Marketing your business is expensive. Coming up with client acquisition strategies that will not break the bank can be hard. Acquiring a new client can cost you seven or eight times more money than retaining your current clients.
But you can get new clients without spending much money.
Using your existing clients to help bring in new business is one of my favorite ways to do this. It may sound confused, but it is much easier than you might think.
It is all about getting original. Coming up with an acquisition policy that also supports retention is a win-win scenario for everyone involved.
Do not minimize the power of a recommendation. Research shows 84% of users say they trust recommendations from friends and family. When your brand gets recommended to someone, they’re likely to give it a shot.
But the point here is getting that initial recommendation. How do you do it?
If you have never tried to combine this strategy into your marketing plan before, do not worry. I will give you some consideration into how you can proceed.
Here is what you need to know.
PROVIDE FRIENDLY CUSTOMER SERVICE
Before you start any new marketing campaigns, analyze your brand’s culture. Begin with your customer service.
Optimizing the client experience can help you to boost not only revenue but also acquire new clients.
Recent studies showed that clients who had close cooperation with a company were likely to promote that company to others. The majority of people who experienced competitive service would not support a brand.
Being friendly costs you nothing.
Just make sure your customer service representatives and managers and are all on the same page. If you are dealing with clients face-to-face, you need to train your staff to smile.
Be positive. Ask your clients how their day is going. Try to have real connections with your clients.
Even if you are talking to people over the phone or online, the tone of your voice will transfer your attitude.
Do not sigh or take deep breaths of frustration. Do not be standoffish or monotone. Speak in a friendly voice which is energetic and welcoming.
Even smiling when you are talking on the phone can help make the tone of your voice sound more confident.
Employing this strategy is a no-brainer. This is not something you can measure, but when your existing clients have a positive experience with your company, they will be happy to tell their family and friends about it.
Before you know it, new clients will be walking through your doors. If you approach them in the same way, they will recommend your brand to others as well.
RESPOND TO CLIENT INQUIRIES AS FAST AS POSSIBLE
Let’s continue discussing customer service. In addition to providing friendly care during daily interactions, your support team needs to go the extra mile when clients have problems or questions.
It is easy to get frustrated with a disgruntled customer. Even if you think they’re in the wrong, treat them with respect, and make them feel as though they’re right.
Do not make clients wait to hear back from a customer service representative. This is something you need to remember no matter where you are conducting business.
If you have a brick-and-mortar location, do not make your clients wait to speak to a manager. Get someone right away. When taking calls over the phone, do not put your clients on hold for too long.
Even if you are taking client inquiries online via email or through your website’s platform, emphasize responding right away.
Have a look at these numbers, and just let that drain in for a moment.
Clients who received a fast but ineffective response were more likely to recommend a brand that clients who received a slow but satisfactory solution.
Just because you solve a client’s problem does not mean they will advise you to others if you took too long to complete it.
But if you offer a fast response, clients are still willing to recommend your brand even if you did not provide a solution.
COME UP WITH A REFERRAL PROGRAM
Some people will be willing to advise your brand only if they can get something in return. Can you blame them?
Clients love getting free stuff and discounts. Come up with a client referral program that rewards your current clients for spreading the word about your company.
One of the best customer referral programs I have seen is from Uber.
Here is how their program works. The client who sends the referral gets credit, and the new client also gets credit.
The rewards vary depending on time and the city, but here is an example of a $20 program:
It is a major success.
With this example, the client acquisition cost is $40. Uber is paying $20 to two clients.
Clients who use the service at least once per week spend about $94 per month on this platform. Uber holds 25% of that.
So in less than 1-2 months, the customer acquisition cost already pays for itself. It is a great strategy and increases the lifetime value of a client.
Once a new client joins, they’re likely to refer their friends as well as to try to keep getting discounts. It may seem like much money, but as you can notice from the numbers I just went through, it is well worth it.
If your referral program is worth only a few bucks, it will not get your clients excited. How much effort do you suppose them to put into a referral if you are giving them something like $7 or maybe 10% in return?
Same goes for the new client who is receiving the recommendation. But offering a $20 credit could be sufficient to get a free product or, in the case with Uber, a free ride.
Find a way to apply this idea to your company. Based on Uber’s rapid growth since inception, I am sure it’ll work for you as well.
CELEBRATE MILESTONES WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS
It is necessary to get to know your clients. Do not treat them as faceless and nameless people.
Talk to them. Find out why they’re spending money at your store. For instance, let’s say you own a restaurant. When a client comes in and places a huge order, ask them if it’ is for a special occasion.
Do step forward to make them feel like you care. Maybe they are celebrating an anniversary or a birthday party. If the order is big, you could try to offer to give them a discount or free delivery.
Half of the clients who talk about brands on social media when posting about a life milestone do so to advise the brand to others.
I realize it isn’t always easy to find out information about milestones in a client’s life, especially if you’re operating an e-commerce business.
But whenever it is applicable, try your best to get as much information as possible about the purchase. This also links back to the discussion about friendly customer service.
The relevance and importance of this marketing features will depend on the industry, of course. But you can still come up with smart ways to incorporate this marketing policy into your business.
For instance, let’s say you sell clothing. A group of women comes into your shop and starts trying on expensive dresses. Teach your sales team to ask, “Is it for a special occasion?”
If you discover one of the women just got involved, do whatever you can to make them feel special without compromising your profit margins.
Based on the data I just presented to you, this will increase the chances of those clients advising your brand to people on social media.
Even if they do not officially recommend your business, look at some of the other best responses on that list:
-show brand preference;
-thank the brand.
All these posts are still positive presentation for your company. As a result, their friends and family will be more likely to try your services or products.
Here are some of the most general life events that cause clients to recommend a brand on social media:
Be aware of this if you are in an industry where these types of milestones are relevant to your business.
PROMOTE USER-GENERATED CONTENT (UGC)
Now, it is time to consider outside the box and get productive.
Running promotions that encourage UGC is a great way to improve your business.
It will not cost you much money to achieve this. UGC will not take too much time on your end, and it demands very minimal effort.
But the results can be very satisfying.
With UGC, your clients will not officially be promoting your business. However, the brand exposure you will be generating is just as effective as a recommendation.
Take a look at how user-generated content influences online shoppers:
There are loads of ways you can approach this. One of my favorites is organizing contests on social media.
Use Facebook or Instagram as a marketing channel to run one of these contests. Have your clients upload videos and photos that promote your services or products.
At a specified deadline, pick the post with the most comments or likes, and award them a prize. If you make the prize worth it, you will get a high participation rate from your followers.
As a result, your brand will be presented to people who follow the clients participating in the contest. This recommends your brand to a new audience.
You can even dedicate a section of your website to user-generated content.
Let clients share stories or upload videos about their experiences with your company. It will help you get new clients in the door without crippling your marketing budget.
ENCOURAGE CLIENTS TO REVIEW YOUR BUSINESS
You can support your company in many different ways, including writing about your service or product. But nothing is viewed as trustworthy as an online review from a customer.
You will tell people your business is excellent. Customers know you will not willingly share damaging information about your brand.
Information on your website can be not enough for you to get a new client. But client reviews increase the chances of a new client buying from your brand:
Make sure your brand has a profile set up on as many review websites as possible. In addition to allowing reviews directly on your website, let your clients review your business on platforms like:
The more platforms you are on, the higher your character will be. Some users trust reviews on some websites more than others.
Research shows the two most trusted review websites are the Better Business Bureau and Google. Just having an account on Yelp is not enough.
Now you need to find ways to get your existing clients to write reviews. Ask them directly. After they complete a purchasing, nicely ask them to write a review online.
Or you could go another way and give them an excuse. You can offer some promotion or a discount if they write a review for your brand online.
Just make sure you are not soliciting good reviews. Make it clear you are just asking for a review, and hope it is a good one.
To keep client acquisition costs low, you need to come up with some creative marketing strategy. Making detailed changes to the ways your business operates can get your existing clients to recommend your brand to others. Start with easy things like customer service. Always be friendly, and respond to client inquiries ASAP. Create a client referral program that rewards your current clients for recommending you as well as your new clients for trying your brand out.
Help your clients celebrate significant milestones and events in their lives. Encourage USG, and make it simple for your clients to review your business online. If you follow these tips, your current clients will be recommending your business to new ones, expanding your customer base.
How are you leveraging recommendations from your existing clients to keep your customer acquisition costs low?