It’s no longer just teenagers attached to their phones 24/7. Nowadays, you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t have a phone in their hand or an arm’s length away. According to Pew Research in 2017, “About three-quarters of U.S. adults (77%) say they own a smartphone, up from 35% in 2011, making the smartphone one of the most quickly adopted consumer technologies in recent history.” With the number of smartphone users increasing indefinitely, reaching your customer base should be as easy as downloading an app.
Your customers have apps for social media, gaming and more. Statista forecasts that, “In 2022, this figure is projected to grow to 258.2 billion app downloads.” With so many apps, how can you make yourself stand out and get your message in the hands of your customers? Ensuring a consistent and easy user experience is the key to keeping your customers happy and making the most of your mobile interactions. Providing customers with a true omnichannel experiences means they should be able to start their journey on your website, receive a physical copy of their bill and end by making a payment on your app – seamlessly moving from one touchpoint to the next without interference or difficulty.
By adding a mobile app into your omnichannel communication strategy, you increase the reach of your brand and offer customers a new way to interact and engage, improving your brands visibility and your customers’ experience. The OSG Mobile App is a custom branded app offering your customers the ability to view and pay their bill or invoice with a click of a button. From actively engaging customers to driving brand loyalty, the mobile app improves customer interaction and grows your competitive advantage.
It’s time to mobilize your message and make your critical customer communications more App-ealing.
Ok, so your customers are as lost as Tom Hanks on that island with Wilson. Unfortunately, unlike Tom, your customers aren’t building a raft and floating back into your revenue stream – its up to you to reconnect and win them back. But how are you going to do that?
Losing a customer can happen for a variety of reasons. Whether it was a price increase or a negative experience with your brand, that customer made the executive decision to cut ties, but that does not mean your customer is lost for good. As many would say, the first step in solving a problem is admitting you have one. Culling your customer list to determine which customers you have lost is the first step in winning them back. Identify those customers and – even more importantly – identify why you lost them.
A holistic understanding of the customer and what made them leave in the first place will help you win them back now. A customer does not want to reconnect with a brand that doesn’t seem to grasp their issues or ignored pain points. Recognizing the issues the customer had with your brand allows you to strategically communicate and highlight the benefits of your products and services. Following suit with the previous steps in the customer journey, a brand who understands the customer and takes the time to truly know the individual is a brand that will win them over – or win them again in this case.
Reconnecting with these customers requires your brand to open the channels of communication that your customer closed. While you should align your message across all touchpoints, engaging the customer through their preferred channel of communication increases the chances of reconnecting. OSG Email Marketing offers the ability to reach out to your lost customers and digitally open the door. Utilizing data-driven segmentation, OSG Email Marketing allows you to create targeted email campaigns with personalized, expertly crafted messages designed to win back a lost customer.
Once you have started the conversation it is up to you to demonstrate why the customer should come back to your brand and rebuild the customer relationship. Have you fixed a broken system? Reduced prices? Introduced new products that better suit your customer needs? Whatever the case, the door is open, and now is the time to keep the conversation going.
A company with no customer retention is tantamount to catching butterflies with a broken net. No matter how many customers you catch – with no reason or need to stay, they will simply keep abandoning your brand. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Depending on which study you believe, and what industry you’re in, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.” Translation: retaining your customers is a must.
Doing so comes down to a few key actions: Establishing ongoing touchpoints, creating a positive experience with each engagement, building trust and loyalty and solving any customer problems.
- Throughout the entirety of the customer journey, engaging touchpoints are the key to keeping the lines of communication open with your customer. Once you have acquired a customer, these touchpoints transition from selling specific products or services to encouraging continued interaction with your brand. Whether this engagement comes in the form of a survey or a reminder of new services, frequent interactions ensure your brand is never forgotten. OSG Calendar Inserts are a perfect yearly touchpoint – a new calendar every December puts your brand in front of the customer and ensures it stays there throughout the year.
- Your customer’s experience should be at the center of every strategy and decision. If something doesn’t assist in creating a positive customer experience, what purpose does it serve in the customer journey? Customers look for brands that work to create those positive experiences, and they are willing to walk away from those that don’t put the appropriate time and energy into the task. With so many competitors in the marketplace, it comes down to whether or not your customer enjoys their interactions with your brand – because if they don’t, there are ten other brands right around the corner.
- Like a relationship with anyone else it takes time and patience to earn your customer’s trust and build loyalty. Both the products you offer as well as your level of service can impact the amount of trust a customer has with your brand. While building trust takes time and energy, breaking that trust can happen in an instant. Remember, each interaction has the potential to either continue building loyalty or completely break it – make sure your interactions lead to the building rather than the breaking.
- A problem-free customer relationship is the gold medal of accomplishments. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect utopia and thus must expect some problems to arise. Even the tiniest of customer issues can seem like a huge disaster if not handled appropriately. Problems are anticipated, but how you handle them determines how your customer views your brand and if they decide to stick with you. Solving problems quickly and efficiently shows your customers you listen to their needs and care about their experience with your brand.
Customers are fickle and quick to desert a brand if they feel it is no longer meeting their expectations. While you may be inclined to focus on growing your customer base, the time and energy put into maintaining the existing base will benefit your brand in the long run. Establishing a strategy to keep your customers happy will keep them by your side and buying your products. When it comes down to it, it pays to retain.
Congratulations! At this stage you have successfully acquired and converted a brand-new customer. In an ideal world they are blissfully enjoying your product and singing your high praises to friends on social media and beyond. What next, you ask? It’s time to begin up-selling and cross-selling.
The natural transition for any brand following a customer purchase is to analyze what additional products the customer could benefit from. The advantage of doing so is two-fold. By introducing additional products, you increase the chances of your new customer becoming a repeat customer and spending more money with your company – WIN! But additionally, cross-selling also strengthens your customer relationship and improves the overall experience.
When done right, cross-selling utilizes customer data to promote new products and services based on your customer’s previous buying habits, goals and interaction with your brand. Like the convert stage of the customer journey, the key to successful cross-selling and up-selling is to understand your customer’s needs. While they may already be a customer of your brand, it is now the goal to win them over to a multitude of additional products – a task which can require extensive customer knowledge.
OSG Campaign Composer allows you to send targeted, one-to-one marketing messages aimed at cross-selling and up-selling. Using customer specific data, you are able to segment your audience and direct product-oriented messages to each sector. By aligning the campaign across channels and interactions, you consistently engage your customer and promote new products from your brand.
An important note for this stage: maintain an ongoing record of the products your customer already uses. One sure fire way to diminish your chances of cross-selling – and potentially lose a customer – is to try to sell your customer something they already use. Not only will this not result in a sale, but from the customer perspective it appears that you do not care enough to get to know them on a personal level – ruining what was most likely a positive experience up until that point.
No matter the industry, cross-selling and up-selling present a unique opportunity to elevate the customer relationship and grow the value of new and existing customers.
It’s the home stretch, the final inning, the last ten yards. At this stage of the customer journey, the customer has become aware of their pain points, researched brands and narrowed down to a select few from which to choose. Converting them from potential customer into a full-fledged, bought-and- enjoying-the-product customer is the final hurdle.
From the consumer perspective, it is at this stage that a final decision is made. From the brand perspective however, converting a new customer takes consistent, positive engagement, personalized attention and illumination as to how your product is the best to solution for the customer’s pain points.
The key to successfully converting a new customer is understanding what drives that customer and engaging them with your product or service from there. While you may have a select number of products or services, your customers have many reasons to need that product. Customer data and previous interactions can help to create an image of each customer and their current driving forces. This holistic view of actions and motivations enables you to send personalized messages.
Communication can make or break the transition from prospect to customer. Whether it’s a text, an email or a direct mail piece, sending a customer a personalized message emphasizes that you care about their specific needs and their reason to interact with your brand. OSG Email Marketing allows you to engage your audience through personalized, targeted email campaigns. Audience segmentation and message customization ensures each email being sent out resonates with your customers and drives them towards making the final purchase decision. Remember: in the end, it is the customer’s decision, but it is up to you to demonstrate why your product is the one they need.
It’s time to cross that final hurdle and convert the prospect into a customer.
Acquiring a new prospect is no easy task, making this stage one of the trickiest (and most pivotal) in the customer journey. Once you acquire–and then, hopefully, convert–the customer, they become familiar with your brand and products, gaining trust in you as the relationship progresses. But at this stage, in the customer’s mind, you’re on the same playing field as all of your competitors. And you can’t beat your competitor if you’re sitting on the sidelines.
Once a customer is aware of their pain points, they start doing their research. The process of narrowing down choices can be lengthy depending on the product being considered and the requirements of the customer. Although not every customer will have a formalized process for selecting a brand, at some level each one compares and contrasts options before selecting the right brand for them.
While it may seem like this phase solely relies on the customer and their ability to research, it is up to you to get your product or service in front of the customer. Introducing yourself and beginning some form of customer engagement increases your chances of becoming that customer’s brand of choice. Using tools such as online display ad and digital media buying allows you to get your products in front of the right customers, starting the conversation.
Unfortunately, you aren’t the only brand trying to get the customer to notice your products and services. It is in this stage that brands need to differentiate in order to extricate themselves from the hordes of competitors vying to gain your customer’s attention. OSG’s Integrated Solutions work with your brand to heighten the customer experience and make your product or service stand out from the crowd. Whether it’s in-app payments or an email marketing campaign, we work around your specific needs to create strategic, targeted customer communications designed to help you leverage the engagement and customer experience at each touchpoint.
Ready to expand your customer base and acquire new prospects? Let us help you get there.
“But I would walk 500 miles. And I would walk 500 more. Just to be the brand that walks a thousand miles to be delivered at your door.” – The Proclaimers (kind of)
Your customer’s journey may not take a thousand miles, but their journey is unique to them. Whether they are an old customer returning to your brand or a new one experiencing your brand for the first time, each touchpoint propels them further along in that journey. Understanding where your customer is in their process—and the next steps they might take—enables you to offer them a more personalized experience that centers their needs and encourages action.
The first step in the customer journey is one that the brand is not necessarily involved in, known as identification. During the identification stage, the customer becomes aware of pain points or needs in their life, realizing they are either lacking a provider for a product or service to satisfy these pain points or they are unhappy with the ones they have.
Customers may become aware of such pain points in several different ways. If they already have a brand providing the product or service, the pain points may arise as the honeymoon stage with the current brand ends. As with any relationship, after the initial excitement fades the customer becomes aware of flaws, they might feel ready for a change. On the other hand, if the customer does not already have a brand providing the product or service, they may become aware of pain points through digital advertisements, social media, billboards or a variety of other means.
No matter how the customer discovers their pain points, the result is the same: they begin to look for solutions. And that is where your brand comes in. Throughout the customer journey series, we will lay out how customers travel from discovering a pain point to becoming a loyal brand advocate– and what you can do to engage each step of the way–creating a positive customer experience and elevating the customer-client relationship.