under promise and over deliver. But it doesn’t end there. When was the last time you said Thank you for your business! And before you tick that off the list and say we print it on every VAT receipt! I mean REALLY go out of your way to demonstrate your gratitude for the money time and effort they are willing to share with you and your business? How do you UPGRADE EVERY SINGLE ASPECT of the experience so much that it is forward thinking and proactive rather than ‘Have a nice day now’ REACTIVE?
4. Embrace the Art of Following Up
Where your first-time clients are concerned, follow-up matters. Strike a delicate balance between showing that your company is worth doing business with again and not coming off as pushy. After an initial sale, delight a new customer with a carefully crafted e-mail. You can increase your click-through and engagement rates by placing your clients into categories based upon their first purchase.
Targeting them with relevant content that specifically meets their needs at this stage of your relationship means better follow-through than you could hope to achieve with a generic welcome e-mail.
If you are the owner of a business and you are making increasing customer retention among your first-time clients a top priority, you are not alone. An increasing number of businesses have implemented loyalty programs because research has consistently shown they work. While there is just a 32% chance first-time customers will purchase from your company again in the future, by the tenth purchase there is an 83% chance they will buy from you again and again and again.
A person’s first visit is an opportunity to grow your business, and smart owners will plan to engage HERE where it matters most, to begin that lifelong customer experience.