The Inbound Marketing methodology is focused on three phases – Attract, Convert and Delight. At its core this marketing methodology works to solve consumers problems and offer solutions that work by providing tailored content for each phase.
Strangers turn to prospects during the attract phase. Your sales department, and they don’t necessarily have to have “sales” in their title, converts these leads to customers. A great product coupled with excellent customer service delights your consumers, but it shouldn’t end there.
According to KissMetrics, “Companies focus on acquisition more than customer retention, even though it can cost 7x more to acquire new customers”. Not to mention it is a competitive and tech savvy business world. Now consumers can find alternatives to your product faster than before, whether it’s on Amazon or a Google search away. They can share their negative feedback with a wider audience on platforms like social media and Yelp or Google reviews.
Some would argue delight is the most important stage of the inbound marketing methodology because:
- A 5% increase in customer retention correlates with at least a 25% increase in profit. (Bain & Company)
- 69% of American customers would spend more on a company with better customer service (American Express)
- 90% of customers are likely to purchase more than once. (HubSpot Research)
Retaining customers is about sincere and effective customer service. Here are some simple ways content can help you in the customer delight stages.
Help Customers Succeed
The first step to helping customers succeed is understanding what they are trying to accomplish. Once you know what people need from your product or service you can exceed expectations. Creating buyer personas is an effective way to offer some focus to your efforts.
The other aspect of helping customers succeed is providing education and being in tune with the mode of communication your customers prefer. That could be:
- building and updating a resource center on your website
- installing a chat feature
- providing a series of educational emails
Make Life Easier By Using Data To Inform Your Content
Your current customers are a wealth of data. Having proper analytics on your site like Google Analytics or Hotjar can let you know where your current audience spends most of their time, where they get lost and ultimately where you can provide more answers.
Maybe there is a particular blog post that is getting a lot of traffic or comments, clearly this is an area where you can provide more content. Maybe there is a step in the onboarding process where users are getting lost or dropping off. With this insight, you can create content that teaches users how to overcome this hurdle. Not only will this educate, but open up a conversation you can get involved with and keep on delighting!
Set Up Email Workflows
Email and marketing automations can have many functions, mostly they are thought of as a resource for warming up leads but they can also be used for customer retention, most importantly during the onboarding process.
Step 1 – the Thank You Email you really mean
After the customer closes put them into your email workflow. The first piece of content they receive should be a genuine thank you. Many CRMs allow you to use personalization tags so make sure you take advantage of that, at the very least use their first name. This email should not only make them feel appreciated and a part of the community but also provide some basic info like how to get in touch if they need help or contact information for their account manager.
Step 2 – let’s make the most of our relationship
This email is basically a best practices guide if you’re selling software this can be how to use the software, if you are selling shoes maybe it’s tips on how to keep them looking new, if you’re a marketing agency maybe it’s an ebook full of trends to get clients engaged and excited about the possibilities of their new partnership with you.
Step 3 – keeping the lines of communication open
About 1-2 weeks later we send out the next email in the workflow. This email promotes the value of your new partnership. Maybe you write regular blogs and this lets customers know, or maybe you are alerting them to your resource center. Maybe it’s an email from their account manager just checking in on their progress, whatever it is it lets your customers know you have an open door policy and value customer service.
Just remember customer delight is more than giving clients what they expect it’s about exceeding expectations, these are just a few ideas to get you started.