Customer Lifetime Value – looking beyond the sales funnel
As marketers, we are tasked to think of innovative and engaging ways to obtain new customers for our clients, but we must place equal, if not greater, importance on keeping the customers they have happy. More engaged customers spend more with our clients, they renew services at much higher rates, and they advocate for our clients to bring in new customers in a way that traditional marketing could never do.
That being said, how can we as marketers use the tools we have at our disposal to help our clients maintain the positive influence of their current segment? How can we make our clients the rock stars of their niche and keep them top of mind to the customers they so desperately need to advocate for them to help their sales teams maintain a top of the funnel flow?
In my last blog post I discussed User generated Content, and how it can be used as a tool to maintain a steady stream of active and engaged customers, whose posts directly effect the bottom line of the business. I can not stress this point enough. By opening your channels and allowing your current clients to blog, post and tweet about how awesome you are, and then in turn using these praises on your clients social and giving credit to the customers, you are creating an avenue of trust between your current and potential customers.
Propagating the communication and allowing your current and potentials to communicate builds a certain level of trust in your brand, and a loyalty no dollar spend on blogger or influencer marketing could ever match.
That being said, it is only logical do everything possible to foster a positive relationship with current customers. This starts at the sales process and never truly ends. Point-of-sale, customer service, timely communication during resolution of issues and showing gratitude to the client are all very good ideas when it comes to building and maintaining a relationship with your active customers.
As a Digital Marketing Strategist, I have found that there is a direct and very clear correlation between customer satisfaction and having a focused set of standard operating procedures (SOP) for online social and customer service interactions.
Creating an SOP for every step of the social interaction, with a list of approved responses to FAQs for example, allows the strategy department to take the guess work out of the interaction between the client and the person handling the account. An SOP can be very quickly developed and implemented, (I plan to write a post outlining the simplest way to do this in the near future, so look for the post) and can have a tremendous impact on the bottom line for your clients.
Every customer is important. And every interaction needs to be treated as if that client is the catalyst to the future of your company, because with the power of social, they could very well be.