Fix your sales problems with this tried and tested approach to increasing customer loyalty and revenue growth.
In 2009, US Airways flight 1549 landed in the Hudson river in New York.
Barack Obama was inaugurated.
Oh yes. Walmart ignored the customer experience and lost nearly $2 billion in sales.
Worried about sales?
You may have one of three issues with sales.
- No sales
- Falling sales.
- Bad sales. These are the loss leaders, the traffic generators that never turn into good sales.
Five Reasons You’re Having Sales Problems
Today’s customers have a relentless ability to automatically compare the best prices, seek peer opinions on what they desire and to complain loudly and bitterly if their expectations are not met.
But that’s just one of the reasons why you may lose sales if you don’t think and act differently.
There may be more fundamental issues you need to resolve.
- Nobody wants what you have to sell.
- You haven’t segmented your market properly so you have the WRONG customers.
- Even worse, you don’t know where your customers are, so you flirt outrageously with every type of advertising format and promise, constantly unfulfilled. And poorer.
- You haven’t identified your customer’s “dog shit” problem. In Sean D’Souza’s illuminating book, “The Brain Audit”, he calls upon Dr Cacioppo’s research highlighting that problems activate our brains to point out that,
“If your product or service doesn’t isolate a problem, then the customer can’t relate to what you’re selling. People are busy so unless the problem you state is crystal clear, they will miss your message”.
You might be walking along Rodeo Drive with a hundred thousand dollars to spend, but the moment you see a hot pile of steaming dog turd in front of you, your brain immediately focuses on avoiding it to the exclusion of absolutely everything else.
Including the hundred thousand.
- You really don’t understand WHY your customers buy and what their customer journey is.
So how do you create a perfect customer “loop” that keeps your customers coming back over and over again?
Creating The Perfect Loyalty Loop
This is about the customer journey and adapting your sales funnel to meet increased customer expectations in an “always on” and “ I Want It When I Want It” world.
- What if you could implement a “buyer focused” selling approach that would give you 5-10% revenue growth each time?
- What if you could get a 30% improvement in customer loyalty?
- What about the huge benefits that would accrue from uncovering needs that aren’t obvious?
McKinsey & Company demonstrated exactly how you can do that from the results of a Sales Growth Study, where they interviewed more than 100 leading sales organizations and conducted in depth research.
Here’s how you can take that learning and apply it to your own business.
Creating the Loyalty Loop
McKinsey have concluded that those companies who optimize the customer journey will obtain significant advantages through deeper engagement, personalization and loyalty.
These customers will pay a premium for being treated as individuals.
The difference between the Classic Journey and the Accelerated Loyalty Journey is that the Classic journey allowed customers to keep evaluating products and services, forcing brands to continually deliver better products / services at lower prices.
The Accelerated Customer Loyalty journey allows businesses to use technology to regain their relevance with customers by actively shaping that journey and then optimizing it by personalizing the experience all along the journey.
An example of how the “Loyalty Loop” works beautifully for a complex solar panel sale is here.
Adapting the Loyalty Loop For Your Business
In Jennifer Stanley’s and Candace LunPlotkin’s sales study above that redefined the sales funnel, they highlight five questions you need to answer in your business to generate higher sales:
- How does your customer learn about you, your brand and products?
- Where do they hang out and whom do they listen to?
- How do they compare your products and services to your competitors?
- What makes them decide to buy from you or someone else?
- What motivates them to come back or go somewhere else after they’ve made that first purchase?
So let’s start look for answers to these questions for your business.
The Adapted Loyalty Loop For Your Business
Now your loyalty loop looks like this.
What can you differently or better to meet your customers’ journey along this new loyalty loop?
Let’s look at the biggest issues along each stage you will face along this journey and the approach to solving them.
- How do you overcome intense competition?
- How do you retain visitors on your landing pages?
- What do you need to do to influence customers to consider buying from you?
- How do you win when customers compare brands, offers and deals?
- How can you optimize the customer experience so that they keep coming back?
Issues In The Customer Journey
Solving the Issues In the Customer Journey
By actively analyzing your customers’ needs and experimenting with different solutions, technologies and services, you begin to identify the opportunities to extend and deepen your relationships with those customers.
Let’s go through each stage of the “Loyalty Loop” to clarify the issue and find solutions that increase sales and loyalty. It doesn’t matter what type of business you have – the issues and solutions apply.
Intense competition in your niche.
There’s no way round this. Write amazing content for your website, blog and sales material.
When a piece of content goes viral, it’s not a coincidence.
Viral content always have the same elements that compel people to share.
Brian Dean provides a really powerful checklist on making your content extremely shareable. Get it here.
Next, humanize your brand with these seven suggestions from Wordstream.
Use landing pages creatively to strike a perfect balance between copy with a strong Call to Action and visual assets such as video or an interactive invitation.
Use this creative approach to landing page design to create high converting landing pages.
Finally, use irresistible incentives to persuade prospects to join your email list.
Copyblogger’s Beth Hayden provides 13 excellent ways to incentivize prospects to join your list.
They’ve signed up. Nothing happens. They get bored and leave.
In addition to providing a powerful first impression on your landing pages, follow the tips in this article from Neil Patel to increase retention, build trust and make your prospects take action.
Going a level deeper to understand what psychological triggers convert prospects into customers reveals at least fifteen factors that will drive increased sales.
Jeff Haden provides four scientifically proven ways of getting more customers here.
What makes a customer decide to buy from you
Laser like problem definition
Provide social proof.
Laser like Problem definition
Understanding what makes your customer valuable to you requires research and analysis on the following factors:
- Emotional benefits – how your products and services make your customer feel
- Customer Functional benefit – what your product or service gives the customer
- Product or Service benefit – what your product or service actually does
- Features and Benefits – Tangible factors that translate into benefits.
This infographic shows you how to research your customers and discover their pain points.
Watch this short video on how to identify customer needs.
Providing social proof
Techcrunch assert that there are five ways of using social proof to convince your customers to positively evaluate your brand, products and services
- The “wisdom of crowds”
In the battle for customer attention, the positive influence created by others using the product increases conversion because, according to Aileen Lee, we’re wired to learn from others.
Whether these are paid or unpaid, celebrities discussing your product create powerful brand awareness for your business.
When Mark Zuckerberg mentioned a product on his page, the product’s site crashed after 1000 visitors visited the site every minute!
User Social Proof
In a recent research study, 88% of people have read reviews to determine the quality of a local business and 39% read reviews on a regular basis. Just don’t follow the example set by the company below.
Wisdom of crowds
We trust people who have similar tastes and interests.
Testimonials are the most powerful social proof when a prospect is ready to buy.
Testimonials encourage visitors to sign up, fill out details or buy. See other examples here.
Prospects are undecided and continually evaluate options. How do you make them select you?
Provide targeted offers based on your differentiators
In addition to social proof, provide opportunities for free trials and product / service demonstrations.
- Hubspot identified 11 examples of Facebook ads that work really well.
- David Skok provides a detailed analysis of how to “Know your buying cycle and triggers” in order to trigger your customers into buying.
For each of the FB ads, review the process identified by David Skok to align the buying cycle with the communication of offers directed to your target customers.
Your sales experience is not optimized to generate sales, loyalty and repeat business
Plan and design every aspect of your customers’ journey to make it as enjoyable as you can.
Be proactive about instant personalization and tailored interactions to individual customers.
Create enjoyable experiences for every customer.
Plan and design your customer experience
- Evergage offer 10 ways to improve your customer experience
- Foresee Customer Analytics have tested five ways to improve the customer retail experience using “voice of the customer” analytics
- Jennifer Lonoff Schiff suggest 12 ways to improve the online shopping experience
- Superofficercommend 7 ways to build a great customer experience strategy, focusing on vision, accurate segmentation, emotional connection and analytics.
Using technology to improve the customer experience.
Retain and Optimize
Motivating purchasers to stay connected with your business and repeatedly buy from you
According to Harvard Business School, increasing your customer retention rates by 5 % increases profits by 25 – 95%. But if buyers don’t like your selling process, they’ll never return.
Helpscout has complied a list of 15 customer retention strategies based on research and case studies.
Make the customer journey so compelling that no competitor is ever considered
Research has proven that campaigns based on emotional content perform twice as well as those with rational content.
Creating an emotional connection requires you to trigger emotions and create experiences.
By creating meaningful experiences and emotions, these 5 brands appeal to the primary drivers of our buying behavior.
They make us laugh.
They make us cry.
They touch us deeply.
And inspire us.
And bring us together. We have more in common with what brings us together than what divides us.
Five actions to make the customer journey so compelling that competitors are excluded:
Download the complete checklist of the issues and solutions here.
Completing the Loyalty Loop
With rapidly increasing advances in data across virtually every business, now is the time for you to accurately target your customers and understand :
- why they behave the way they do, and
- target your brand, products and services in a focused and measurable way at precisely the point at which the customer makes a buying decision.
The days of marketing and selling based on intuition, traditional marketing spend and customer feedback is gone and increasingly, more emphasis is placed on creating a loyalty loop.
Today is about experiences, behaviours, traffic flows, physically engaging with your brand and doing it all faster than your competitors.
In The Dawn of Marketing’s Golden Age, Jonathan Gordon and Jesko Perry summarized the issues facing us as business owners with four questions we all need to answer. Quickly.
- Are you stuck in the past or are you taking advantage of the new marketing science of data and research to uncover new insights about your customers?
- Are you still doing “me too, hard sell” or can you use the power of marketing to really enhance the products, services and experiences we meaningfully offer to our customers?
- Are you wedded to price, features and benefits or are you developing a clear, meaningful story about your brand that truly wins hearts and minds?
- Are you faster or slower to market than your competitors with the new approach?