Every aspect of your business is connecting the dots from one point to another.
You're connecting the dots between leadership and team members, marketing and sales, content and marketing, sales and sales enablement system as well as accounting and customer. Each action you take is a connective tissue on a path to connect the infrastructure of your business
Your customers, as you know, are the lifeline to your business sustainability, growth or downfall. The choice is yours in how you develop the business model for internal purposes and the experience you give your customers for external purposes.
In other words, your customers are the lifeline to your business success.
According to this 2017 Gartner report, 81% of marketers in a two year time frame will be competing on customer experience - not product, price or marketing efforts - but the experience customer's have with your brand.
The report was published in 2017 which means the 'two year time frame' was 2019 which means we're already past the point of competing on product and price.
Where are you competing?
If you were to rate your customer's experience with your brand on a scale of 1 - 10 right now, 1 being 'it sucks!" and 10 being 'it's great from beginning to end!' where would your brand rank?
It's OK if it's not a 10.
Even if it's a 1, the key is to be aware of how your customer's would rank you then create a plan for making it better for them..
The first step is actually taking a step back: know who your target audience is, where they spend time, why they would need your solution and once they find you, how they buy from you. Invest time to conduct research and identify who that person is and how to connect with them.
Investing time in content that's specific to helping your target audience get to know you. This is the time to share stories of how other customers used your solution, share educational information through a webinar, and an infographic on the process they can expect buying from you or the steps from problem to solution that will resonate with your target audience.
Navigating the process from when your target audience first finds you to actually like you can be a challenge. Showing a more personal side of your brand through videos or blog posts will give your target audience deeper insights into who you are and what they can expect working with you.
Helping your target audience get to this point is a huge win. This is when you've done all the right things and now you're building trust. It sounds scarier than it actually is. You can simply follow through with your claims and commitments, response quickly using live chat and share customer testimonials, aka user generated content.
You've earned their trust and now they are ready to buy from you. For some brands, getting to this point is easy but the purchase process or online checkout process gets clunky. If you sell online check your cart abandon rates and if you sell via invoice check the process from accounting to customer (are you included?). Identify gaps to make this very important step to the long term success of your business frictionless.
The last step in this process but the beginning step to a different yet continuing process is retention. It costs more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. And it makes sense! Just think through the steps I've outlined and the process each person just experienced. Do you want to risk ONLY having the initial process responsible for all your revenue? Customers expect the same treatment - and better! - after they buy from you as when they first found you and navigated the process to purchase. They chose you and now it's your turn to find ways to keep them. The best way to make that happen is to task them. Then create a retention strategy to put into motion.
If you want to put this process into action over 6 weeks, download the guide I created and join me on my LIVE YouTube show starting Wednesday, April 22, 2020 through Wednesday, May 27, 2020.
Each week during my LIVE YouTube show, The Marketing Stream, I'll review one step in this process and you can ask questions and I'll respond live or immediately following the show.
This is a FREE resource (the document and attending LIVE) that I created for you to help tighten your company's customer buying experience. This is taking a deeper dive into marketing and how what we do at a deeper level for brand visibility drives sales.
Looking forward to seeing you there! Just click the links to download and subscribe.
Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/vickioneill
Download Guide: https://www.vickioneill.com/customer-journey-content-guide
Vicki O'Neill is a fractional CMO in Ohio with over 20 years of marketing leadership experience. She founded KenKay Marketing, a marketing solutions company, in 2011 and in 2018 started her podcast Connect the Dots, a marketing and sales educational podcast for entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes. She launched a podcast, The Power of 3X, in 2019 with her Gen Z daughters to give people a resource to learn about our youngest generation. You will find Vicki on most social media platforms (icons in the footer plus TikTok) but you'll find her most active on LinkedIn and Twitter.