At Simple Strat stellar customer engagement is important to us. We also know your customers are a top priority of your marketing strategy. So we're always on the lookout for good content that helps all of us improve our approach.
We had the privilege of sitting in on a webinar hosted by IBM called Understanding the Customer Journey. IBM Evangelist, Ellen Valentine, discussed barriers to a positive customer journey and we couldn’t agree more!
Journey mapping leads to better customer engagement.
The first step to better customer engagement is to map out the customer journey. Using software, spreadsheets, even pen and paper, customer journey mapping tells the story of the customer’s experience from initial contact, through the process of engagement and hopefully, into a long-term relationship. We use Infusionsoft.
Why map it out?
- To learn more about your customers.
- To identify gaps in communication.
- To meet the customer on their terms which forces you to consider routes and channels you might not have thought of.
- Reduce friction in the process.
Our favorite parts of the webinar.
- CEO’s think they are doing a better job following the customer journey than they actually are. According to Ellen, 80% of CEOs think their customer experience is A+. The reality? 78% of customers stated that the average brand doesn’t understand them as individuals.
- Forms, offers and content aren’t working effectively.
- Weak offers. Keep offers above the fold or use a popover.
- Stale content. IBM says content should be updated every two months at minimum.
- Long opt-in forms. One comparison by IBM showed an opt-in form for the same client. One had about five demographic questions and the other had one question that related to the product sold. The first had a 43% abandon rate versus 20% for the latter.
- You must have buyer persona research. IBM defined persona as a group of buyers who all behave similarly. It’s much more focused than a market segment, which is more like a query for people in specific segments. Ellen recommended checking out Buyer Personas by Adele Revella.
IBM gave an excellent example of the benefits of building a customer persona from one of their customers who sells wedding stationary. The company learned their target audience included brides and friends or family of brides. When visitors came to their website, they were asked a question to determine who they were. Based on that, they were selected for a nurture channels specific to their needs.
- Open rate increased 244% over average email send.
- Click rate increased 161% over average email sends.
- Revenue per mailing increased 330% over average email revenue!
Silence is a signal
Ellen suggests taking a section of your database that’s gone quiet and call them to ask why. She also suggested a reautomated reactivation survey with limited questions. If they don’t respond after a couple tries, get them off your lists. You don’t want to keep contacting someone who is not interested. It’s a waste of resources and can make your company appear annoying.
Continue engaging customers even after the sale.
After the sale, marketing needs to continue the conversation.
- Get customers talking socially in a positive way.
- For big purchases, show them how to get the most out of their purchase.
- Establish an onboarding process. Include things like how to share your information socially, what to expect from your service or product, tools to make it easier to use the product and more.
- Capture additional revenue through upselling or cross-sells.
- Recruit fans though an advocacy program or loyalty rewards.
We are not directly affiliated with IBM but we recognize good content when we see it. If you’re interested in reading more, check out IBM’s 10 Common Barriers to Understanding the Customer Journey and How to Overcome Them.