Growth hacking has become one of the hottest, trendiest words in today’s business landscape. And, it’s not secret as to why. What business doesn’t want to achieve a state of wild growth without spending a penny more than they have to? Growth hacking is all about finding the most efficient ways possible to grow a business, and is often perceived as something along the lines of rapid experimentation across various channels.
But one thing that can be both cheap and effective rarely makes it onto this growth hacking list. Do you know what it is?
It’s talking to your customers.
But, the catch is that you need to be doing this at every single stage of the customer lifecycle. It’s not something to be reserved for the marketing or product development stage. At every single step of the journey, you need to be talking to people. The feedback you get will be invaluable to your business.
You want to be talking to your customers during each of these stages:
This is the very beginning of the relationship, where the customer becomes aware of your brand, product, or service. It can also be the stage where the customer becomes aware they have a problem they need to solve, and begins seeking out solutions.
Once an individual becomes aware of your brand, product, or service, they will begin to engage with you - and this can come in many forms. They may seek out advice and referrals from friends and social media, or start reading your blog. They might sign up for your newsletter, or follow you on Facebook. It’s a crucial time for businesses to engage publicly, to ensure they can have an impact with potential customers at this early stage.
This stage will look different for each person and purchase, but every customer will go through some variation. For larger purchases, it could entail months of research and consideration. For smaller, less risky purchases, it could be a quick review of a few websites.
PURCHASE Once the evaluation process has been completed, it’s time for the customer to pull the trigger and make a purchase from your business. This is an important process to understand and get right, as a poor user experience through making the transaction is enough to derail the whole thing. The customer has gone through quite a process to get here, so you want to ensure you remove as many barriers as possible and provide all required support throughout this process.
CUSTOMER SERVICE & EXPERIENCE
It costs a lot of money to attract a new customer, so now it’s time for you to deliver. In addition to delivering a great product, you’ve got to ensure your customer service and experience matches that same level of quality. The majority of consumers feel that customer service is what demonstrates whether or not a business truly values them, after all. If you want a customer to stay loyal, you’ve got to deliver a fantastic post-purchase experience.
This final stage is the long-term bonding and relationship building that is going to be required if you want to turn your customers into raving fans and repeat customers. Keeping existing customers is significantly less expensive than finding new ones, and your raving fans will support attracting those new customers in their early stages of awareness and engagement.
Throughout this customer journey, you want to prioritize talking to your customers. This can come in the form of phone interviews, surveys, quizzes, and user testing. This isn’t just about collecting input and feedback - it’s about getting to know who your customers are as human beings, every step of the way. It’s one of the cheapest ways to improve the customer experience, which will undoubtedly increase revenue.