December 16, 2014
Today more than ever, customers are expecting, and in some cases demanding, a better customer experience. These types of experiences have to start in the C suite and trickle down. The customer service department may be on the front line, but they can only mirror what management has in mind.
Do your top-level folks really understand the needs of your customers? If not, they certainly can’t help formulate or lead an initiative for a great customer experience if they don’t know what that is! I was surprised from a recent article in eMarketer that showed over 33% of senior managers weren’t aligned with the customer experience.
I think we can all agree that everyone needs to be on board to truly make the customer experience meaningful and real. For any of you who have flown Southwest or shopped in an Apple store, you know what I mean about customer service. The culture starts at the top and both of those brands know that other choices exist for their product and services.
The two takeaways I’d like to leave you with are:
- Listen to your customers - Find out what they want and how they want to get it.
- Under promise and over deliver - give them more than they ask for and make the mundane a memorable experience.
If you liked this post, you might want to read:
Customer service: What are you doing to retain customers?
Customer service: Is your company obsessed with it?
December 10, 2014
Let’s face it, in your world, qualified leads are or should be the holy grail of marketing. According to a report by Marketing Sherpa, 78% of B2B marketers biggest challenge is generating qualified leads.
Here are some tips on how you can improve your process:
- Create a plan - that will include message, method of delivery, when to hand lead to sales and measuring ROI.
- Define your USP - What is your unique selling proposition? What makes you or your offer different from the competition?
- Offer them something of value for free - If you want them to start an engagement, you need to show some good faith and give them a tool they can use everyday (conversation chart, smart phone button, competitive parts interchange).
- Match the offer to the audience - Not all messages are for all audiences. A concrete tool offer to a HVAC contractor probably won’t get much return.
- Capture and nurture leads - Once you get a lead, there has to be some qualifications done before sending it to sales. We’re not trying to overload the sales department with leads, rather we want to give them qualified leads that they are excited about calling on.
- Handing off the lead to sales - Depending on the criteria that you’ve developed, you need to forward the lead and what you know about it (in the sales funnel) so when sales calls on them, they know what to talk about, i.e., initial evaluation stages, engineering comparison questions or ready-to-buy type of questions.
- Close the loop on the lead - Did they buy? If not, why? This should be documented in a CRM system so we know why you’re gaining or losing sales.
- Review performance - Repeat what’s working and stop what isn’t.