David Kairo, a gifted education practitioner, was the main speaker at #PowerForum.
The Wednesday’s session of #PowerForum went down as the day in which the members gained special insight into how to take their business ventures to the next glorious level, after being taken through ‘customer acquisition and retention’ dynamics as well as the ‘role of PR in customer acquisition’.
The quorum was lucky yet again to have an intellectual encounter with two remarkable personalities. David Kairo from Microsoft East Africa, came along with one Annette Mutuku, a PR professional in the same company.
Indeed, David Kairo’s CV speaks for itself on his suitability as the facilitator. Among other things, he is a proven education practitioner with a special focus on youth entrepreneurship across Africa.
David also has over ten years experience in curriculum development, teaching, research, consulting and pioneering community outreach programs.
In 2009, he set up the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Leadership (CE&L) at KCA University. There, he was instrumental in steering entrepreneurial innovation among the university community, conducting research and equipping MSME’s with relevant business skills.
Nevertheless, to succeed at customer acquisition and retention, the facilitator impressed upon the members the importance of understanding or even mastering the ‘customer acquisition funnel’.
On that note, here is the outline of the ‘funnel’:in order of prominence, the process begins with creating awareness. This can be by word of mouth, through the media, personal selling or pitching.
After awareness is created, the idea of the existence of your product or service is treated as follows by the potential client or customer: if the deal is judged good enough, it undergoes consideration. This denotes a potential customer just thinking through or about what has been offered.
Then, should the product or service continue to appeal to the possible customer, conversion results. This is mere acceptance, but if the product or service continues to be irresistible, it is bought or subscribed to. Indeed, continued consumption or subscription of a product or service implies, among other things, complete satisfaction or delight.
However, the forum was cautioned, customer satisfaction has very little to do with drastic price reduction or even slightly so. The ultimate secret boils down to making the customer ‘feel good’ about themselves before they even taste the product or service. This calls for careful handling of the potential buyer right from the start; before even the deal is sealed .
Henceforth, the preferred product or service may secure the place in the ‘funnel’ called customer ‘loyalty‘. Neither is customer loyalty secured by ‘sense of entitlement’ but ethical persuasion and honest dealings.
Eventually, the product or service -if it continues to satisfy to the maximum expectations of the user or even exceed them-the ‘funnel’ shows a movement to advocacy. Meaning, the item is marketed by the users themselves. This is what everybody was urged to aim at.
Later, it was when David Kairo’s colleague took the stand to speak on the ‘place of Public Relations in customer acquisition’ that the members’ memories got to be refreshed on the importance of the customer. Of all things said,what everybody had to take home from Annette Mutuku concerning seller-customer relations included the following:
A customer speaks with brands and for brands; so the seller-customer relationship has to be solid rock. Also, the customer always wants a perfect match with a product or service. Further, they shop on their own terms; hence there is no place for pushing a product, so to speak, down their throat.
Annette Mutuku, a PR specialist at Microsoft East Africa, was another reason for the occasion.
That short highlight would give way to a presentation by the same speaker on the indispensable role played by PR in customer acquisition as well as retention. These, among others, were laid bare:
Public Relations build a brand rather than a company as the brand has the potential to reach the unknown ; PR practitioners ensure consistent communication; they connect, engage, romance brand truths, know how to deal better with the competition, they plan as well as work the plan better.
By the time the interactive session came to a close, everybody was left at least feeling sure that the challenges associated with customer acquisition and retention would be dealt with skill and caution.
The group photo was the icing on the cake.
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About the writer
Moses Omusolo the Social Media Manager, C4DLab.