Today, the consumer is no longer a layman. They are the new breed of what we call the ‘infovores’.
With the internet offering a huge expanse of information, and the mobile creating a platform for just about everyone to access that information – there is not one person out there who isn’t well informed about a product or a service being offered in the market.
Consumers today, take into consideration the search and social media information before making a purchase. A study by comScore and Group M Search suggests that search engines such as Google and Bing are the first stop for information for 58% of interested consumers while 24% visit company sites and 18% use social media to gather all the data they need for making an informed purchase.
Since transparency is the only way businesses can succeed today, companies – big or small, have started to re-examine and rehash their sales process – making them more consumer or client oriented.
The highly informed consumers are not just looking at making an informed purchase, it is the experience that the business can offer them post sales that determine their loyalty towards it. Be it in the form of customer service, client onboarding or simply well-executed follow-ups – the products and services that come with a good customer experience are the only ones that sell!
So, what are the things that make their experience worthwhile and get you a good name?
Contrary to the common notion, client onboarding is not just about welcoming the client to your world after business – it also includes introducing them to the how’s and why’s of the products and services you are offering. It is important that businesses keep in mind a simple fact, that in the end it is all about the consumer and the sales graph entirely depends on how well the product/ service clicks with them.
Businesses that don’t have a proper onboarding process in place, are often the ones who have a tough time establishing their clientele. Most of their clients leave the product or opt for an alternative simply based on their understanding of it.
No one likes a process that is complicated and takes too long to understand, let alone complete – be it ordering a pizza or closing a business deal. But the sad truth is, since most businesses are already in the grind of doing business, they end up not seeing the entire process from the client’s point of view; resulting in a bad experience that only leads to them bailing out on an intended transaction.
Simply the business process for your client – ask for information that is an absolute must, include only those steps that play an important part in the conversion, and always seek feedback. Getting to know where your clients faced a problem, will help you analyse your existing project and improvise the next one.
Sure, a thank you email is a must – but it shouldn’t end there. Consumers today actively seek brands that offer add-on services to better their post business experience. Up to 60% of consumers are willing to pay more for a better experience. Make it worth their while by continuously being with them – and we don’t mean bombarding their mailboxes with newsletters.
Update them about your new products and services that are similar to the one purchased, notify them of the services you offer post business and how they can reach you for the smallest of concerns, share industry specific knowledge to keep them up-to-date with every change, etc. Bringing in just small steps into your post business process can go a long way!
Even the hyper informed generation of today seeks support regarding products and services every now and then – and when they do, they don’t want to be let down by the businesses they have engaged with. Most businesses lose their customers due to lack of efficient support services.
According to Insightsquared, $41 billion are lost by US companies each year due to poor customer service. Despite the numbers, most businesses still lack in delivering efficient customer support services to their clients – nudging them to join the 89% of people who switch from one brand to another at least twice an year (source).
According to Harvard Business Review, about 20% of satisfied clients intend to leave the business and look for alternatives post one-time purchase. The primary reasons being – either they weren’t kept engaged enough or there was a competitor that offered appreciation of loyalty.
It costs a business almost 10 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to sell to an existing one. On an average, existing customers tend to spend 67% more than new customers. Businesses who are able to tap in on this, are usually those who have consumer loyalty rewards/programs in place – loyalty card schemes, bonus gift cards, giveaways, reciprocal discounts, preview events, referral points, etc.
All said and done, in the end it all boils down to one saying –
“You don’t build a business. You build people and then, people build the business.”
Do you offer any of these things to your clients or does your onboarding process need some rehashing?