6-11-2015 Three Strategies to Reduce Customer Acquisition Costs
When facing soft costs, many solar installers often think of the costs surrounding permitting, inspection, and interconnection. However, there are soft costs that may be affecting your business before you even start the installation process. These costs, known as customer acquisition costs, can take a considerable bite out of your profits.
Fortunately, there are ways you can reduce your customer acquisition costs. The goal is to attract the same amount of customers while spending less money and time on marketing. If you feel stumped when it comes to customer acquisition, try these three strategies to improve your bottom line.
Develop Customer Profiles
If you haven’t created an ideal customer profile yet, this should be the first thing you do to improve customer acquisition. Check out GreenLancer’s profile on average American solar homeowners to get an idea of whom you should target.
It’s helpful to make a list of your ideal customer’s behavior and traits. Most solar homeowners are middle-class males, so you may want to spend most of your time and money targeting men.
You could put out flyers in middle-class neighborhoods, or you can advertise on a billboard near a home improvement store that’s located around middle-class neighborhoods. If you want to target people who are interested in home improvement, find the stores they’re likely to frequent and advertise near them.
Offer Incentives or Freebies
Businesses haven’t yet tired of offering customers a free item for purchasing goods or services. There’s a reason for that. People love free stuff, especially when it’s useful or fun. It’s also great for customer acquisition. If people are on the fence, it can push them to decide to buy your product or service.
You can draw on your own experience for this one. Have you bought from a local business because it had a deal where you get something free with purchase of a good? Did you like what they gave away? What would you have done differently? If you haven’t run into one of these deals, you can still make one of your own.
Get creative with what you offer. It can be something related to solar, like a solar-powered lamp or a solar-powered phone charger. It could be another service you offer. If you also run a home-improvement business, give your customers a voucher for a free service from that side of your business. Just be sure to outline the terms clearly.
Offering another service your business provides works overtime for customer acquisition. It gives you potential customers for the other side of your business. You can kill two birds with one stone here, so why not take advantage of it?
Invest in Customer Referrals
This method is a little old-fashioned, but it can be the most reliable one for customer acquisition if you do it right. When you invest in your customers, you give them the best service you can. Make them wonder what they did before you helped them save money with solar. Build a relationship with them. Do your best to get to know them throughout the process.
If you’re a small installer, you are your brand. If you treat your customers in a friendly, open manner, they’ll be more likely to trust you and recommend you to their friends or family. Each customer you serve has the potential to recommend you, so be sure you leave them with nothing but wonderful things to say.
The goal with this strategy is to get the customers to come to you. Instead of following the usual customer acquisition model of chasing after customers and advertising, try to rely more on word-of-mouth.
Make Reducing Customer Acquisition Costs a Priority
When you’re thinking about how your business can reduce customer acquisition costs, be sure to work smarter, not harder. By focusing your energy on the right segment of the general population, you can increase your chances of finding promising leads.
If you feel that your customer service isn’t where it needs to be, then evaluate what practices need to change to ensure that you get a glowing recommendation every time. Your customers are your best means of advertising, so invest in them.