April 13th 2009
Customer Words (voice of the customer). Sales and Marketings’ often missing element.
While working with a few very diverse clients last week, I realized that they had both missed the strategic importance of using customer words.
One client was receiving very good testimonials on how great their service was, how quick the responses were and how thoroughly customers were helped through their requests. I asked my client what would be done with the good words. They did not know. I suggested that these would be ideal immediate candidates for their sparse testimonial web page.
Client two had a market segment with frozen capital funding. Several past customers were finding it difficult to pay annual maintenance on products due to the systematized funding freeze. This segment will be receivers of funds in Obama’s rebuilding plan, but today the dollars were not there. My client decided to try out a retention program that essentially guaranteed select customer licenses, using a multi month pay-us-when-the-funds-arrive partnership plan. This cost little to do but the results were priceless. The first customers became product evangelists and were effusive with praise for my client , with language such as , ” You really understand what we are going through. You are working with us to make it happen.” I suggested that this plan deserved to be rolled out to any past customers who were in the same boat, using words from these effusive customers in all communication.
Voice of the customer is one of the strongest marketing tools you have for your lead generation and customer nurturing activities. In our Foundation Precision Sales and Marketing Program, after the hard work on segmentation, positioning and value proposition is first done, equally important Voice of the Customer research is undertaken. Voice of the Customer is how you validate your value statements and build up your marketing messages to show why a prospect would want to trust you. Done well, you are then sensitized to always capture and use more voices of the customer. This is a strategy that pays long term dividends. Top salesmen have used customer voice for years.
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