In December 2004, Rolling Stone published their top “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” A song penned by Jagger and Richards, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” is ranked number two. As the song says,
“When I’m drivin’ in my car, and the man come on the radio
He’s tellin’ me more and more about some useless information
Supposed to fire my imagination”
A fitting place to start our client journey discussion because without satisfaction there are no customers. If you haven’t taken the client experience seriously in the past, consider that according to the Harvard Business Review, “customers who encounter positive social customer care experiences are nearly 3 times more likely to recommend a brand.” What can a negative experience cost you? According to New Voice Media, $41 billion is lost by U.S. companies yearly due to suboptimal customer experiences. For more stats:
In my last blog, I offered a simple client journey map.
Mapping the client experience (or journey) is fundamental to facilitating how you want clients to engage with you. By putting yourself on the same side of the table with your client you can put actions in place to enhance their experience and deepen the relationship. Consider what Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO said, “If there’s one reason we have done better than of [sic] our peers in the internet space over the last six years, it is because we have focused like a laser on customer experience.” And he should know. Amazon’s market capitalization went from $17.95B in 2006 to $355.9B in 2016 – up 1,934%. By contrast, Walmart over the same period was basically flat at $212.4, declining 1% over the decade.
In this post, we will begin to piece “the journey” together.
Let’s start with the prospect. Who are your top prospects?
Consider starting with your existing clients. Do a deep dive on the 20% of your customers driving 80% of your sales (or revenues).
It’s imperative that you survey this group. They hold a treasure trove of data. Key questions to ask include:
- How did they find you?
- What motivated them to work with you?
- What do they like best about your service(s)?
- What aren’t they getting from you?
- Who do they see as your competition?
- Where do they go for more information?
- Who are their most trusted advisors?
- What keeps them up at night?
- How likely are they to recommend you?
With the preceding data in hand you can begin to assemble the ideal prospect profile. The information will inform how you allocate precious resources. For example, do I advertise? If so, where? What are the key considerations in advance of purchase? What do they value most? Does my website provide the kind of information prospects seek? How should I leverage social media?
- Use a third party to gather information to get more accurate (honest) data.
- Encourage and thank clients for their feedback.
- Survey former clients. They will provide useful data as well. Bill Gates once said, “Your most unhappy clients are your greatest source of learning.”
- Ensure that all parts of the organization are involved in this exercise, not just the Marketing department.
- Only initiate this exercise if you are fully committed to execute against it.
Undertaking the preceding is hard work but will yield dividends in the form of client retention, increased sales and improved brand recognition.
Interestingly, what song competed for the number one spot with “Satisfaction” in 1965? It was the “I Can’t Help Myself” by The Four Tops. A fitting end to this article. As the songs says,
“Sugar pie, honey bunch
You know that I love you
I can’t help myself
I love you and nobody else.”
We would blessed if all our clients felt that way. Next up? We will cover the next piece of the journey: the “dabbler.”