Get On the Same Page!
These simple steps can ensure there aren’t any weak links in your efforts.
Have you ever received an advertisement for a sale only to find that while the marketing collateral says one thing, the business advertising the sale says another? Too often, much time and effort is spent creating a strong marketing message, a cohesive advertising campaign yet very little consideration is given to the actual customer’s experience: in-store advertising, staff and customer service knowledge and assistance, product availability, etc.
Here’s some ways to avoid some of the biggest failure points of many otherwise well-executed marketing campaigns.
Start by getting everyone on the same page.
The first part of any marketing initiative, is to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Omni-channel marketing is a perfect example of ensuring that everyone – on every channel – is on the same page and delivering the same message to your customers.
For instance, if you’re marketing a four-day sale, ensure that your staff is aware and educated about the sale, what products are being advertised, and who the target customer is. Additionally, making sure that you have enough staff for the projected influx of customers during the same is also part of everyone being on the same page.
Adopting an omni-channel marketing strategy for your business goes deeper than a four day sale, though. For an omni-channel marketing strategy to work, there must be a deep understanding of the customer – their needs, preferences and buying habits. While your entire staff may not have extensive knowledge of your customers’ detailed needs and preferences, they should be delivering a consistent unified message to them that caters to their needs and preferences. Ultimately, your staff should know who your target customer is and deliver your business’s relevant, unified message to them.
Don’t always assume that your staff knows what you’re thinking and what the company’s message is. Engage them frequently – either by weekly updates or larger monthly “town hall” style meetings – and allow them to be heard. Some of the best ideas for your business may not come from your company’s leadership. Once they’re on the same page, empower them with the right tools to deliver your unified message to your customers.
Looking for more ways to get your staff on the same page? Consider this list to ensure everyone in your organization is spreading the same message.
- Provide your sales or floor staff with a copy of your advertisements
- Create a short script for your receptionist or those answering the phone, “…are you calling about our Never Before, Never Again Event?”
- Update your on-hold message to include your promotional event
- Place coordinated signage in the main entry point of the business so it’s highly visible
- Make sure your website reflects the promotional event in an obvious way (81% of your customers will visit your site first)
Adopt a customer-centric marketing plan.
Overlooking the “little things” in your business is like not paying attention to detail – and your customers will notice. It’s important that your customer experience is considered first and foremost in your marketing efforts. By being customer-centric in your marketing, you’re not only thinking about the products that your customers want from you, but how they want to shop – whether they research online and then come into your store or doing all their researching and shopping online – the buying experience should be the same: straightforward, ample information to make a buying decision, ensuring it’s easy to contact your business with questions and following up after the purchase to build product loyalty.
Everyone in your business – from managers to cashiers – need to be on the same page regarding the customer experience and making sure the customer is priority number one.
Create simple, consistent processes for customer purchasing.
Having a similar process in redeeming your offers, whether online or in-store, can make a huge difference to your customers. The clearer you can make any processes or activities that they have to do to lead them to a sale can only help your sales efforts. Make sure your staff is aware of the process to redeem coupons and deals so that it doesn’t seem like a hassle to the customer just to get a discount on your product.
In general, the simpler that you can make a process that a customer has to do before they can make a purchase, the more likely that the customer will complete the process and make the sale. This is especially true of purchases made online. 23% of online shopping cart abandonments are because of complicated processes and checking out taking too long. Bottom line: Create (and maintain) simple, quick processes that move the customer toward a hassle-free checkout experience.
Don’t stop the customer service after the sale.
With so much focus on customer service and marketing to make a sale with a customer, it’s easy to forget that the customer relationship goes on beyond the purchase, especially if the customer has questions or issues after they’ve bought from you. How your business handles “after-the-sale” service can really determine the length of the customer relationship and their loyalty to your business.
It’s important to note that customer retention and acquisition are two entirely different activities; while they both involve engaging your customers and potential customers, one is infinitely more challenging than the other. Acquiring a new customer is five times more expensive than retaining an existing customer. It makes sense, then, that focusing on retaining your existing customers is more cost effective, and in a great measure, easier than acquiring a new customer.
That said, it’s even more important to improve your customer retention efforts by considering your after-the-sale customer service to help drive customer loyalty. Making sure your entire staff is consistent with customer service and views the life of the customer relationship with the importance it deserves, strengthens the loyalty of that customer.
By implementing these tips into your marketing plan, you can make sure that everyone in your organization is on the same page, delivering the same message to your customers and that there are no weak links in your marketing efforts.