Many entrepreneurs dream of starting and running successful brands that will grow into household names, but a large number of them forget or have no idea of the basic tenets that instruct how to acquire customers and keep them delighted. In many businesses, the cost per acquisition (CPA), that is, the cost of acquiring new customers is often way higher than the cost of retaining them, and so it is important to maintain a meticulously strategic balance between the process of acquiring and retaining customers. Also, depending on the industry, there is need to pay close attention to whether businesses should prioritize on acquiring new customers or retaining older ones.

As a general rule of the thumb, when the value of the order is low but the frequency of purchase or high, then the business should focus on retaining such a client in order to make more frequent sales. This would work such as in the case of a fast food restaurant that should offer exemplary customer service in order to retain customers for tomorrow, the day after and so on. However, when the order value is high and the frequency of purchase is low, then the emphasis should be placed on acquiring new customers. This is because there are more chances of selling an item to a new customer than for an older customer to buy an item for the second time. This can be the case in instances such as car sales, where once a customer buys a car, they are likely to spend another three years before needing a new car, so investing in retaining that client would simply be a classical example of burning cash.

Acquisition versus retention prioritization matrix

That said, let’s get into how to acquire and retain customers. Customer delight is a common term in strategic marketing that refers to the effort made by the business to exceed the expectations of customers, to provide a great customer experience, which is mostly through emotional connection. Why again is it important to delight customers, it helps to increase customer life-time value, as well as increases customers retention rate. Okay so how can you acquire and keep these customers?

  1. Never stop learning

The biggest mistake many entrepreneurs make is to think they have learned their clientele well enough to make life-time decisions for them. Like it is often said in a relationship when one partner breaks the heart of the other, people change, and so do customers. A vision-led business needs to invest in keeping up with the needs, demands and expectations of their clientele, knowing what they need, how they need it, when, whether they actually need it, in what manner and price and so on. The moment you stop learning, that is the moment you stop planning to succeed with winning the hearts of your clientele..

  1. Make interactions personal and special

Nothing feels more attractive than to know you are a special person. Instead of saying hello customers, or to all clients, how about you try a Hello Ruth or Hello James, or Hello Sarah. Like we mentioned earlier, it is all about emotions, and if you do not know how to play around with emotions of happiness, sadness, then you will never know how to use them to your advantage. The other day I called a business, and the man on the other end was so cold that I literally asked him, hey why are you so cold, he casually went ahead to insist I make my order, forgetting I am a human being with feelings that help me make decisions. At the end of the day, I chose to give that business to a very warm lady who engaged me in a chit-chat and made me feel special.

  1. Use complaints to better your brand

Many times we are tempted to think complaints from dissatisfied customers are just meant to bring us down, and we become extremely defensive, but we make a grand mistake right there. Depending on how you see complaints, you can easily fail or succeed in your desire to acquire customers and keep them delighted. Purpose-driven businesses will see complaints as valuable feedback helping them to improve on areas of concern to clients. For example, if clients in your restaurant complain of slow service, instead of talking back and attacking them for complaints, use that as feedback to know that you need to improve on your turn-around time to keep your customers delighted.

  1. Make yourself trustable (don’t over promise or under deliver) 

Don’t act in a manner that will put your trust in question. You must remember that to acquire customers and keep them delighted, you must ensure their emotions remain upbeat about you. The moment you give them reasons to believe your character is questionable, then that is where you start preparing your downfall. Rebuilding trust can be very costly in many instances, and so one need not put their trust in jeopardy.

  1. Never compromise on quality

No matter the circumstance, never let go of quality. Don’t allow a desperate moment to make you lower your quality in the hopes of winning a customer over, because those are the same customers who will testify against your quality in the eyes of others. While you think you are cashing in and acquiring or retaining customers by lowering your quality, you are actually messing up your trust and the likelihood of being referred to another client. If a client asks for lowering of quality in order to pay the lesser amount they can afford, you have an option of referring them to a cheaper option, or lowering the quantity or frequency but not the quality.

  1. Know your customers

Many establishments have already begun the know your customer (KYC) program that enables them to edge closer to making data-driven decisions that include aspects relevant to you. This helps them to offer personalized services, address you personally and sort your problems in a manner you can appreciate. This is done with the intention of keeping you, because reacquiring you is too much of a hustle for the business to take. For example, Kenyan service provider Safaricom is known for sending our personalized internet offers to customers on their birthday as a gift, how else would they be able to make the customer feel special without knowing them? This must be a result of a well crafted strategy guiding them on how to acquire customers and keep them delighted, thus the boom in business for the company.

Begin a comprehensive know-your-customers strategy here? Reach out to us for support.

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