One thing many businesses have found over the last few years is that customer budgets have tightened and more scrutiny is given to the price of products and services.
We’ve seen a number of successful businesses responding to this change in the commercial landscape with a more flexible offering, one that appeals to different business budgets and cash flows.
They recognise that not everyone may want to purchase a product or service in its entirety – say with all its add-on features, bells and whistles. You’ve probably come across this in travel industry when you’re presented with options to add car hire or a hotel stay on to a flight purchase.
One example is the budget airline Easyjet who charge for a basic flight and then add on extra charges for additional bags, drinks etc.
By providing different purchasing options to a customer, you can gain a competitive edge on those rivals who are sticking to a ‘one size fits all’ range.
One anecdote we’ve heard is from our Digital Marketing Manager who previously worked in the IT department for the global brand of a multinational corporation. When their team “sized up” jobs they would do it by “t-shirt sizes” – Small, medium or large. The criteria for their sizes were:
So this might give you an idea of what you can offer to suit different customer budgets.
Whilst you don’t want to overwhelm customers with numerous configurations, by creating a handful of simple and clearly defined package options you can capture the interest from a broader range of customers – albeit with different budgets.
It is great when a marketing campaign generates a sizeable pot of new business leads and warm contacts. This achievement though presents the immediate challenge of converting that interest into sales.
And yet customer interest is notorious for waning, which is why it’s important to remember that one ‘touch-point’ alone with your company rarely persuades a potential customer to buy from you. It can often take several interactions to convert their interest into a sale.
Over the years we’ve helped many businesses, not only generate leads, but also convert them. Here are 3 key factors that often make the difference between success and failure.
For many products and services, the buying process is far from instant. The more expensive the purchase, the more attention a customer will allocate to it. For example, they may embark on information gathering, discussing a specification with a sales representative, seeking out recommendations and testing or trialling a sample of the product or service before they reach their final decision.
To reassure potential customers that your business is the one to buy from, it really helps to deliver a consistent, clear and pleasant experience at each stage of the buying journey. In particular, try and avoid the customer:
So keep in mind your brand consistency across the user journey.
Customers hate to feel they’re just a number to you and love it when you tailor messages to them. So take advantage of marketing personalisation technology for your printed or digital communications. Ensure your digital marketing can cope with the different environments your customers may be interacting with it (mobile, tablet, desktop etc). Identify any common stage(s) where customers stall in their decision to buy your products and services. Also consider communications, offers or sales team contact which can help move them on to the next phase.
When marketing and sales teams work closely together on a lead generation campaign, the results can be breathtaking. This means having sales personnel at the ready to respond to interest the minute a lead engages with your company’s marketing. Advances in marketing technology mean that online pop-ups, video, virtual presenters, dedicated emails or ‘click to dial’ phone numbers are easy to set up. These help to move potential customers into dialogue with a sales representative and enable businesses to respond quickly to interest the minute it arrives.
For this approach to work well, it’s essential to fully brief the sales team on the marketing promotion’s content and timings. There’s nothing worse than trying to enquire about a service and experiencing a lengthy delay, or a salesperson who is unfamiliar with the promotion you’ve seen.
If you’d like additional ideas about how to speed up the buying process and converting leads into sales, do get in touch with us at Clever Marketing.
With the arrival of the New Year, many businesses are looking ahead and planning how to make the next 12 months even bigger and better than the last. Whilst it is tempting to focus purely on new prospects, there is often much commercial benefit to be gained from your existing customers.
Certainly, throughout 2014 you will want to ensure those customers continue favouring your business offering over others and maintain their levels of expenditure with you. Ideally, you will also want them to consider other aspects of your service or product range and increase the range they buy.
The key to all this will be how good your customer experience is. This doesn’t just equate to the quality of your product or service, although that does have a major part to play. It also involves the pre- and post-sales interactions you deliver around your product/service. Each of these interactions needs to be positive and one your customers find comfortable, easy to understand and even enjoyable.
To help you improve the customer experience you deliver, try it out for yourself or employ a mystery shopper specialist to test and report back to you. Where possible you should aim to simplify any complex messages, ease the process of buying from you and ensure the after-sales experience encourages customers to want to buy more.
2014 will no doubt see people continuing to be busy and so the more you can make your customers’ lives easy and hassle-free, the more they’ll opt for your business offering over another’s. Clever Marketing has helped a number of firms identify gaps in their customer experience and have successfully tackled these to improve client loyalty, create greater awareness of the firms’ business offering and generate upselling opportunities.
If you’d like to learn more do get in touch with us on 020 3146 4341