The Perfect Customer Experience

Turning Satisfied Customers into Advocates – Dale Wolf, Editor

The Perfect Customer Experience - Turning Satisfied Customers into Advocates – Dale Wolf, Editor

Customer Experience Marketing Makes Buying Easier

“All About Me” kind of content must include the context of individuals, or clusters of similar individuals. Context is the interrelated conditions in which information or activity exists with other situational events that impact decision-making and the final outcome.

All consumption occurs within a context.

The more you understand customer context, the less information customers have to supply to you and the better you can serve them. That’s easier for them and easier for you. One way to get a handle on the context of a buyer is to watch what they do on your website. If you have a good marketing automation system such as Eloqua or one of Eloqua’s competitors, you can analyze their online behavior.

Online ... Read More

Is your brand All about Me?

What’s the difference between a product-centric and customer-centric approach to communication? In a word: relevance. Whereas product-centric messages promote features and price, customer-centric messages promote a totally personalized solution based on individual customer needs.

Product-centric communication exploits the value of a single transaction while customer-centric communication addresses the lifetime value of the one-to-one customer relationship.

This begins with content that is about customer pains and issues instead of the wonders of our products. First, show the customer that you understand their needs and their situation, and when you have gained their trust, guide them to see how your products ... Read More

A Different Kind of Courtship

A quantitative analysis by the Marketing Leadership Council of 4,900 B2B customers across two dozen industries concludes that teaching customers provides the most effective path to differentiation and, ultimately, greater customer loyalty.

Both end users and decision makers value companies who provide education about problems and solutions. Education is the most significant driver of customer loyalty.

However, to impact the purchasing decision, the teaching should lead to unique reasons your brand is best at resolving the buyer’s issues.

Early in the buying cycle, customers seed education on new issues and outcomes that offer unique perspectives. As the buying cycle moves to evaluation, they want ... Read More

The CEM Challenge

The Dysfunctional Difference

With over 40 years working in marketing and sales with national and regional companies, my observations blend into certain realities.

A lot of companies are dysfunctional.

They were dysfunctional then and years later, they still are.

A few do almost everything right.

There are profound differences in how these two types of companies go about creating value for their customers and provide positive customer experiences.

These differences determine how different companies generate economic value — by first creating a valued customer experience. But for all the words written about customer experience, so few seem yet to get the message.

A massive study by the ... Read More

Personality Traits of B2B Decision Makers

Whether we are trying to recruit physicians to staff a hospital or buyers of enterprise software or managers of contact centers, we need to understand the context from which various buyers are coming. The better we understand the context and the personality traits that these B2B decision makers have, the more skillfully we can manage a productive conversation — hopefully leading to a sale. Continue reading

Customer Experience Goes South in the Contact Center. Who to Blame?

By Dale Wolf

A variety of different surveys indicate that at best only one in ten consumers have an outstanding experience when calling corporate contact centers. The other nine are average, mediocre or poor. The fact that I work for a company selling contact center technology brings an interesting observation. As much as we want to sell our solution, the reality is that providing a great customer experience on the phone is mostly about how you use the technology. Sure, you need certain features to enable agents to fluidly provide fast and accurate responses, but the customer happiness is about how company policies and whether the agent actually cares about providing the customer with a wonderful experience.

The features touted by ... Read More

Why I Profess Lead Nurturing

By Dale Wolf

Lead Nurturing and Customer Experience go hand-in-hand. Nurturing implies that you stay in contact with prospects across a longitudinal time frame. Done properly, this should increase the customer experience. I say "properly" because nurturing programs should initiate outbound communications that deliver value to the prospect at each stage of the buying cycle. During most of this cycle, the prospect is most likely not even in an active buying situation … the time is not right. We need to recognize where the prospect is and what they need at any given time and then provide an offer that is meaningful, relevant, useful. Such nurturing improves the experience.

A situation came up at our company just this week. A prospect we talked with almost a ... Read More

Customer Experience and the White Lie

Opinion by Dale Wolf

Howard Sewell writes on his blog that "A growing number of Silicon Valley companies are promoting Webinar events broadcasting at a specific date and time, but that (unbeknownst to the attendees) aren’t broadcasting live. Companies just flip the proverbial switch at the appointed time and play the recorded event, even including a canned Q&A session at the end."

In my opinion "this growing number of Silicon Valley companies" has it all wrong.

In the era of “customer experience” and the requirement of building trust with customers, this strategy seems to make no sense at all. 

Sure a live event has a sense of ... Read More

Meet My Terms or I will Leave You

By Dale Wolf

Keep in mind, now, that customers are in charge; not you. That boat has left the dock. The toothpaste is out of the tube and no one can put it back in. The war was fought and the customer won.

The new battle is over customer experience.

But to the chagrin of a large office products manufacturer the bar for earning customer loyalty is higher than any of us might want to imagine. This company does over 250,000 customer satisfaction surveys a year. To say they manage customer loyalty is an understatement! When this company did the usual survey of 5 customer loyalty attributes, they noticed an unexpected conclusion.

Customers who were generally satisfied on several attributes did not repurchase as much as those who were satisfied on all attributes. ... Read More