In part 4 of our series on How Automotive Companies Can Survive The Future we looked at how to give your customers the best possible experience. Here's part 5, describing the latest sales trend of turning customers into promoters… Join the #SalesSuperleague.
Turn Customers into Promoters
HubSpot have coined the phrase 'Inbound Service Framework' to describe the process a customer goes through, that turns them from a potential customer to a promoter of your brand.
Step 1: Engage
Good customer service is the key to everything else. At first you just need to understand and resolve as many customer questions as you can. Engage with customers at this stage wherever you can, and try to help anyone who needs it. But most importantly make it EASY for people to get help. If you don't get any requests for support it doesn't mean your product or service is perfect, it means your customers are silently suffering.
As your customer service team gets more sophisticated you can start tailoring your processes. The key here is to identify issues, not only resolving them quickly and efficiently but stopping them occurring repeatedly. For example:
- If a percentage of queries are simple questions, direct them to a Frequently Asked Questions page to free up your team's time.
- Empower your customer care team to highlight problems early and often so their insights can be turned into action, ie, if the sales team is overpromising they can be reined in.
- Is there something in your product that leads to mass confusion? Can you eliminate these problems at the source?
- Do certain types of customers run into issues frequently? And subsequently are these types of customers worth avoiding, or does the extra time they require become justified by their lifetime value?
As your team evolves, you'll be able to optimise your own processes and identify the most effective support channels.
Step 2: Guide
The aim here is to turn your relationship with your customer into a proactive partnership. Being proactive means:
- Anticipating common issues and taking steps to prevent them. An example of this is the FAQ page on your website, and making your help desk more user friendly.
- Partnering with your customers to help them reach their targets. Guide them and keep them on track, creating frameworks and tutorials to help them along their way.
- Build a trusting relationship. Your customers might not see all the work you do behind scenes but they'll recognise a relatively issue free experience. They are much more likely to trust a company that doesn't let them down.
- You'll have an edge over your competitors.
If you can give your customers, not only a valuable product or service, but also trusted and seamless after sales support, competitors will struggle to replicate the trust your customers have in you.
Step 3: Grow
https://blog.hubspot.com/news-trends/customer-acquisition-studyHappy customers want to support the businesses they love. 90% of consumers are more likely to purchase more, and 93% were more likely to be repeat customers at companies with excellent customer service.
Happy buyers WANT to help you! And that is what the 'Grow' stage is, turning desire into action. There are 4 ways to turn your customers into promoters:
1) Social Proof
Buyers are more likely to buy from companies their networks trust and your customers can create social proof for your product or service in several ways:
- Sharing positive experiences on Social Media.
- Providing referrals.
- Testimonials and case studies.
- Customer references in the sales process.
You can have different customers for different types of social proof. You can encourage your customers to provide social proof by reaching out to them. You can also provide incentives for writing online reviews or sharing content.
2) Brand Amplification
When your customers interact with you or your content online, they're amplifying your brand. This can be sharing your content on social media, contributing content for a campaign, or interacting with your content. You need to make your content so amazing that they can't help but interact with it. Or an incentive after a certain amount of shares.
Referrals have the most immediate monetary value, and you can offer the referer credit to their account and even monetary rewards. You must make sure you are offering them something of high value; if they are gaining you customers it's a high value service they are providing.
Once you have snagged a customer, you can see what other products or services you sell that they might be interested in. Closing a loophole between sales and support can let you know when the customer might need to add to the product or service they've already bought.
Make the most of customers you've already won!
The key to putting together an Inbound Service Framework and making the most of the customers you've already won, is an excellent customer experience. Creating a network where you can depend on your customers to promote and rave about your products and services, can lay the groundwork for sustainable and long-term growth. In a world where acquiring new customers is getting harder and harder, it would be crazy to ignore this opportunity.
To learn more about the Inbound Service Framework, start with How Automotive Companies Can Survive The Future.
Thanks to HubSpot for this research.
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About The Tree Group
The Tree Group is a business growth agency and HubSpot Certified Partner that combines sales, marketing, and websites to help Automotive companies with at least 10 staff and a desire to grow by 15% in the next 18 months. Does that sound like you?