In most customer sales-based situations, heavy emphasis seems to be placed upon acquiring the customer. You build rapport, deliver the pitch, beat the objections, sign the papers and move to the next one. Unfortunately, unlike in a client-based sales situation, the correspondence ends here. Seldom is there a follow-up meeting to gain insight and potentially increase your business with the customer. More often than not, all a previous customer needs is a little bit of a helping hand towards their next buying decision, and chances are your competitors are right there.
Enter the art of customer lifecycle management, and the many ways you can create powerful customer interaction strategies through social media use.
Customer lifecycle management, or CLM, is a core company philosophy that places emphasis on putting your customers at the middle of everything you do. After all, it is the customer that keeps your business alive. By engaging with your customer through social media and following their life with the company, there is a large potential that your customers who become involved with your company online can become company promoters just by sharing your product or service. That’s right – their social media activity could pretty much sell your product or service for you.
Many companies still are unaware of the positive (and sometimes negative) impact social media channels can have over their businesses. What is most commonly found in regards to social media implementation is that businesses tend to create their accounts on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more, but instead of creating a pro-conversational social media account they end up with a static online representation of their company, which is a major deterrent for today’s most active buyers. Without a social media account that is alive with comments, links and a strong movement of your content, your customer will never be able to give your company positive engagement, and your brand awareness will suffer.
The modern day consumer requires not only a commendable product, but a brand experience that both meets their desires and taps into their emotions. To achieve this, you must understand the value operators your customers use to evaluate your company and the ways in which they would like to become engaged. Solid research is required here – but don’t let that become a deterrent. By creating buyer personas that represent the ideal customer for your company, you can easily create this information and use it to your company’s advantage.
The best way to achieve this is to place an emphasis on integrating customer service within your social media and inbound marketing plans. Instead of having your customer call a 1300 or a 1800 number and putting them through thousands of automated responses, try using social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter to give your customers real-time responses. The positive impact this will have on your company is limitless. Not only will you allow for a quicker way to solve any issues your customer or potential customer might have, your quick responses and customer relations skills will be on show to the world wide web. If this interaction results in positive engagement from the individual involved, everyone gets to see it!
The more positive engagement through the lifecycle of your customer, the more they and their circle of friends (which on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are larger than you think) will feel comfortable in making a revenue-based interaction with your company. Try rewarding your customers by giving them exclusive offers through social media. Invite them to events, give them early access to sales or discounted rates if they complete a task (such as inviting friends to follow/like your company on social media), and just generally give them an incentive to interact with your company and continue their lifecycle with your company. The more you create a ‘VIP’ experience for your customer online, the higher level of prospects you will convert. It is that simple!