Why You Should Make Customer Experience (CX) A Top Priority
October 17, 2017 6:31:14 AM | By Matt Benati
Customer Experience (CX) was a major topic at the Sales 3.0 Conference I recently attended in Las Vegas because it’s one of the areas where every organization has an opportunity to differentiate itself from the competition. In a nutshell, CX is the interaction between an organization and a customer over the lifetime of their relationship.
Investing in CX now pays off in the long-run in the form of loyal customers, advocates for your brand, and ultimately increased revenue.
How CX Affects Sales
The Customer Experience doesn’t start when someone becomes a paying “customer” because 60 – 70% of the sales cycle happens before they ever meet a salesperson from your company. It starts whenever a customer finds you, which nowadays is online in some way (paid ads, social media, web content, etc.). Today CX starts the first time your soon-to-be customer makes contact with your company (not the other way around), and continues long after Sales gets the customer’s signature on the dotted line.
First impressions are critical – they quite literally can make or break a deal. We’re not just talking about a salesperson who hasn’t done their homework, but also about the many touches that occur throughout the customer life cycle. Every detail matters, and even the smallest or most mundane error can affect the customer’s perception of your brand. So it’s important to pay attention to things like:
The ability to reach your customers is priority one, but contact information goes beyond current emails and phone numbers. Names should also be correct and spelled accurately, and titles should be current. Continuing to use the wrong name or title a year after your customer gets married or promoted makes you look bad, and could even annoy them to the point of cutting you loose. The problem with B2B data is that it goes bad fast due to job, email and phone number changes, merger and acquisition activity, and other changes within organizations. For this reason it’s critical to have a reliable solution for continual database cleansing.
Just as important as reaching your customers is sending them content relevant to their role within their organization. Buyers, users and C-suite all engage with you and your solution differently, and it’s your responsibility to respect their time by sending them only relevant messages. Imagine sending pricing information to everyday users or a “Tips for getting the most from your software” email to a CEO. This is an example of bad customer experience, and your messages are likely hitting the trash folder – maybe even the spam folder. Proper segmentation ensures you’re sending relevant messaging to the right personas within your target organization. The trick is learning who’s who in the first place and staying up-to-date on changes, like promotions and title changes.
Personalization Of Messaging
Personalization is directly related to segmentation. Once you know who’s who, you can craft highly targeted messaging for each person that speaks to their specific pain points. If you can show users how to make their job easier — for example, a marketing director how technology can be consolidated or the CFO how implementing your solution delivers ROI and long-term cost savings — you’re more likely to catch their attention than if you send the same generic message to each person.
Personalized content plays a major role in your customer experience strategy. It shows prospects that you respect their time and understand their needs, allowing you to build solid relationships based on mutual respect. Post-sale, personalized content keeps customers engaged and apprised of new solutions available to them. If they’ve had a good experience with your brand, they are more likely to remain a loyal customer and renew or buy from you again in the future.
Turn Job Changes Into Revenue With Good CX
Research shows that 30% of people change jobs and 66% change titles/job functions annually – that’s a lot of movement within your accounts! A strong CX strategy successfully navigates challenges throughout your sales funnel and post-sale, like when your contact leaves the company and your account is up for renewal.
If a lead leaves that had a positive relationship with your company, you want to learn about the move, follow-up ASAP, and remain on good terms with them at their new company. People buy from people they know and like, and a positive customer experience today can result in new customers tomorrow.
Likewise, making an effort to maintain a good user experience by providing adequate support and communication post-sale can directly impact your bottom line. For example, when your business depends on renewals, it’s important to pay attention to your accounts and learn about any contact changes before it’s time to renew. If your primary contact changes jobs and a replacement contact is assigned, you need to know about these changes as soon as possible. Finding out about a new contact right away gives sales the opportunity to reach out and begin forming a relationship so the new contact doesn’t consider shopping around for another vendor. Remember, it costs less to retain an existing customer than it does to acquire a new one.
Support CX with Reply Email Mining
A driving factor behind a strong CX strategy is knowledge. Not only do you need to know a lot about your customers to develop a successful strategy, you also need to get the scoop on changes as soon as they happen. The ensures your communications stay current and relevant.
Reply email mining is an easy way to get fresh intelligence about your leads and accounts, and it comes from the most accurate source possible: your leads themselves. Every time you send an email marketing campaign, the replies – both manual and auto responses – contain a wealth of information.
That accurate data and contact information we talked about? CHECK
Those personas you need to learn about for segmentation? CHECK
Those leads that leave the company and you want to follow? CHECK
That customer with a new primary contact for renewals? CHECK
Paying attention to automated reply emails like Left-The-Company and Out-Of-Office can tell you all of this and more. Reply email mining supports a strong CX strategy by maintaining data integrity, and providing knowledge about your customers that allows you to personalize your messaging. Reply email mining from LeadGnome enhances up to 72% of existing records, adds up to 36% more contacts annually, and alerts you to timely sales trigger events – like when a lead leaves the company or gets promoted – that your sales team can leverage to further enhance the Customer Experience.
The Intersection Of CX and ABM
While customers and revenue are obvious goals in an Account Based Marketing strategy, the foundation lies in creating advocates for your brand. In contrast to the traditional sales funnel that focuses on lead quantity, the flipped ABM funnel focuses on lead quality. By the time leads have been nurtured through the ABM funnel, they’re advocates and raving fans of your brand. Why? Because they’re best-fit accounts and had an amazing Customer Experience along the way.
Show Your Customers Some Love Today
While an effective CX strategy takes time and should be applied to the entire customer life cycle, a great place to start is with maintaining a positive relationship with your existing customers. Alice Heiman suggests thanking clients on a regular basis and has several ideas for out-of-the-box ways to show your appreciation – several you can get started on today!
And if you’re not automatically mining reply emails for the kind of sales intelligence that improves your CX, we can get you started today for free. With our 30-day trial, we can have you mining emails in a matter of minutes.