Customer Experience Gaps Feel Like Entrapment

Customer Experience Gaps Feel Like Entrapment

I experienced my first MRI this week.

It’s a medical procedure for capturing an accurate picture of what the doctor is looking for inside of your body using magnetic resonance imaging.

It’s hell for people like me that are afraid of enclosed spaces.

You have to lie motionless while you are inserted via a mechanical bed into a giant iron tube containing super powerful magnets.

The magnets bang, buzz and whirr while the machine gets that picture.

Oh, yeah. And it takes 50 minutes.

Who knows where our fears come from – probably childhood, like everything else that seems to have no rational basis.

Whatever the source, our mind makes it real.

Your customers have similar fears. It’s the feeling of not being in control.

“What happens if this malfunctions?”

“Are you sure it will hold up to periods of peak demand?”

“Can I expect to recoup our investment when we sell it?”

Educating buyers throughout their journey with your business is a job that should not be taken lightly.

It requires a strategy that gets to the heart of what customers desire … and fear.

Had I known more about the MRI experience in advance I would have been OK, but I didn’t.

So I freaked.

It’s the not knowing that creates that feeling of entrapment.

This may sound completely irrational, but then you aren’t me.

You are also not your customer, but somehow you have to be. You have to plan the customer experience and execute it with empathy.

They have to trust you now and for years to come.

Embrace their irrational fears of entrapment because they are real to them.

Then set them free with content marketing education, meaningful website copy, newsletters and social media that solve problems that may only exist in their minds.

Help your customers do more of what they want by taking action.

And empathy is an action.

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social and host of  This Old New Business podcast. He works with owners, marketers and sales teams to craft and communicate branded customer experiences that sell.

Marketing Automation: What Your Business Needs to Know

Marketing Automation: What Your Business Needs to Know

According to our recent survey, more than 2/3 of landscaping business owners are primarily responsible for their marketing.

This challenge has a solution, and it’s marketing automation.

Routine activities can be automated to free you from working in your business so that you can invest more time working on it.

While there is a learning curve with the technology, the true challenge is taking the time to design what can be automated.

In other words, if your business does not have a written process in place for activities like following up on leads or upselling current customers, then clearly, that’s where it needs to start.

Automation Follows Organization

Start thinking in terms of triggers and actions.

The phone rings (trigger) and your team answers (action). The buyer asks for a quote (trigger) and your team dispatches a representative to learn more (action).

Automation Formulas: Trigger > Action > Trigger > Action …

Organize everything and automate what you can.

#1. List the actions

What are the actions you want your buyers to take from their first contact with your business? List them, step- by-step.

#2. Test the sequence

How many of your recent customers have followed those steps? Patterns outside of your ideal flow may suggest disallowing these actions in the future.

The other option is to create multiple pathways to success.

It’s important to be clear about the process steps that are inflexible. Often this involves legal issues or payment terms, but it can include anything in the buyer’s journey.

#3. Automate what you can

Let’s face it, nowadays a website visit is replacing the telephone call.

Clicks to your website are triggers. You can use marketing automation to take action on them to send relevant information. And you can tag that interest to segment prospective buyers into categories. As they move through your funnel they will trigger new actions.

Every successful action should trigger another.

Take the time to automate what you can, even if that’s only one step in your process. After you nail that give yourself a pat on the back and celebrate.

You’ve saved some time! Now look for more ways to automate.

Bonus Tip:

Marketing automation gets a bad reputation when it’s used to interrupt people to sell to them. But there’s nothing wrong with selling when it’s done right.

The key is finding ways to use marketing automation to personalize.

For example, a sales transaction could trigger an email that offers an automated booking calendar such as ScheduleOnce that the buyer can use to independently book a time to meet with your company representative to address whatever issues there may be.

And that personalization just may trigger new business!

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social and host of This Old New Business podcastHe helps organizations create exceptional customer experiences that drive business growth. 

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