From a lead to a loyal customer. A tale in three acts.

From a lead to a loyal customer. A tale in three acts.

For lack a better word, the term “lead” is usually translated into Polish as a potential customer. Well, it’s not exactly the right term, because there are usually more potential customers than leads. What is a lead then, and what to do to make them become a customer?

Act 1. Lead on the horizon

A lead appears when interest in the product occurs. Let’s take a moment to go back offline and into traditional commerce. Picture a passerby who simply passes a storefront and does not even look at the shopwindow. And then another passerby pays attention to a specific item on display. He goes inside, takes it in his hand, but ultimately does not make a purchase. The person number two is a lead, because he showed interest in our services or goods. In e-commerce, a lead is a user, who e.g. has completed the registration form, left their details. Thus, there are favorable conditions to begin the sale process.
A lead appearing on the horizon is the result of the work of many departments – including the most important ones, namely marketing and commercial. But this is not the end. After lead classification, or evaluation as to which one creates the greatest sales potential, you need to adapt the strategy to each of the groups.
If a lead does not show the willingness to buy, they should not be forgotten, but instead provided with valuable content and striving to their attention (lead nurturing).

The way from a lead to a customer is long and often bumpy. What to do to improve conversion? Here are some tips:

Use a CRM. The first step should be to find a CRM system that suits your needs. This will help you better manage your customer data, analyze factors, and track user interaction on your site. It is estimated that the customer retention rate increases by as much as 27% after using the appropriate system. The return on investment is also promising: as much as $ 5.6 return for every $ 1 spent. Do you run an online store? Think of edrone – the first CRM designed for ecommerce.

Be accessible and competent. It’s important to respond to potential customers’ queries as quickly as possible and in reasonable hours. Most importantly – you need to know what you are talking about. Always be prepared to talk. Want some numbers for proof? A customer is nine times more likely to stay with you if you reply to their email within 5 minutes! The sad truth is that as many as 58% of leads after talking to sellers say their level of competence leaves much to be desired. So there is a lot to do.

Find a common language. Personalize the content that you send to the customer. Avoid empty words, get to know your client, explore their social media activity, and get a better deal for them. Remember that personalized emails allow +14% CTR and +10 conversion rate!

Negotiate and inform. Allow your potential customer time to think. At the same time, prepare for negotiations and be flexible. Remember to constantly remind yourself and be consistent in this. Otherwise the lead may “cool down” quickly. It turns out that most deals are closed between the 5th and 12th contact. That’s a lot, but it gives a good view of how unyielding you have to be. The biggest mistake? As many as half salespeople do not send prospects to potential customers after the meeting. It’s a big oversight and a loss of opportunity to win customers.

Act 2. Client on board

So, you managed to win the customer, do not spoil it. Constantly improve your product. This is a classic win-win situation: the best thing is that the more you try to get a quicker return on your investment, the better it is for the customer – because you simply offer a better service. You do not have to lure them with promises you cannot keep – just give them what they want, which is a great product.

The key to success in any business is understanding how psychology works. In almost every human being, specific stimuli cause specific relationships. If you want to influence your customers and understand them better, you need to know these incentives and be able to use them in marketing communication. In addition, take care of soft skills in your customer service department. What qualities are most desirable?

Patience and mindfulness. The fact that you are respectful and patient towards the client positively influences how you are perceived. It is all the more important since customers who call you are usually frustrated or confused by illegible rules etc. Take your time to explain the customer how you are going to solve the problem.
The ability to listen is also one of the key competencies in customer service. It is important that every customer receives your maximum attention.

Know your product. Knowing what we sell seems crucial. It does not really mean that every employee must know how to build a single product from scratch – but they must have enough knowledge to be able to help the customer in the event of an issue.

Use the language of benefits. Language is a very important building block for the persuasive process. The customer creates an image of your brand based on what language it uses in marketing communications. The message may have quite different effects when conveyed in different ways. Example: “We cannot get the goods for you. It has been sold out and will be unavailable for a month.” Now let’s try to pass on the message in a completely different way: “The product will be available in a month. I can make an order for you right now and make sure that as soon as the goods reach our warehouse, it will be shipped to you immediately.” The same message, but the second version sounds way better, doesn’t it?
Basics of acting. Let’s face it – it may happen that you will not be able to fully satisfy the customer. Those people are often cumbersome and even unpleasant – it is especially difficult to keep a poker face. That is why it is worthwhile to master the fundamentals of acting and to keep your nerves in check. It is also important to be able to “read” the customer – to be aware of his or her current mood, degree of patience, sense of humor, etc.

Time management skills. To respond each customer with an answer to their question as quickly and efficiently as possible, or solve the problem with which they reported to us.

Act 3. Faithfulness is a virtue; or why having loyal customers means so much?

Well, let’s answer this question by quoting some statistics – a loyal customer is worth ten times more than when you had first secured them. It is repeatedly stated that winning new customers is six times more expensive than keeping current ones. Regular customers know us and value our services, so they are also willing to recommend our products to others.

The percentage of satisfied customers is crucial, especially for small businesses since it builds the reputation of their brands, which is especially important at the beginning of running a business. If you continue to provide the highest level of service, customers will be more likely to buy products in your store, because they will be convinced that what this converts to the quality of the products they buy. In short, the more you give, the more you can receive in return.

Of the clients who declare brand loyalty, as many as 64% claim that the main reason is the values that the brand adheres to and which they share themselves. These values are the strongest driving force in building brand loyalty. Moreover, consumers say that it is not the brand they are attached to, but the ideals that it expresses.

Reaching customers honestly and on a natural, human level is crucial. It’s important to emphasize that both you and your customers are on the same side.
The most popular brands stand out by the fact that their strength is also the influenced they have outside of them. Simply put – added value matters. An example would be the American shoe brand, TOMS – its founder had noticed during his travels in South America that a lot of children are walking barefoot on the streets. He came up with the idea that for every pair of TOMS shoes purchased, one child from developing countries would receive shoes for themselves. This is not an isolated case. Customers are willing to pay more for the goods if they believe that the brand stands to certain values. Nobody is surprised by the higher price of hand-made clothes in Poland, instead of the ones mass-manufactured in China, or of cosmetics that are not tested on animals.

***

As you can see, winning loyal customers requires a lot of work, but it’s worth the effort. A loyal customer will stay with you for years if you take proper care of them and the quality of your services. It is worth already thinking about it now.

Katarzyna Gądek

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By Daniele Zedda • 18 February

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