A business won’t be in business for long without a steady stream of customers, both returning customers and new ones. Because the cost of getting a new customer can be high, businesses often focus on retaining current ones. But it’s still important to try to bring new customers in. Avoiding the following mistakes will help the customer acquisition process go as smoothly as possible for your company.
Mistake 1: Making a Bad First Impression
You’re heard all the clichés: you only get one chance to make a first impression, first impressions last the longest, and so on. Given the importance placed on really wowing a customer the first time you come into contact with him or her, you’d be surprised at how often companies mess up the first impression.
Making a bad first impression can range from anything from running out of inventory and not being able to fulfill your orders to having a customer service representative from your team speak harshly or in a rude tone to a new or potential customer.
Another way to make a bad first impression is to under promise or undersell your company. It’s a competitive world out there, and customers might have the option of working with several companies that are similar to yours. When connecting with those potential customers, really sell your company, thinking of the components that make you different (and better) than the rest.
Mistake 2: Trying to Be Trendy
It often seems like there’s always a new way to attract and connect with customers. But, just because other companies are following the trends and having some degree of success, doesn’t mean your business needs to do the same. In some cases, the marketing or customer acquisition trend du jour might not make any sense for your business, or could end up costing you more in the long run.
Take a close look at the tactics you’re using to reach out to new customers. Influencer marketing might be a popular technique these days, but not if your primary customers aren’t big social media users. The same is true for pay-per-click services such as Google AdWords. They might be popular and might work for some, but they aren’t always the most effective choices.
Mistake 3: Not Having a Big Enough Budget
Your customer acquisition budget will be influenced by your company’s overall finances and budget. Not every business has the resources to spend considerable amounts of money bringing in new customers. That said, it’s essential that you have a realistic understanding of the potential costs of acquiring customers and that you leave room in the budget to account for them.
Mistake 4: Not Knowing What Customer Acquisition Costs
Not knowing how much it will cost your business to get a new customer goes hand in hand with not setting a big enough budget to acquire customers. One way to estimate customer acquisition cost is to subtract the amount you spend on marketing to and connecting with customers from the amount those new customers will bring into your company in terms of sales. Another way to determine the cost is to look at what you’ve spent and divide that by the number of new customers you brought in. If your business spent $2,000 and gained 10 new customers during one month, the cost per customer for that month is $200.
Mistake 5: Assuming a First-Time Customer Will Become an Ongoing Customer
Getting repeat customers is often a goal, but it doesn’t always happen. If you want a new customer to become a loyal customer, you need to think beyond the first sale. What can your business do to get a customer to come back? Offering a discount on a subsequent purchase is one option, as is sending a personal note thanking that customer for purchasing from or working with your company. Getting repeat customers goes back to making a great first impression. If you don’t give them a reason to return, odds are likely that they won’t.
New Direction Capital can help you gain a better understanding of how acquiring and retaining customers can help improve your business’ finances and help it grow. To learn more about how our virtual CFO services can help your company, contact us today.
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