Guess what? Your customer is not focused on your current period sales and costs figures. Nope, all they’re interested in is having the experience they anticipated because of your promise.
The trouble with this dichotomy is that delivering a brilliant customer experience is not always reflected in current sales figures. Therefore, focus on the experience can take second stage to short-term gain. In this scenario, we tend to ignore the fact that a when a customer talks about our brand / their experience to others, it can reflect a cash effect, at some stage in the future.
As a result, many of us don’t spend enough time determining our true customer base, providing an excellent experience and encouraging them to ‘spread the word’. If we don’t know who our customers are – how can we engage with them.
Customers are bombarded with information every day.
Technology enhanced connectivity means that our prospective, and actual, customers are inundated with business messages every minute of the day. As a result, we need to be much more focused and specific with our marketing activity if we are to engage with the right people. Otherwise, our efforts will be totally ineffective and thereby a waste of money.
If, as the experts say, that <6% of prospects are ready to buy your service right now – businesses really need to start thinking about nurturing people over a longer period. The real challenge, for marketers, therefore is being able to nurture people based on their emotions. Simple demographics are still important but need to be enhanced by knowing a prospect’s likes, dislikes, frustrations and aspirations.
One way we have successfully identified our target audience is by outlining our ideal clients, up front. Everybody uses the basic demographic factors such as type of industry, company, gender, income range, location etc. but there’s more to it than that.
We have come to find that personal factors have a large part to play in a successful relationship. Have a think about what characteristics or traits that your ideal customers have in common – with you. If you don’t like them up front, a successful relationship will probably never develop.
Other areas you can inveigle them to share over time are their emotional triggers. When you know a person’s frustrations or problems you can address them. Of course your work will be focused on helping to alleviate these but in addition, your marketing message can be also be centred on solving these emotional needs.
Everybody has a decision-making journey they go through – if you can engage with them along this journey, they should connect with your message. By genuinely empathising with them, they will consider you as a trusted advisor and one that they feel safe with while recommending you to others.
By genuinely empathising with your customer, they will consider you as a trusted advisor.Click to tweet
3 ways to help enhance the customer experience.
– Be a part of their online search results – you have often read the statistic that a customer is often 80% through the decision process before considering your service. Due mainly to online search capabilities this means that businesses have to become part of that first 80% of the process because it is more difficult to stand out, in the last 20%. Be it paid, owned or earned – you must offer an online experience.
– Have excellent response times – have you noticed how impatient we are all getting? We know attention span is mentioned in business articles a lot nowadays. This is all well and good, but we really believe that the ‘new’ customer service is online and that responses are expected, probably within 20 minutes. Personally, if I’m promised a response within 24 hours – I’m gone, as a customer. Have a read of our opening paragraph again.
– Build word-of-mouth activity – we’ve alluded to the issue of trust already but it’s worth mentioning it again. It is no secret that most of us will follow the recommendations of a trusted family member, friend, colleague etc. It follows therefore that word-of-mouth is still alive and kicking in this day of social networking. Businesses, building social communities online are not a fad – it has become a necessity.
Businesses, building social communities online is not a fad – it has become a necessity.Click to tweet
Observe your customer’s behaviour.
Developing a target market for your business requires maintaining a focus on specifics. Here are six steps we recommend you incorporate into providing an excellent customer experience to the right people.
Tips and Timesavers.
- Determine what the average customer spends on your service. This can be by the hour, the week, by project or annually. When you have an average you can determine what customers / type spend more than the average by their demographics. Your focus should be on these people.
- Engage your customers with a simple survey. Find out where they hear about / buy from you. When they buy, why they choose you above competitors – is it because of convenience, location, CSR etc. Are they responding to cold calls, online ads, and referrals from friends etc?
- Track why you have returning customers. Are they renewing / returning because of customer service, needs based, a special offer, relationship etc. Are they staying with you because of your product / service range?
- Be aware of what marketing channels are delivering effective communication with each group. Find out where your above average customers are interacting with each other and be part of that conversation.
- Develop a referral / loyalty programme to reward customers that introduce new prospects.
- Create a network of trusted suppliers. Link up with other businesses that will complement your offerings or add value to your service.
Getting to know your above-average customer in detail is the only way in which you can find them and make them happy. You really need to know what’s important to them and what will keep them coming back for more.
Remember, not everybody will be a prospect, no matter what you offer – but that’s fine if you’re providing your existing customers with an excellent experience.
“We hope you have enjoyed our marketing tips and timesavers blog” – Aidan & Jim.
Would you like us to notify you, by email when we publish new content? If so, just let us know by clicking here. Of course, we can always meet face-to-face, just leave your details here and we might grab a coffee, cheers. Jim – O’C&K