Customer experience is the new demand creation.
Bold words, I know, but Influitive‘s B2B Customer Engagement Leadership Series last week made me a believer. It was an incredibly eye openingexperience. The conference focused on teaching marketers how to engage customers in a way that delights them into advocates for the company. This is something that HubSpot has been touting for years, but that marketers have been slow to understand and adopt.
Experience Is The Key Driver of B2B Decisions
Why is customer experience so important in b2b marketing? 71% of b2b buyer decisions are based on customer experiences.
B2B buyers are under a lot of pressure to make the right decision. Their purchases affect their career, their reputation, and even the success of their whole company. In a high stakes purchase like this, b2b buyers are going to try and make educated, risk free decisions. To do this, they know they can’t just ask you about your product. Who better to ask than your customers?
If you aren’t delighting your customers, or if you aren’t capitalizing on your customers that are already delighted, you could be missing your most fundamental lead generation strategy.
If your customers aren’t happy, what is that going to do to the top of your funnel?
Advocate Marketing Can Help
When you delight your customers you create advocates for your company that market it for you. When you reward those advocates it keeps the process going.
Advocate marketing – customers sharing what they love about a company. Influitive calls it “systemized word of mouth marketing.”
Studies show that b2b marketers aren’t taking advantage of this opportunity:
Only 35% of b2b companies have a formal process to identify and recruit top customer advocates.
These conference speakers aren’t the only ones noticing the need for the intersection of customer service and marketing.Jay Baer just a few weeks ago published a post entitled: What the Convergence of Customer Service and Marketing Means for Business. In his words…
Customer engagement could be the easiest and quickest way for your company to grow.
Check out these statistics:
- A 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10%. (Leading on the Edge of Chaos by Emmet Murphy and Mark Murphy)
- 55% of consumers would pay more for a better customer experience. (Defacto Research)
- 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience, but only 1% of customers feel that vendors consistently meet their expectations. (Forbes)
- 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. (Mckinsey)
See more stats here.
How To Engage With Your Clients
1) Make a champion out of your clients
When your clients look like champions, you look like a champion. Here are a few simple ways to accomplish this:
Share their content on social media
- This is a small way to show you care by helping them grow their audience.
Read their blog
- Comment on it, write your own posts that answer any questions they ask, and again, share it on social media.
- This could be client testimonials, photos of customers using your service or product successfully, or just celebrating with your clients on their company successes. Use your website, blog, and social media to show off your clients tastefully.
2) Get your clients off the side lines
Invest in client engagement gamafication software
- Influitive and other software solutions like it allow you to create tasks for your clients that they can complete for rewards. Tasks could include, liking or sharing one of your social media messages, commenting on a blog post, or even working the booth at one of your trade shows. As long as you make the reward match the task, this can be a great way to encourage positive customer advocacy. Don’t have the funds to invest in another SaaS? There are companies who do this process manually.
These are just a few ways to improve your customer engagement. MLT has some room to grow here. Our clients are incredible people doing some incredible stuff and we are proud they are loyal to us. Was this stuff as mind blowing to you as it was to me? What are some ways that you keep your customer engagement in ship shape? What are ways your looking to improve?