Marketing teams today put a lot of emphasis on educating prospects and converting them into customers. The majority of most marketers’ activities is likely to focus on attracting new leads, nurturing them through the marketing funnel, and passing them along to the sales organization. Then they start the process over again.
But for those new customers, their relationship with an organization is just beginning. And those customer relationships must be positive to keep customers engaged and satisfied with their purchase decision. In the digital world, where buyers can easily learn about new companies and quickly switch allegiances, organizations need to do more than state that they’re focused on the customer – they need to live it.
“It’s popular for companies to declare they are customer-centric, focused on customer experience, obsessed with the customer, and so on. But, there’s a major disconnect between executive pronouncements and customer perceptions,” reads this recent Forbes article that examines whether customer experience is actually in decline.
That would be a shame, especially when you consider it can cost an organization up to five times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one. De-emphasizing customer relationships could waste golden opportunities to create repeat customers, generate positive reviews for your products and garner word-of-mouth references. Investing in customer success is so important that it should be the job of everyone in the company. So whether customer success is part of marketing or a separate department, your team can make a positive impact by creating messaging and content targeted specifically for existing customers.
The following are some tips to focus your marketing efforts on customer success:
Make sure your messaging speaks to customers, not just prospects. Whether you’re talking about your overall brand or specific offerings, use language that not only attracts new customers, but also validates that existing ones made the right choice by purchasing from you.
Do a content audit to ensure you’re developing assets for later stages in the buyer journey as well as earlier ones. This will help make sure that customers have the information they need to be successful users – assets such as quick-start guides, FAQs, how-to videos, and support forums all play an important role in helping customers find the information they need to be successful.
Involve customers in advisory boards, executive exchanges and similar forums where they can share information with your organization and other customers. Such events go a long way in making customers feel heard and that you value their input. And understanding their opinions and preferences can help future product development as well.
Ask customers to become references. Giving them a platform to talk about their positive experiences with your offerings has dual benefits – it shows your interest in your customers’ journey and successes and it lends credence to your own claims about your products, which could help you convert more prospects.
Read more about the basics of creating successful customer experiences in our book The Principles of Inbound Marketing for Small and Start-Up Businesses. Then contact us to learn how we can help you put an effective lead-nurturing strategy in place.