We’ve seen plenty of PR nightmares arise as businesses, with the best of intentions, attempt to prune their own acquisition budgets. The most common problem is that as businesses slash customer procurement costs, they also erode their customer experience – creating a financial wash or even a net loss when the dust settles.
An expensive customer acquisition process shouldn’t be the price of admission to run a successful business. The good news is that you can lower your customer acquisition costs without hurting your customer experience. Here are the practices we’ve seen work in our outbound and inbound sales support programs.
Focus on the Right Buyer Segment
One of the greatest opportunities to reduce acquisition costs is to pursue more low hanging fruit. Each additional touch point adds labor dollars and increases spend on sales and marketing campaigns. By focusing on your ideal customers, your salespeople yield more sales at lower customer acquisition costs.
With that in mind, your salespeople need a defined profile of your target buyer segments – one they know inside and out. Who are your ideal customers? What do they want? What challenges can your product or service solve for them? What makes buyers feel valued? When you know the answers, you can tailor your sales scripts to speak to the heart of your target buyers’ pain points and motivators. As you win over these consumers faster, you reduce the multiplied expenses accrued during a longer customer journey.
Patch the Sales Funnel
Often, sales funnels are more porous than companies imagine. Customers enter and exit the funnel without your salespeople sealing the deal. This results in lower conversion rates and excessive waste in your sales budget. What’s the fix? Often, a few tweaks to your sales funnel approach can reduce the cost of customer acquisition.
- Awareness – There is a twofold way to reduce costs during awareness. First is proper lead qualification. Target the right leads early and you can narrow your outreach to prospects with higher conversion probability.
Second, you can outsource awareness building campaigns. Using your internal sales team as carnival barkers drumming up interest is not an effective use of their time. Yet outbound sales acquisition support are perfect for this task. They can deliver a no-pressure sales pitch, communicate your values and differentiators, and funnel interested prospects to your sales people – all at a lower cost.
- Consideration – One risk in this stage is not fully engaging prospects until they’re ready to buy. Often, this stems from unclear goals or weak calls to action. By asking consumers to take a next step (filling out a contact form, providing them with branded content, etc.), you are more likely to retain consumers through this stage. Be sure to continue to communicate the value and trustworthiness of your brand across these touch point interactions.
Marketing automation is vital during this stage. It helps to send reminders or follow ups to your prospects that free up your internal sales team to work with warmer leads. With the right program, you can even customize the emails or messages to resonate with buyers on a deeper level.
As with any aspect of your business, data can help to uncover inefficiencies and opportunities to cut costs. Just like the right outsourced contact center will measure and adapt to your customer service metrics, your business should be prepared to change processes based on your analytical findings.
Prioritize Customer Retention
Customer acquisition without customer retention is like treading water. Unless customer procurement results in a healthy net gain, more pressure is placed on your salespeople to deliver customers. High attrition not only puts a strain on sales but undercuts their hard work with a revolving door of customers.
What retains customers these days? Consumers want to feel engaged and, if they don’t, are easily swayed toward competing products and services. Customer retention best practices are a whole topic unto themselves, but putting these concepts into practice avoids dreadful levels of customer churn:
- Wow customers – The right kind of spontaneity is great for customer retention. People love surprises. When they feel your brand might reward their loyalty at any moment, they’re more likely to value your relationship and stay for the long haul.
- Satisfy customer expectations – Customers expect a certain degree of responsiveness from digital customer service. As many as 80% of consumers expect a response to a social media question or comment in 24 hours. By responding quickly, you can keep long-time supporters, making the addition of new customers to the fold all the more profitable.
Outsource Your Customer Service
By targeting the right buyer segment, improving the sales funnel, and maintaining customer retention, your business can lower acquisition cost significantly. That said, why should you pull your attention away from your core business? Do what you do best and outsource the rest!