In the book, “The 1-Page Marketing Plan,” by Allan Dib, customers are defined as the people who like you, and like what you have to offer… enough to pay money for your product or service at least one time. It’s after that one time where you find the gold, though … or don’t.
The sad fact is, most businesses stop their marketing efforts once they’ve converted the prospect into a customer. This is a mistake, and a very costly one. Your existing customers are your most important asset. The most successful businesses take care of their customers better than any of their competitors would ever think to.
Your real marketing efforts should begin once you have closed the customer. Every dollar you invest in delivering a world class experience to your customer and nurturing that relationship will show a much higher return than the dollars you spend to just get someone in the door.
It’s critical to be intentional about the experience your customer has. The best way to do this is to systemize it, creating a repeatable process. Companies that don’t systemize the customer experience with the intent of creating raving fans, leave money on the table…a lot of it!
Systemizing a world class experience isn’t as hard as it sounds.
Here’s how to start at the most basic level.
Create a “map” of every touch-point your business has with the customer and what you are currently doing with the customer at that touch point. In other words, how are you interacting and communicating at each touch point? What’s the response time? How does your customer feel at each touch point?
Once this is mapped out, you then evaluate how you can elevate and improve the customer’s experience at every touch point on that journey. Once you’ve done that, create a system/process for each point in that journey map that supports the elevated experience. Train your team to execute it.
As you consider ways to improve the customer experience at each touch point, here are a few things to keep in mind that can help:
- Understand the difference between a want and a need. You sold them what they want, but to make them raving fans, you must give them what they need. This is emotion driven. How are you making the customer feel?
- Everyone is looking for results and positive outcomes. Sometimes results and positive outcomes don’t happen as quickly as the customer has formulated in his/her mind. It’s your job (the company’s job) to be an effective communicator of ongoing progress toward the result or outcome the customer is looking for. In your customer journey map, look for gaps. Where can you improve communication about progress toward results?
- Consider things you can do to position yourself as the voice of value to your customers over time, and reinforce this through the entire life of the relationship.
Providing a world class experience isn’t tactical, it’s strategic.
It’s not about just performing the job the company was paid to do. It’s about elevating the experience, establishing and growing a relationship with the customer beyond the transaction… becoming a trusted advisor.
It takes time and it takes effort, but the dividends are huge. It dramatically increases the lifetime value of the customer in terms of repeat business and referral business.
This is where the gold resides.
If you’re ready to take your business and leadership skills to the next level, and if you think your business could benefit from more insights like what’s offered in this article, let’s start a conversation. LXCouncil may be the perfect next step!
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