Some recent conferences we attended on “customer success” put forward some fresh perspectives on rapidly emerging innovations in what we used to call “customer support” or “account management.” Today, the name of the game is all about anticipating the customer’s journey in their experience with your product or service. The journey starts with getting to know you, hopefully continues with a trial or purchase, and with success, keeps them coming back for more.
Tom Krautkremer, VP of Marketing and Sales at Pertino, a new VPN-as-a-service provider, explained the first part of the journey well as summarized below. In this he assumes that customer success is no longer pegged to “closing sales” but rather remains throughout the lifecycle.
Today’s Changing Buyer Landscape
We’re losing control of the audience
• Attention spans continue to get shorter
• A wealth of information is creating a “poverty of knowledge”
We’re losing control of the message
• Customers can easily seek out and trust other sources
• We can’t control what is said about our space, who’s saying it, how fast it travels
We’re losing control of the sales process, in IT selling, for example
• 98% of all IT buying processes start with a search
• 57% of the buying journey is complete before sales enters the picture
We’re losing control of the brand
• Brand affinity increasingly based on experience, instinct and feelings
• People don’t like to be sold, they like to buy, and they buy in tribes
The Buyer’s Journey Map – The Path to Purchasing
Mr. Krautkremer went on to further suggest that the buyer journey consists of three key phases:
• Prospects engage with your content
• Interested prospects engage with your product or service
• Buyers engage with your processes
We all know how we operate. We just forget sometimes what we already know. Ask yourself the following questions:
How do prospects engage with your content today?
– Online events
– Educational email series
– Video series
How do they engage with your product or service?
– Free samples
– Downloadable kits
– Free trials visitors are and what
– Free consultation/quotes
– Time-limited free trials
– Feature-limited free trials
One way or another, increasingly the expectation is to get to experience your product or service if at all possible before they commit.
“Activity Based Content Delivery”
Once a prospect turns into a buyer, it’s all about understanding when to provide customers with the right information at the right time. Increasingly, tools that either track real time usage, in the case of services, or surveys, in the case of products, help create understanding of what types of content is needed by the buyer to make sure they keep coming back, tell their friends and help create the “tribe” you’re looking for in the marketplace.
We Can Help at Every Stage