Want To Accelerate Customer Acquisition? Focus On Experience First!
Date: Friday , June 03, 2016
Headquartered in Bengaluru, LeadSquared is marketing software company that assists the SMBs to achieve revenue growth by effectively aligning their sales and marketing efforts.
One hot Saturday morning, my friends and I decided to have brunch at a new restaurant that had opened up near our place. Based on the reviews online, it seemed good and we couldn\'t wait to try it out! It certainly was memorable - for we left without eating. Not because we were unhappy with the food (we never got around to that), but simply because it wasn\'t a great experience. As we walked out, I realized that this was probably how a lot of businesses failed at customer acquisition. Let me explain.
Efficient Lead capture
We reached the diner at 11:30 AM and signaled the waiter. Without even a perfunctory nod, he went about his business. We ended up waiting quite a while for them to acknowledge our presence!
In the digital world, this is tantamount to - not capturing the prospect as a lead, and not even sending a basic acknowledgement that their query has been received! Say a prospect calls your office for information about your product. Would it not be a great oversight if you are unable to record the lead and conversation details for further communication?
Forget recording the details - what if someone requests a callback from your website, and you never call him back, because, the lead just got lost somewhere. Unfortunately, this oversight happens more often than you might think. A leaky lead capture system results in a lot of valuable customers slipping through the cracks without even entering the sales cycle!
Careful Lead Nurturing
So what happens after the waiter greets you? Well, you naturally expect to be given a menu, have your water glass filled and then some more time to decide on what you were going to order. Your business leads are no different. Sending out a welcome email, offering useful content that would benefit them, and helping them decide whether to buy your product or not will definitely help in converting the lead.
Personalization & Response Time
Anyway, let me tell you why exactly we left the place. We got our water and our menu (after a solid forty-minute wait) and then we went ahead to order what we wanted - only to be told that since it was past 12:00 pm, nothing of what we wanted could be served.
That right there - the immovable lack of personalization was what clinched the deal. We left because we did not feel valued as customers. I mean, first there was this unnecessary wait which cost us our meal (I told you we reached at 11:30 right?), and then there was no genuine interest from the management to accommodate us! Forget the meal - they could have done something more than just shrugging their shoulders with dismissal.
If it is within your capabilities to meet specific client requirements, please do so. Showing your prospect that you value him enough to customize your services for him helps! At least, you won\'t leave behind annoyed leads who could have become customers in your wake.
Problem Solving Approach
Okay, let\'s say it was beyond waiter\'s capabilities to do the personalization. It was, after all, a Saturday, they had a good numbers of tables to serve. He couldn\'t convince the cook to make something exclusively for us -it\'s completely understandable. But, he could have convinced us to stay! Instead of stating point blank that it is not available, had he offered a small dessert on the house (or perhaps a refreshing drink), we would have certainly considered staying on!
Your lead has taken some time to assess your services. In case he is skeptical about it, offering a free trial can help convince him. In the case of difficult leads who are not satisfied with the experience, if you offer them some free samples, you are sure to leave behind a favorable impression. It would mean that you genuinely value him (as a lead) and so tried your level best to provide what he wanted.
Had the waiter tried to make us feel valued in any way, we might have stayed on, or would\'ve decided to visit the diner on a later date.
Great Overall Experience
In the end, it all boils down to how the lead felt during the entire sales cycle. You see, a happy lead makes a great customer, and a satisfied customer sticks. If throughout your sales cycle, you have put the lead requirements first, followed up promptly, he\'d undoubtedly become more involved with your brand.
That restaurant lost only 4 customers that day. Compared to the dozens that throng their gates, it\'s a small number, and doesn\'t make much of a difference to them monetarily. But a smart business owner knows that each prospect counts. There is word of mouth referral, there is social media platform to rant or praise, there are umpteen review forums your leads can turn to. And if he does have something bad to say about you, a whole community (pretty much your target audience) will hear about it.
A healthy customer acquisition strategy comes from knowing that every lead counts, and the least you can do is make sure that they get a great experience, at each step. It need not always end in sales.
So, in your next meeting, put problem-solving on the forefront, instead of focusing on just sales. Chances are, your sales will automatically go up - thanks to happy leads who convert to customers.