Maximizing Customer Relationships
Customer Marketing is all about maximizing customer relationships. The role of Customer Marketing is different in different companies – customer expansion, reference coordination, customer experience, and customer content generation all play key roles in this arena. The popular perception of Customer Marketing is that it mainly revolves around providing references to the Sales team, getting customer quotes into press releases, creating case studies, and joint speaking opportunities at events. In fact, there is a lot of untapped potential that organizations are missing out on by restricting Customer Marketing to pre-sales activities.
Organizations need to think of Customer Marketing as getting their customers to be advocates, not only for the brand or company, but also for every interaction they have with employees and the entire customer experience. Organizations that increase the focus on Customer Marketing by 7% increase profits up to to 95%. Great examples of this are organizations like Atlassian, Zoom, and now the fast-growing startup, Hashicorp.
Customer Marketing Tactics
Tell customers, in exact terms, how much you care about their reputation, and how you can help
The only thing your customer is thinking is, “What’s in it for me?” Their end goal is, “Will this work for me and my company’s goals?” The customer may not share your excitement about the product or solution scenarios. You have to give them the benefit or solution they seek. To take this one step further, explain how you will be working for them in terms of building their reputation, both internally and externally. Show them how hard you will work to make them the heroes in their organization, and build their career profile externally.
Ask for referrals as soon as a customer provides a high NPS/feedback
Act fast when positive experiences are still fresh in the customer’s memory. If a customer has indicated they are a promoter (9/10 in NPS) then ask for three referrals immediately, using a popup or an email. You will be surprised how the rate of referrals coming through decreases when there’s delay in asking after an NPS response comes in.
Send customers small ticket gifts regularly, versus larger ones during the holidays, to show your appreciation
Keep reminding customers that you care, and that you’re their champion! The value of the gift is not important, as it is the thought that counts. Send them your company swag, celebrate a milestone with a cake, or send them a box of chocolate when they do a favor for you.
Place a higher emphasis on developing an offline community, versus an online network
Nothing beats a direct connection. Bring your customers and prospects together for breakfast/lunch discussions around trends and host events where they can network. Supplement this with online collaboration. It’s always the case that once rapport is established, it’s easy to carry on the same connection in different channels.
Set achievable customer expectations
Don’t over-market, and don’t oversell. Under-promise and overachieve. Customer expectation setting is not easy and pays off when mastered. You need to have the conviction to challenge the customer and guide them to a scenario that’s better for them.