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All posts by danmac30

Ask your customers good questions

By | customer centric marketing, Customer Insight | No Comments

The old customer survey. It is coming up more and more frequently lately as businesses now surveyunderstand the power of listening to their customers. Or maybe they haven’t been listening and now are feeling the power of customers ignoring their every attempt to “push” at trying to gain attention.


Here are some key questions to consider when designing a survey.

1. Make it short

The more questions the more annoying for the customer and it might not actually assist them communicating honestly about what you need to know. If your survey takes more than 8 minutes expect a high abandon rate. So small number of highly focused question with questions that are relevant to your customers.

2. Personal

If possible make the survey dynamic. That is use technology to show only the fields that your customer needs to see. Pre-populate.

3. Open questionsfaces

Scale questions have their place but a rating of 1-10 doesn’t allow you to uncover issues that you might not have considered. Let customers identify exactly what they want to communicate to you in their own words.

4. Right format

Surveys can be via telephone, email, face to face on your website etc. The best results I find is from email as long as your list is clean and the timing of the email convenient. (not first thing Monday morning). However taking a email campaign and posting it to your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn communities can also be very effective.

5. Feedback

If you give customers access to the survey results (I do a report immediately) then they are more likely to fill it in. Customers want to feel heard and part of a larger solution. Letting customers know they matter and you are taking action is vital. While 95% of companies collect customer feedback only 5% tell customers what they’ve done with it.(Source: clarabridge.com)

6.Feedback Always OnCRM11-300x223

Customers are talking about your products and services all the time. They review, share opinions online and ask questions of their valued communities like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and review sites. Collecting and monitoring these feeds will give you real time date that may identify trends that consolidate your survey findings.

7. Share the results with customers and employees

To improve your customer experience you need to improve your employee’s experience. To do this with customer data is a powerful strategy and unities everyone behind the customer. Prioritising actions out of surveys and feedback help employees feel empowered and engaged.

8. Create a Customer and Employee Dashboard

Measuring key factors that impact customer and employee satisfaction creates accountability and drives change. It doesn’t have to be the Net Promoter Score but it should be something that is meaningful and enhances your brand’s reputation.

For every customer complaint, 26 others remain silent. (source clarabridge.com)

Guide to customer surveys.

If 2% of the sales happen at the first meeting, what happens to that other 98%!

By | customer centric marketing, Marketing Automated Technology, Sales Process, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

“2% of sales occur at the first meeting; the other 98% will only happen once a certain level of trust has been established“.

Trust ladderThere has never been a better reason for follow up than

that quote from Robert Clays research.

People in business often hope and expect to do business the first time they meet a prospect. Yet studies reveal that only 2% of sales occur when two parties meet for the first time. This actually makes sense when you think logically about it. The higher the time and dollar value of the investment the greater perceived risk from the buyer’s perspective. So what happens after that first call or meeting?

A recent study in the Harvard Business Review** found that companies take, on average, 42 hours to contact a web lead, and that 23% of companies did not respond at all. Furthermore, they found that leads that got a response in the first hour were seven times more likely to make contact with the decision maker. What is going on? Why aren’t we following up?

Stale-Leads

1. Number of people who buy on the first meeting – done their homework

The 2% who buy at a first meeting tend to be people who have already looked into the subject matter, and already know what they’re looking for. If they meet someone who ticks all the right boxes and they get on well, then business may well be transacted. But that is far from the norm. The other 98% will only buy once a certain level of trust has been built up.” So of those 2% are well informed and have done their homework and are likely to be troubled enough about their problem (thanks Hugh – Leaky Funnel) to want to solve it, if they find something that will fix it.

2. Salesforce should be well-informed

“Anyone who believes they can go into a sales situation armed with “101 sure fire sales closes” and make sales is seriously misinformed … and about 20 years behind the times. Professional sales people get to know their prospects; understand their issues; solve their prospect’s problems; and provide irrefutable proof. They build relationships and trust by engaging in on-going dialogue (otherwise known as follow-up). They don’t just peddle their products and services with an armoury of closing tricks.” These days doing your homework has never been easier. In a B2B sale you can use google, LinkedIn to research at a company and a personal level. At a B2C level you can ask open questions to uncover their need and if you have a database keep a record of their likes and purchases to communicate with them about other purchases they might like to consider in the future. (Amazon model).

4. Why we don’t buy

follow up

There are many reasons why people who could benefit from your product, service or expertise do not buy. At least not without further prodding. Inertia. Lack of time. Too many other things on their mind. Concern about cost. Cashflow. Budget constraints. More pressing matters. Your failure to do enough marketing to establish your name in your field so they’ll buy without question … and more. None of the these, by the way, is a negative. They are just psychological and transactional realities you must become aware of and recognise … which is why follow-ups are SO important. You really have to create a reason for prospects to consider you. Given that we know that our buyers are out there researching sometimes it is providing a helping hand to assist them in their research, education and sometimes it is just being there at the right time in the right place (where they are) using email, social media and collaboration marketing efforts.

5. Follow up just not done

Yet isn’t it amazing how often you express interest in a product or service, but never hear from the person or company again? It happens all the time. I actually say I am busy when a telesales person calls but invite them to ring me back and very rarely do they. Research shows, amazingly, that only 20% of sales leads are ever followed up … in other words 80% of potential opportunities are lost without trace simply due to lack of follow-up

People and companies who don’t

F1103B_A

follow-up; who do nothing to build up that trust and relationship cannot succeed, especially in today’s tough economic climate. People need to be sure they’re making the right decision before they commit to a purchase.

6.Tenacity pays off…

According to Clay, different studies carried out at different times, in different places, by different market research companies over a number of years all reveal that 80% of non-routine sales occur only after at least five follow-ups.

Think about that. It takes at least five continuous follow up efforts after the initial sales contact, before a customer says yes.  FIVE!!

There are some fascinating statistics on this:

  • 44% of sales people give up after one “no”
  • 22% give up after two “no’s”
  • 14% give up after three “no’s”
  • 12% give up after four “no’s”

That tells you that 92% of sales people give up after 4 “no’s”, and only 8% of sales people ask for the order a fifth time.

When you consider that 80% of prospects say “no” four times before they say “yes”, the inference is that 8% of sales people are getting 80% of the sales! Thus it pays to be persistent and consistent. Remember it is all about catching them at the right time.

OffersIntroduce a five “no’s” follow-up strategy

Once you’re aware of these statistics you should stack the odds in your favour by introducing a “Five no’s” strategy, where you maintain contact with prospects until each one of them has said “no”, or “not now”, or “not yet” … at least five times. Every time you’re in contact you have an opportunity to advance and build the relationship.

Businesses with a “five no’s” strategy will always enjoy a conversion rate many times higher than their competitors who have no such strategy.  What strategies do you have in your business right now to ensure that you contact your prospects regularly in a gentle and meaningful way so that you win their business and their loyalty?

8.Seventy-eight percent of consumers say that they only buy from businesses that make it easy for them to deal with, and a third believe convenience is more important than price.They are at the heart of Customer Experience Management (CEM) and staffed by specialists that are charged with providing the best experience throughout the transaction or journey and ultimately, achieving a tangible ROI. As this transformation has evolved, technology has played an increasingly critical role in linking businesses to their customers. However at the end of the day it is all about how you feel during the sales and after sales process. I once bought a car and because the car dealership did not treat me like the person who was making the economic decision to purchase both my and my husband’s car they lost the deal. I now get my car serviced not by the dealer because they made it too hard for me to get in and get out of the service process quickly.
Read more
9. Acknowledge the Impact of Experience
One bad experience might not send your customer fleeing to a competitor. But then again, it might.  On an internal, process level, bt-autonomous-2take a close look at what keeps your business running every day. If these processes aren’t managed efficiently, they’re costing you time, money, accuracy—and customers. Are there repetitive tasks (inventory checks, transaction reconciliation) that you could automate? If so, moving towards automated processes would save staff time and provide better, faster customer service. However be aware that people like to be empowered but not treated like robots. To actually speak to someone on the phone when doing a service call for a product is a competitive advantage these days.
Read more 

10.“Top of Mind Awareness”

There’s also the fact that 63% of people requesting information on your company today will not purchase for at least 3 months … and 20% will take more than 12 months to buy.

Contacting your prospective and existing customers every 1 month or sooner builds trust and professionalism and keeps “top of mind” awareness.  In this context, your customers do not regard contact for orders, payments and appointments, or the obligatory Christmas card as a meaningful communication. It is important to have an integrated sales and marketing campaign. We are ready when you are.

 

Just because you embrace new technology doesn’t mean you aren’t creating meaningful, shareable experiences

By | Customer experience, Service Marketing, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

The more network your business joins the more you might be diluting your brand. It is more customer centricity, empowerment and innovation. It is imperative that you understand how technology is affecting the decision and behaviour of your customers and prospects and that you can adapt to to this new communication and engagement.”Technology is becoming an extension of humanity.”

“40% of top Fortune 500 in 2000 were no longer there in 2010.” Forbes 2011 Why? They don’t fit anymore.

Customer behaviour is changing and it is impacting the decisions that we make.  If you are not proactively designing the experience your customers have you can not influence it. You need to start with design the customer experience you want your customer to have and embrace. It is the customer’s ecosystem that matters not ours.

How do they communicate, connect, share, learn, discover, make decisions, take action.

We help you walk in there shoes, learn how they connect and communicate, how they discover and more importantly what they value. Strategic Service Design. Now is the time to recognise that your customers landscape is shifting and discover how to align to their world.

 
Mapping the customer journey
 

Customer Experience study in Australia reveals we are an empathetic bunch!

By | customer centric marketing, Customer experience, Customer Insight, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

Nunwood is a consultancy that is known to do Customer Experience Excellence (CEE) research. They have just finished a survey of 5000 Australian consumers to uncover what specific needs count when creating value for money and a great customer experience in a study this year.

Top Ten Brands

  • Singapore Air,Top Brands
  • Air New Zealand
  • RACQ (Royal Automobile Club Queensland)
  • ING Direct
  • ALDI
  • Specsavers
  • Emirates
  • Ubank
  • Chemist Warehouse
  • Dan Murphy’s

The airlines have fared well with and is sited to be because they are delivering the total package, attentive staff, the latest in-flight entertainment, comfort and price. Other distinctive differences with winners it the tone of voice or personality of the brands which we can identify with.

Other insights

Aussies are empathic towards Australian brands. “Our research really found that Australians really just want an objective source of information. The challenges for Australian companies is still really getting that peer to peer objectivity is becoming increasingly important and turning a terrible experience into a good one. If you sting an Aussie customer they won’t forget easily.” Said MD of Nunwood Anna Thomas

“Building great customer experience is about understanding the nuances of the consumer need – which may change at various points along the customer journey – and bringing them to life within the parameters of the brand and the particular business culture. It’s part art, part science, and it’s really exciting work.”

Top Trends
1. Australian’s want to buy Australian. Source locally – Supporting Aussie businesses is still very important

2. Give us the information. We go online so educate us before we find the information from someone else and buy online. And Reviews from our peers are important.

driversofcommercialvalue_500x707

3. There are a lot of bargain hunters online. This is a big part of the online shoppers.

4. Low price and low quality Aussies aren’t interested in.

5. We shop globally because we can. Keep us shopping locally with great service, value, information and we will see the difference and stay loyal. If not we will go where the offer, value and experience is better.

Read more here..   More from Nunwood about the six pillers of customer experience

 

Want to map your customer’s experience? Learn more..

“70 percent of the buying process is now complete by the time a prospect is ready to engage with sales.”

By | CRM and lead generation, Marketing Automated Technology, Online Marketing, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

In Phil Fernandez’s book Revenue Disruption and CEO of Marketo, Phil espouses with abundant product information available online—such as customer reviews, peer evaluations, independent analysis, social network referrals, user generated content and more—the vast majority of buyers begin their buy cycle in a search engine or online, effectively circumventing sales people, completing the majority of their buying process and and short list have been completed.

Get Found!

What does this mean for us? Well the role of marketing has increased prior to hand over of a lead to a sales team. It means that businesses need to rethink their traditional approach to sales and marketing. This has a spin on effect to how investments are made.

According to SiriusDecisions, Inc., “70 percent of the buying process is now complete by the time a prospect is ready to engage with sales.” Therefore, marketing now owns the majority of the buying cycle and must implement lead acquisition techniques—such as content marketing and inbound marketing—to engage buyers early and in the formative stages of the buying cycle.

Phil explains his approach called the Revenue Performance Management (RPM) in an interview with CRMSearch that  most sales teams spend 20 to 60 percent of their time inefficiently calling prospects who no longer need or want to be contacted by sales people.If marketing can become more efficient in using lead acquisition techniques (such as compelling content, search engine optimization, search marketing, etc.) to be found by early stage buyers, nurture not-yet-ready to buy prospects, and transfer those sales-ready buyers to the sales team at the precise point when they become ready to engage in active buyer discussions, the sales team will avoid inefficient prospecting and allocate their time to selling activities such as demonstrating value, advancing opportunities, and negotiating and closing sales deals.

Marketo has shifted its spend based on the Phils RPM approach, spending as much on marketing as sales. This actually makes sales more efficient by limiting their sales activities to truly qualified buyers.

How much do you spend on marketing V sales? Is it time to review your approach?

How to work with Us

By | Marketing Strategy, Packaging, Small Business Marketing | No Comments

We know that every small business is different and you will be looking for the right marketing resource. That is why we have come up with a number of ways to engage with us.

Marketing Strategy workshop – for a small investment of $250 you can have a meeting and see if we are a good fit and get some immediate marketing strategy to apply to your workshop. This is a good place to start if you haven’t yet worked out your marketing approach.

Small Business Package – allows us to work together with you over a series of workshops to uncover your strategy and put together a one page plan.

Fast Track workshop is a one day planning session for a small business to create a marketing plan.
Web Design Package – is perfect if you are in the process of redesigning your web and want to make sure it will attract your ideal customers with call to actions.

Branding Package – is great if you are rebranding your business and want to think through the “why” of your identity. This builds the style guide and the key marketing messages.

Digital Marketing covers all social media creation and planning so it is wrapped up in your core marketing strategy.

The Customer Centric Workhop focuses on mapping out your customer’s buying path so you can become more customer centric and test your internal values and value proposition.

Retainer Options are very useful and economical for a small business with no marketing resource but know they need an ongoing affordable marketing person. We only do a number of these per year so we can service our existing clients well.

Online Coaching Package is for those remote businesses that want an online resource to communicate with about their marketing.

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