When people think of lead generation, some common tactics come to mind. People think of blogs, pop-ups, landing pages, social media, influencers, and encouraging reviews. These lead generation tactics are important, but there’s one more that is often overlooked, the customer experience. Customer experience is influenced by the tactics above but it’s also a force of its own. The sum of experiences will accumulate to a net positive or net negative experience with the company, and this is why every element of the customer experience must be considered.
Customer experience has the potential to impact how the future of the company and that includes sales. It’s no secret that companies today are focusing on customer experience in a way they never did in the past. In fact, two-thirds of companies are now competing on customer experience, which is up from 36% in 2010. One of the major reasons companies focus on customer experience is because they want to increase revenue. One study found that 84% of companies who try to improve their customer experience report higher revenue. Additionally, companies with a keen focus on customer experience report 4-8% higher revenue than their competitors.
Today we’re going to drill into how customer experience can be tailored to boost your lead generation, define the best practices, and tell you four ways you can put this plan into action. Let’s take a look.
Customer service is a key part of the customer experience. At its core customer service is just communication. It is the sum of the conversations, interactions, and engagement between the customer and the company. Each time your business is interacting with a customer, they are “serving” them in some way. Now of course, strictly speaking, customer service is considered to be when the business is actively helping solve a customer problem. Customer service is a specific element of customer-business communication and one that must be done right.
These interactions don’t exist in a bubble. Each interaction has the potential to make or break the customer’s experience and guide how they behave in the future. If they have a poor customer service experience, then this can harm future sales. If they talk about their experience with friends and family, or on a review site, then this harm can become widespread. This is why customer service is actually a secret weapon of lead generation.
You can’t separate customer service from customer experience, and more broadly, you can’t separate communication from the equation either. It all comes down to how compelled the customer feels to voice their concerns, and how receptive and reactive the company is to those concerns. What a lot of companies fail to understand is that customers are constantly telling us how to sell to them. There are countless books, podcasts, videos, courses on the topic of how to sell to your customers, and drive revenue. These can be great resources, but it’s important to look closer to home too.
Active listening is the art of truly listening and being totally focused and invested in the topic being discussed. It’s the very foundation of effective communication, and effective communication is paramount in customer service. Here’s how you can actively listen to your customers:
By actively listening, customers have better customer experience and are more likely to keep coming back to the company in the future. Good customer service creates a good customer experience, and this leads to higher retention rates.
The other benefit of active listening is that your customers will tell you what to sell to them and how to sell it to them. We’ll focus more on this in the next section.
You can improve lead generation by improving your customer service function as a whole. This is an entire topic in itself, but here are some best practices at a high level:
So, customers will tell you how to sell to them, but how? Sometimes you have to read between the lines or be proactive. For example, let’s pretend you have a company that sells photo editing software.
In this scenario, your company has focused on the traditional elements of lead generation. You have an engaging and relevant blog where you post content regularly. You have a simple and stylish landing page that grabs the customer’s attention. You have a contact form or newsletter where the customer can actively show their interest in your product. Your hard work pays off and you find that lots of consumers find their way to your website and spend several minutes looking around. Some of these consumers become customers because they are convinced by your website’s integrity and your product’s promise to fulfill their needs. However, several people still click away from your site and move on to other things.
Maybe they decided not to buy just now, or maybe they decided to go with a competitor. You will never convince every person who visits your site to buy your product, but there will always be a group of customers that would have converted if their questions were answered. This is where communication comes in. Imagine that a potential customer finds your website and they like the look and feel of your photo editing software. The software does almost everything they want, and the price seems reasonable. However, they still have one question, and finding an answer to this is very important to them. Maybe they need to save the photos in an unusual file format for some reason, and your website doesn’t say whether they can do this. They might look around for a little while but if they can’t find the answer, they might assume that your product isn’t the right fit for them. How do you solve this? By always having a communication option available to the customer.
You can have a live chat window in the corner of the screen where the customer can quickly fire off questions. You can have a chatbot that fulfills the same role. You can include your contact details on every page or on an easily accessible page so that the person can contact customer service if they have more questions.
Similarly, in customer service interactions customers will often tell you what’s missing and it’s your job to listen and respond. If you receive a high number of calls asking the same question, then you know that this is something you should be addressing in a blog post, knowledgebase, or FAQ section on your website. For every customer that calls, there’s a customer who didn’t call and went with a competitor.
Your website is an essential lead generation tool and cannot be overlooked. Here are some best practices for increasing lead generation through your website design:
Blog posts can help drive people to your website and then the website can do the heavy lifting. You can’t generate leads if people don’t know about your business. Here are some best practices for blogs as lead generation tools:
FAQs are also a great way to quickly get across the most important information about your product. They are especially useful if your product offers something unique to the customer that they can’t find elsewhere.
We’re extremely excited to announce that we have changed our company name to CommBox. It’s still the same company with the same awesome people! just a new name, a fresh look, and a brighter future.Read full story