Should marketing care more about customer experience?
Marketing is certainly not a black and white discipline today. That said, should marketing care about customer retention?
The role of marketing beyond the point of sale is a gray area. While we would all agree that our job is to create demand by helping businesses recognize they have problems, fewer people would agree that satisfying new customers should be a chapter major of the marketing playbook.
Part of the reason is that customer service today is still extremely responsive, with a focus on troubleshooting. It’s hard to see where marketing expertise could fit.
It’s also seemingly futile when studies show that businesses that focus on retention at the expense of bringing in new customers will struggle to grow sustainably. This is because brands with a smaller market share have fewer customers who are less loyal. Conversely, brands with a higher market share have more customers who are in turn more loyal, according to the Double Jeopardy law.
Should marketers care about customer retention?
If improving customer loyalty basically comes from having more customers, why should marketing care about loyalty?
Because it’s a missed opportunity. Customer retention is always important; it’s just not a successful growth strategy in isolation.
First of all – and you’ll know this from your own experience – it’s quite common for customers not to hear a glance from a provider until they’re a few weeks away from renewal, at which time they receive a deluge of e-mails and calls. It does nothing to promote customer traffic which, it should be remembered, is an intangible asset of the company that impacts profitability.
Building stronger relationships with customers not only keeps them engaged with your products and services, and aware of all new releases, but also makes them more forgiving when the business makes mistakes.
Related Article: How CMOs Can Master Their New Job: Leading Customer Experience
Don’t take customer awareness for granted
If all that wasn’t enough, it also helps maintain mental availability. Too many companies take customer awareness for granted (they are customers after all) only to be surprised when those same customers jump ship for the next shiny new thing to hit the market and grab everyone’s attention. world.
Second, the buyer’s journey does not properly end with the closing of a sale. Once a customer uses your new product and sees a positive change, they should have more confidence and appetite to try other solutions to other problems. Stopping contact means you’ll miss out on obvious cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.
Third, happy customers make great case studies. In a recent study conducted by our B2B marketing agency Considered Content, approximately 28% of buyers said they wanted to see testimonials, case studies and reviews from named companies. Yet only 9% of marketers offered them. Similarly, 27% of buyers wanted to be able to access referrals from existing users whom they could contact directly. Only 5% of marketers offered it. Your most engaged customers are also your most loyal. The deeper your relationship, the more likely they will agree to help you.
Finally, remember that not all end users of your product or service will have been one of the multiple decision makers involved in its purchase. Although they are not necessarily part of the decision, you can be sure that their verdict will be taken into account in deciding, after a trial period, whether to stay or not.
Where should marketing alignment reside?
A 2020 survey of 500 client-side marketers across all major industries found that “top performers” scored higher than “traditional” companies when it came to customer alignment. marketing with other departments. However, even among the top performers, marketers scored relatively low on their alignment with customer service (68%), compared to e-commerce and merchandising (76%) and sales. (72%).
Of course, not all companies are the same. Some, usually high-growth software vendors, create customer success teams that take a more proactive approach, ensuring customers can use their products seamlessly. A big part of the goal here is to broaden and deepen adoption, so that their technology is more ingrained in day-to-day operations.
It often looks like newsletters with tips and tricks and onboarding content delivered via an email broadcast sequence.
Related article: Are you sacrificing customer experience for marketing leads?
High-quality content won’t hurt
It’s good practice for today’s marketers to produce high-quality content that covers every stage of the sale, making connections between what buyers value and what they currently offer. The good news is that creating content for new customers is just a few steps away from deeper engagement with existing buyers. Chances are, the educational content you create that focuses on potential customer pain points and pain points can easily be repurposed and updated for existing customers.
But there is another important reason why marketing intrudes into the territory of existing customers. The latest research tells us that today’s buyers are increasingly self-reliant and aloof. We can no longer expect them to contact customer service with their issues (just like they don’t contact sales to buy) and many of them will only do so once they have first looked for a solution online.
By hosting all of your marketing content in an easy-to-navigate self-service library, you can be more confident that they’ll find the answer from you rather than other struggling users or, even worse, your competitors.