Crisis or not, every business loses customers. Whether through a bad experience, poor customer journey or simply because they got distracted, it's easy for people to fall off the radar. This is both inevitable, and a good thing, as it shows you where the holes in your marketing strategy are.
There are many reasons why someone might disappear from your sights. We're going to cover the main leaks in a universal business plan and look at how we can fix them.
1. Their priorities changed
I'm going to start here as, whilst a global pandemic is not a regular occurrence, it is all people can talk about right now.
Tackling the problem of customers that have simply 'changed their mind' is a difficult one. The tactic for winning them back is a subtler approach than simply emailing them with a discount code. It's important to work out why they've changed their minds – in this case, COVID-19 has forced them to become hermits. So, if you're selling a dress they were buying for an event that is now cancelled, you're going to struggle to get them to continue with that purchase.
This is where you need to think about the nature of your company and ask: is it essential? If you're the owner of a business selling luxury products, you need to admit to yourselves, and customers, that you're not vital to beating this pandemic. Trying to shoehorn your product into the lives of worried people isn't going to go down well and will harm your reputation in the long run.
Adopt an honest, open dialogue with your customer base. Talk to them in the same way you would your family and friends. Don't continue promoting your products in the same way. It can actually be more effective to put your sales strategy on the back burner and instead approach people with no objective other than being there for them. Update them on your business, be genuine and then they'll remember how you treated them when our lives go back to normal.
2. They got lost
If you're running PPC ads (you should be, they'll make you loads of money) you need to ensure your ad copy marries up with the page you take them to. It's worth having dedicated landing pages for each category of your business. If your ad is boasting a great 50% off deal for lawnmowers, but then links to your main website where there's not a peep about lawnmowers, you're going to lose them.
Having ad groups and landing pages designed with specific categories in mind helps to focus your customer journey based on their intent.
If you're unsure where people are falling off, take your customer journey yourself. If your nan can't work out where to click, then you need to simplify things. Also, make use behaviour analysis tools to see how people interact with your website and fix any issues you find.
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3. You didn't get back to them
This is another silly, but really easy, mistake to make. Running a business is hard work, particularly if you're a one-man-band. So, if someone gets in touch with you and you don't have time to reply there and then, what's stopping you forgetting to reply?
Without an efficient lead capturing system in place, you'll always struggle to manage your potential customers. You may be thinking "I'm managing fine the way things are", but how can you be sure? Everyone is confident they haven't missed a potential lead, until proved otherwise. Customer Relationship Management tools are a great way to manage your leads as well as plan for future capacity.
4. They got distracted
In today's fast-paced world, you barely get a minute to yourself. It's easy to get distracted and your attention pulled to other things. I regularly ask myself "what was I supposed to be doing?" If you can relate to this, so can your customers.
You need to account for those that see your offering and are interested, but don't have the time right now to engage. This is where you need to use remarketing campaigns to remind them you exist; to reignite that flame of interest when the brisk wind of distraction blows it out.
Remarketing campaigns are ads targeted at people who have interacted with you before: whether they've visited your website, engaged with your social post or clicked on your ad. You can create audiences based around these interactions with the aim of getting them to re-engage with you once more.
Remarketing can also fall into the next issue of customers who have used you before but never have again.
5. They bought once but never again
It costs five times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. A quick way to increase your ROI is to put the effort into your existing customers. If all your focus is on getting new ones through the door, pretty soon they'll be following your current ones who are walking out the back one. Strong businesses are built on customer loyalty.
A handy tip is to create customer lists to match your customer information to their searches. This means you can give them a personalised ad when they look for you again and increase the likelihood of them purchasing from you.
With customer lists, you can also segment out those who have previously spent a lot of money with you. By targeting high-value clients specifically, you'll get a better ROI than you would targeting your whole customer base.
6. They discounted you as not being the right fit
As mentioned above, it's important to have targeted ad copy that speaks about the product or service your potential customer is interested in. If they're looking for someone to pave their driveway, an ad that boasts about the benefits of paving is much more likely to be clicked than one that lists paving as a service amongst loads of other stuff.
However, it's also important you spread the word of everything you offer. It's common for small businesses to get overlooked because their customers didn't realise the business offers the thing they are looking for. Running brand awareness campaigns is a good way to solve this problem: these ads are dedicated to telling the world who you are and what you do. Their aim is to get as many eyes on your brand as possible and build out the perception and trustworthiness of your brand.
If you're running brand campaigns on Google, it's a good idea to exclude those who have bought from you already. By stopping brand awareness ads showing to your current customers, who already know about you, you not only save money but push them to click on your organic listing. This is a great optimisation technique and cash-saver.
You can also capture new customers by making the most of Google's in-market audiences. The search engine captures the data of those who are showing search-intent for different categories. You can layer this on top of your keyword campaign to target those who are looking for your offering right now.
You don't just have to pick one audience either. Here at Adzooma, we regularly layer four in-market audiences onto our campaigns to ensure our clicks are highly targeted; we find that people convert more often and at a cheaper cost-per-acquisition. Our software can show you where to optimise your campaigns in just a few clicks, alongside loads of other time-saving features, if you're looking to strengthen your Google, Facebook and Microsoft ads – check it out for free today.
7. They had a bad experience
Once burned, it takes a lot of convincing for people to give you a second chance. If you've upset a customer, however unintentionally or inaccurately, it's important to put it right. Even if the only thing you get out of it is that you bolster your image in front of other potential customers who see how you handle negativity – it offers them reassurance that should anything go wrong with their order, you're on hand to fix things.
If you've annoyed a customer, don't ignore them. Reply to them in a calm and personalised way. You're not going to get anywhere if your response feels generic and as though it was written by a robot. But, ensure your reply rounds off any debate or offers to speak to them privately, to avoid getting into a public argument.
Offer them a gesture of goodwill, ask them to give you the chance to put it right. You're not always going to win people back, but it's important you put the effort in. You should also emphasise that you're trying to put the problem they incurred right across your company so that no one else will experience the same issue.
Your customers are the most important thing
We all know that without customers, you have no business. It can be worrying, particularly in times of hardship, not knowing how to capture their attention and keep them interested in your brand.
At Adzooma, we decided to make our platform free until the 1st of June in an attempt to help new and existing customers. We've had such a positive response and lots of welcome feedback which has helped to strengthen our business. In fact, we grew our customer base by 65,000 users – something we didn't think possible in this weird time.
If you're looking to re-engage with your customers, try out some of the tips above as a starting point. Build the suggestions into your wider marketing plan, rediscover your lost customers, and adopt a friendly tone of voice to succeed now and in the future.
Copyright 2020. Post by Amber Dawson, Creative Content Specialist at Adzooma – the simple, quick & easy way to manage your online advertising.