Ask any entrepreneur about the biggest challenge he has ever faced and you’ll get a prompt reply – winning and keeping customers. According to the Pareto Rule, “80 percent of your sales come from 20 percent of your clients.” In order to win those "lucky and profitable customers," you need to have a strategy in place.
Outstanding customer experience and exceptional services are the keys to winning and retaining customers. You need to act smarter and think out-of-the-box to appeal your customers, but how? Let’s take cues on winning customers from some successful entrepreneurs.
1. Know Your Customers
The first step towards success is "knowing your customers." If you have no idea about their wants, wishes and buying behaviors, it will be impossible to entice them. Successful entrepreneurs know their customer’s names, age, income, hobbies, tastes, dislikes, and more. If you know your customer to this depth, then you can expect to win new customers and build a successful business.
Take the example of Rick Alden, the owner of Skullcandy. He truly understands his targeted customers (those between 12 and 26 years of age and interested in all funky things) and their needs. He has created his products (amazing headphones with a skull design on them) to attract his targeted audience.
By knowing these details, entrepreneurs can build products and offer solutions to meet the customers’ needs. To achieve this goal you need to:
- Involve your customers
Entrepreneurs often invest time and money in marketing their products and services without knowing their customers, which is why they fail severely. It is crucial spend time knowing your audience even before you start designing your products.
2. Solve One Problem at a Time
You may have plans to offer a myriad of services, but focusing on providing too many solutions at a time will only result in more confusion. So start with one thing at a time. Understand your targeted audience’s problem and devise a solution accordingly. You may not be able to predict the ultimate result, but it is often great to follow your gut feeling. If you fail, you can always try something new.
Apple, one of the world’s largest tech companies took the same approach to create a foothold in the industry. Apple introduced Apple iPod and iTunes at a time when MP3 players and music download services were on the rise. While others focused on individual services (either selling MP3 players or offering downloading services), Apple combined both seamlessly and offered its customers an amazing product. This was a turning point for the company.
Similarly, Gaurav Kushwaha, Founder of BlueStone, an online jewelry store, came up with the unique proposition of offering quality jewelry at affordable price. This is what sets BlueStone apart from all other stores, whether brick-and-mortar or online. In fact, BlueStone aims to earn revenues of 1,000 crores by 2018.
3. Leverage Employee Power
Delivering world-class customer experience is almost impossible without the support of employees. Successful entrepreneurs understand this and work towards empowering their employees. Your employees are the people who directly interact with customers and maintain customer relationships. You must, therefore, instill a sense of mission among your employees.
Customers value exceptional service and spread the word about companies that provide value. Therefore, instead of looking at short-term benefits, try to create life-long emotional connections through continuous customer engagement. In order to achieve this, you need to hire the best talent and develop their skills to ensure they engage with targeted customers in positive ways. Remember, if you want to win a customer for life, you need to be patient because success does not come overnight.
Encourage your employees to analyze meaningful data and come up with unique ways to engage the targeted and existing customers. This will help you outshine the competition and stay a step ahead of the customer’s expectations.
4. Encourage Customers to Talk
Analytics are a great way to know your customers and how they interact with your business, but won’t it be better to get answers directly from customers? By knowing your customers’ expectations, you can ensure better customer experience.
According to the Walker study, “Customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020.” Customer experience is important as it increases customer retention rates and improves customer satisfaction.
According to Gartner’s predictions, more than 50 percent of organizations will redirect a major portion of their investment towards customer experience innovations by 2018.
In order to craft outstanding customer experiences, you must consistently consider the feedback you receive from your customers. The best way to achieve this is through:
- Reach out directly (through emails)
Analyze the feedback and determine whether you need to make improvements to your products/services or the quality of customer service or both.
There is a high chance that you will receive negative feedback as well, but don’t panic. Assure your customers that you are working towards improving your services and products based on their feedback and promise to offer them the best. Customers are more forgiving of brands that work towards improving their mistakes, so take negative feedbacks positively.
Successful brands are not built in a day. A lot of perseverance is required to build a successful business and at the heart of a successful business are its customers. To become a successful entrepreneur, you must know your customers and offer them the best possible experiences.
Treat your customers as your family members and get to know them as much as you can. Craft experiences that will help you build life-long connections with your customers and take your business to the next level.
Successful entrepreneurs have already started engaging their customers, what are you doing?