The number one challenge facing any business owner is getting and keeping customers.
And there are 3 proven ways of doing it online. But before I get to them, let me quickly introduce you to the methodology we use to build online customer factories.
We did not invent this methodology. I wish I could take the credit but I can’t. It is based on the lean startup approach which is a predictable, scalable, and repeatable process for building and growing any business or nonprofit..
And in case you wondered, this approach is not a new shiny thing or fad. It’s been around for more than a decade now, and it is used by thousands of entrepreneurs and an impressive list of businesses.
After you’ve watched the video, there’s more below…
About the Customer Factory Metaphor
The customer factory isn’t just a cute metaphor. It’s reference to manufacturing is intentional. Metaphors are quite powerful when they enable us to transplant and adapt ideas from one domain to another.
With the customer factory metaphor we can immediately apply the concepts of systems thinking, lean manufacturing, lean startup, and the scientific method to the Core Operating System of any business.
Side note: The Core Operating System consists of your Lead Generation, Lead Conversion and Customer Fulfillment (delivery) sub-systems.
According to Ash Maurya, the creator of the factory metaphor, the job of the factory is to make customers.
As you’ve seen in the video it works by:
- taking in unaware visitors as input on the left (lead generation),
- creating, delivering, and capturing value from these visitors inside the factory (lead conversion and customer fulfillment), and
- creating happy customers on the right.
Ash Maurya deliberately describe the output of the factory as “happy customers”, and not simply “customers”, because emotion plays a major role.
The customer factory is not simply a mechanical process for cranking out paying customers, but rather a well designed system for making happy customers. – Ash Maurya
Ash also makes a subtle, but important, distinction between making happy customers and making customers happy.
Making customers happy is easy. Just give them lots of stuff for free, But that doesn’t lead to a working business model.
Making happy customers, on the other hand, is not just about making customers feel good but about what they do with your solution. It’s about the results. Which is about making them be better because they’ve used your solution.
Here’s one last universal business truth from Ash:
Making happy customers gets you paid. Doing this repeatedly and sustainably is the universal goal of every business.
This is how a fully operational customer factory will look like:
A few final words:
The true product of a successful entrepreneur is not what you sell, but how you sell it. Selling and marketing are simply repeatable processes that connects your solution with paying customers. In other words – systems to get and keep customers = a productive customer factory.
“Life’s too short to build something nobody wants.” – Eric Ries
Model what works. It doesn’t make any sense to try to reinvent the wheel.