How to turn your customer base into your biggest advocates.
Unfortunately, many marketers turn a blind eye to post sales nurturing of new customers. The sale is just beginning when you cash the check from your new customer. This white paper discusses the merits of supporting your new partner and turning them into your most loyal product advocates.
The initial sales is only the beginning of your relationship with the customer. For most businesses, the initial sale accounts for just a small percentage of the customer’s lifetime value.
Why Should We Do This?
Once the sale is made, many marketers think that the job is over and revert their attention and efforts back to finding the next sales opportunity. For a moment, stop and think about how much work you put into finding new prospects and nurturing them to the point where they become a customer. It is a big job.
What if you were receiving word of mouth referrals from happy, delighted customers? It certainly would make your job as a marketer that much easier. Wouldn’t it?
You are always looking for ways to differentiate your company from the pack. To make yourself different. Well, how many firms are taking the time to market post sales companies? Only the smart, savvy marketers are investing their time and effort here. This is a huge way to differentiate yourself from the rest of the field.
What is My Message?
Training Support – Right off the bat, you want to make sure that the customer doesn’t get buyers remorse and consider returning the product to you. Worse yet, you want to be sure that the customer actually uses the product and doesn’t let it sit around waiting for it to be installed and put into service.
Simplified training/user’s guide documents and/or videos will pave the way to help the customer get his people on board and using the product. The sooner they begin realizing the benefits of your offering, the more secure your sale becomes. This is a key step to customer satisfaction with your product and/or service.
We Are In This Together – Many companies have a way of disappearing after the sale and focus their time on finding new opportunities. How do you think this makes your customer feel? Imagine their surprise when they continue to hear from you once a month? Supportive messages, aimed at helping them get the most out of the product, immediately sets you apart from most of the other firms that competed for that sale.
Tips & Tricks – The best way to assure that your customer gets the full value of their purchase is to assist them in taking advantage of the product’s features. Recently I purchased a high-end video camcorder that was loaded with bells & whistles. It takes beautiful video on the automatic setting. However, I am not getting the full value of my purchase, unless I am able to leverage those features. The same applies to the customer’s purchase.
Tips & Tricks should be good for a couple of papers each year. However, I prefer to stretch them out including one or two good ones on each and every paper sent. You can obtain this information from your product managers and technical people. Another way is to ask your existing customers to submit their ideas to share with the larger community.
Product managers may also have ideas for interesting content ideas. Ask if they have an interest in forming a product users group, meeting remotely via teleconferences or webinars discussing problem resolutions and sharing of ideas for the benefit of all. Lastly, how about creating an online User’s Forum supporting your products and monitored by your product management team.
After Market Products – Discuss after-market products and accessories that support the product sold to the customer. This could be something that your company sells or that the product uses. By breaking down the advantages of the product, you could save the customer valuable research time, or the cost of trial and error on their own.
For example, if you sold printers, you might discuss the various types of toner cartridges available for the machine, and the advantages and disadvantages of each. By recommending the one that yields the most printed pages and the clearest print, you save your customer the time and cost of learning this through trial and error. Next, you could discuss any advantages or disadvantages of using various USB connector cables.
Social Media – Create a companion to your written/video content by inviting customers to participate online on your social media platforms. It’s another way to assure that your content reaches those you are targeting. A huge advantage would be if you can encourage and persuade users to post their own success stories on the site. To build your following, try give away contests that are spontaneously announced on your social media.
Happy, satisfied customers could lead to:
- The product purchase for other departments or locations of the company
- Upgrading to a more sophisticated model of their current product
- Sale of other related devices or products
- Your customer becomes an engaged endorser recommending your company
- The more customer advocates you grow, the easier sales become
- You are creating fresh new case study material for your website and content
Famous Last Words
“If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.”
― Jeff Bezos – Amazon
“There is a big difference between a satisfied customer and a loyal customer. Never settle for satisfied.”
― Shep Hyken – Customer Experience Expert, Author, and Speaker
The Big Kumbaya in CyberSpace
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