Client Retention

Customer Driven Growth

7 TIPS FOR CUSTOMER DRIVEN GROWTH

7 TIPS FOR CUSTOMER DRIVEN GROWTH 900 600 Jen Hiltunen

Customers want a voice in your brand and in the way they engage with you. Forbes recently identified customer-driven growth as “the elusive holy grail.” If you can align your business operations to achieve this kind of growth, you’re setting your business up for long-term success. Let’s start by taking a look at some current trends in this arena. 

Increasing efficiency

Particularly in the B2C retail segment, businesses are prioritizing the booming customer-driven demand for efficiency. Although it costs more to offer free 2-day shipping and free returns, for example, retailers recognize that customers expect this efficiency. More and more businesses are willing to increase efficiency despite higher costs. Currently, 49% of B2C and 39% of B2B businesses report maintaining this focus.  

Investing in technology

Technology fuels businesses’ ability to increase their efficiency. For this reason, both B2B and B2C companies are also maintaining a focus on developing and implementing new technology to drive greater efficiency. 

Additionally, businesses are automating their business and marketing processes and tapping into apps that streamline their customer communications. Calendly, for example, eliminates the email and phone tag game and makes it simple for prospects to book appointments. Today’s consumers also expect up-to-date websites and will often hit the red “x” on websites with boring or outdated content. Keep all customer-facing tech updated and fuel your efficiency with updated tech on the backend as well! 

Hiring talent

Successful business leaders are recognizing the importance of hiring talent to implement their new technology and keep their customer-facing platforms up to date. 

After years of hearing employers gripe about managing employees, we strategically hired six amazing employees at Wild Fig Marketing. While the HR details can be challenging, we are thrilled with our talented team and recognize the value that employees with a wide range of expertise can provide for our business and for our customers’ businesses. 

Aiming to meet or anticipate customer expectations

Many companies align their strategies to meet customer expectations. After all, in today’s B2B and B2C markets, customers are savvy and particular and they will remain loyal to you only as long as you’re delivering on their expectations. An increasing number of businesses are working to go a step further and anticipate customer demands with innovative products and services. 

At Wild Fig Marketing, we know a thing or two about leaning into customer-driven growth. Here are some of our tried-and-true tips!

Provide stellar customer service

  • Do this on the front-end by refining your onboarding process to get customers excited about your product or service immediately. 
  • Make sure you communicate the value of your product or service and let them know what you want them to do next. 
  • Ask customers about their pain-points and what answers they’re seeking from your product or service. 
  • Solicit feedback from your customers and check in periodically to make sure they’re satisfied with their purchase. 
  • Address any questions or concerns that arise. 

Build relationships with your customers 

Show your customers that you champion their success and let them know you’re with them on each step of their journey. Give them opportunities to engage with your brand on social media and host customer-appreciation events. 

Don’t neglect to let your customers know that you’re thankful for them! At Wild Fig, we make a point of hosting regular customer-appreciation events. A couple months ago, we hosted an evening of drinks and hors d’oeuvres at Bald Man Brewing in Eagan, MN. It was a memorable evening filled with laughter and wonderful conversations!

Speak to customers with your content

Provide valuable content for your customers. This can be in the form of blog posts, manuals or guides, whitepapers, video, webinars, etc. When you supply value, you drive customer engagement and loyalty which, ultimately, creates brand advocates and grows your business. 

Kari, our founder and Chief Creative Officer, recently started hosting live Facebook events on Thursdays on a variety of topics as yet another way to supply our customers with valuable content and also give them an opportunity to engage with us across these topics. The response has been phenomenal and she plans to continue!

Customer-driven growth shouldn’t be a goal. It should be a mindset. At Wild Fig Marketing, we specialize in customer-oriented business strategy. If you want help assessing customer demands and driving business growth, sign up for our complimentary 30-minute strategy call here!

Wild Fig Marketing is your digital marketing agency! Whether you’re looking for marketing help in the form of website design, sales or process automation, content marketing, email marketing or lead generation, we have the knowledge and experience to help you rock your brand. 

 

 

The Secret to Gaining Customer Trust

The Secret to Gaining Customer Trust 900 598 WildFigAdmin

The secret to gaining your customer’s trust is simple: there isn’t one—you need to earn it. There’s nothing you can do to instantly gain the trust of your customers, but you can fast-track the process. Here’s how.

1. Be authentic.
Seriously, customers can spot BS a mile away. Embrace what makes you and your company different from your competition, not the same. Tell your story, perhaps. 😀 And in business as in life, always walk your talk.

2. Ask for reviews.
Customer reviews, referrals, and testimonials—called social proof in the marketing biz—is incredibly valuable marketing content. Potential customers increasingly rely on reviews when making purchasing decisions. Asking customers to review you online not only show that you trust them, but you have confidence in your sales process and customer experience.

3. And respond to them all—even the bad ones.
None of us are perfect. Eventually, even a company that offers a phenomenal customer experience will be left a bad review. Responding to every review you receive—good or bad—increases trust. It shows that you have gratitude for all customers and the integrity to make things right when something doesn’t meet a customer’s expectations.

4. Quality counts.
You can eliminate most bad reviews by delivering an excellent customer experience and product or service. Be honest with yourself about what you’re realistically able to promise customers, and never claim to be able to deliver more than that.

5. Wow ‘em at every step in your sales process.
Remember our post on creating your customer’s story? There are emotional ups and downs in every sales process; the key to consistently wowing your customers is to anticipate the downs and make them go as smoothly as possible. If you take the time to define your customer story, it’ll be easier to deliver a consistent, quality customer experience.

Ready to earn your customers’ trust but not sure where to start? Wild Fig Marketing can help. Give us a call today or click here to set up your 15 minute exploratory consultation.

Want to Stand Out? Tell Your Story!

Want to Stand Out? Tell Your Story! 900 600 WildFigAdmin

This morning, I was taking a shower and thinking about a recent conversation I had with a new client. Let’s call her Sally. During our discussion about her overall marketing strategy, she stated that she was going to be a $20 million dollar company someday. She wanted to mimic what the big dogs in her industry did. Naturally, this is a pretty typical thought process business owners have when they are trying to appear larger than they are and want to compete and play on the same level as their larger competitors.

“So you want to compete with your largest competitors on price then?” I asked. Obviously, this was not the response she was expecting for me.

I went on to explain that if you want to mimic your competitors and do what they do in terms of your marketing, how will consumers tell you apart? The answer is they won’t.

Instead, they will think you offer the same products and level of service, so the only factor left to look at is price. Do you want to really compete on price? Usually those who win on price lose on margins.

So how do you stand out from your competitors?

The answer: stand out by telling your customers your story and the WHY behind why you do what you do!

Story + Mission = Amazing
Think about the last time you went to Target to buy a bottle of shampoo and conditioner. As you walk down the aisle, you see hundreds of choices. There are different shapes of bottles, dozens of fragrant scents, and an array of vivid images plastered on the front of every bottle. How do you choose which one is right for you with so many choices?

This recently happened to me. As I stared at all of the options, my eye was drawn to Shea Moisture. The first thing I noticed besides the intriguing ingredients was the little heart with the phrase, “Community Commerce Fights Poverty.” I wondered what it meant, so I flipped the bottle over and read the story about Sofi Tucker, a widowed mother of 4 who lived in Sierra Leone in 1912. She started off selling shea nuts to support herself and her children and went on to develop shampoos and soaps and finally SheaMoisture. She is the grandmother of the two current owners who have carried on her legacy and are now helping empower disadvantaged women to realize a brighter, healthier future through Community Commerce.

Not only does SheaMoisture have a heartfelt story behind their brand, they’re living their story everyday through their actions. According to their packaging, for every purchase made, 10% of the profits go to support women empowerment in three key areas: Entrepreneurship, Education and Equity. They invest in communities, by funding training, infrastructure and safety programs to sustainably source indigenous ingredients, grow local manufacturing of high quality goods in their villages and provide fair prices for their labor.

Create lifelong, emotionally-connected customers

Did you know…

I can personally attest to these facts, as I’m now an emotionally connected SheaMoisture customer and fan who will continue to purchase their products versus going back to my previous high-end, salon products.

Have you shared your story with your customers and staff? There is no time like the present. After all, if you want to stand-out and avoid competing on price…tell your story! Wild Fig Marketing can help.

PS: Want to learn more about SheaMoisture? Check-out their site: https://www.sheamoisture.com/

What Does Your Customer’s Story Look Like?

What Does Your Customer’s Story Look Like? 900 601 WildFigAdmin

Your customer’s story begins long before they become your customer. It starts when they see your logo for the first time, when they hear your name, or when they first engage with you. Their first impressions of your company and their initial experience become the first chapter in their story.

So how do you ensure your customer’s story is a never-ending fairytale filled with magical experiences rather than a melodrama?

You start by planning and documenting your customer’s story from initial contact through the process of engagement and into a long-term relationship.

To do so, you’ll need to take a trip down memory lane to fifth grade, when you learned about the five essential elements of your customer’s (and any) story: characters, setting, plot, conflict, and resolution.

How well do you know your customers? If I asked you to vividly describe the traits of your best customer, what would they be? Why do they choose to buy from you? What are their motivations and expectations? Write down all of these character traits. They’ll help you better understand the main characters in your customer’s story.

Where is your customer now? Where do they want to go? Maybe they are sitting at their desk, staring at a mound of paperwork, daydreaming about a beachy vacation. Or perhaps they are spending too much time in the trenches and need to find a way to out so they can better manage their business. No matter what the scenario is, if you understand where they are at currently and where they want to go, it’ll likely mean a happy ending for both of you.

This is where your planning gets really fun. Every good story has a beginning, middle, and end. Your job is to map it out. The best way to do this is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and walk through a typical experience with your company. Here’s an example.

Imagine your customer is about to go on a roller coaster ride. As they wait in line, they are excited and filled with anticipation. This is how they feel when they first meet you and explore the possibilities of how you can help them.

As they make their way up that first scary peak, they are still excited, but a little nervous about their decision to work with your company. Now they are at the top and looking down at what’s ahead and about to shriek with a mixture of anticipation and fear. This is likely the point in the ride where they are paying for your products or services. After a brief, albeit steep decline, they are back on their way up to another crest and are now experiencing the joy of working with your company.

This rollercoaster ride is a great analogy for your customer’s story. We know there will be high points and low points in the relationship, so map them out. Is there a time when your customers are really happy with your products/services? This might be a great time to ask for referrals or testimonials.

Next, look at those low points. Is there a time when your customers might look to drop your services? What can you do to avoid that before it happens?  Once you’ve mapped out the plot in your customer’s story, the next step is to understand the conflict and resolution.

The conflict in your customer’s story can be compared to their pain points or why they need your products and services. Do you feel like you’ve got a good grasp on what their pain points are? If not, we highly recommend setting up a call or meeting with your top 3 customers to ask them why they hired you and how your products/services have impacted their business. It’s also important to understand what their potential sales objections might be so you can address them before they actually become objections.

The last essential element in a well-written story is the resolution.
The solution to the problem is the way the action is resolved. Put more simply: the resolution is the products and services you provide your customers. The reason this element is the last of the five is because you have to understand who the characters are in your story, where they are at, and the conflict they are experiencing before you can provide a sound solution.

Two of the biggest mistakes we see at this point in the story are1) companies just talk about the features and benefits of their product/service. rather than address the impact their products and services can have on their customers and 2) they forget their customer’s story doesn’t have to end after the first novel is complete. They can continue to write the story and provide opportunities for their customers to continue buying from them and refer their family and friends, too.

Do you need help understanding and documenting your customer’s story? Or maybe you’d like your customer’s story to have a happier ending? We can help. Schedule your consultation with Wild Fig Marketing to start writing your customer’s story.

A Christmas Story

A Christmas Story 900 600 WildFigAdmin

It all began on Christmas morning, December 25, 1987. I’ve always been a morning person and Christmas morning was no exception. Our family always exchanged presents on Christmas Eve, however on Christmas morning Santa would visit and fill our stockings with all kinds of goodies and usually one big toy as well. That year, I had been pining for another Cabbage Patch Kids Doll and was so excited to see which one Santa brought me. You can imagine my surprise when I jumped out of bed, ran down the hall and stopped in front of my stocking. There was no Cabbage Patch Kids Doll under my stocking, however there was one under my 4 year old brother’s stocking.

I was so upset. Why didn’t Santa bring me the doll? What was my dumb brother going to do with it anyway? That’s when a devious thought entered my brain. What if I simply moved the doll under my stocking? After all my parent’s wouldn’t know because Santa was the one that brought it. After much debate I decided there must have been a reason that my brother got the doll and I was not going to tempt fate or the chance that I’d get coal next Christmas. Disclaimer: I’d like to say that my angelic conscious caused me to not take the doll, but that wasn’t exactly true. On top of tempting fate, I figured since the doll was named Rufus Brent (Brent is my brother’s name) it probably would be obvious that he was meant for my brother and not me.

Looking back I think…wow, what a predicament I would have placed my parents in. Especially since I was still a strong believer in Santa. Would they have had to tell me? Whew…they definitely escaped a sticky situation there.

Why in the world am I telling you this story?

The reason being is that stories help us connect and build deeper, more meaningful relationships. For example, some of you reading this story might have a younger brother as well, or thought about swapping stocking stuffers with your siblings. Now we have something in common, which is often the basis for starting or building a relationship.

Why don’t we share more stories?

Unfortunately, I think we’ve been trained to keep our home/work life separate and therefore, feel like we’ve got to be uber professional at all times. However, think about the last time you met someone new. What is one of the first things you naturally do? Ask them questions and try to find something you have in common. If you are able to do this, the conversation naturally flows smoother and you find it easier to talk to this person vs. someone you have nothing in common with.

How can we tell more stories and build deeper relationships during the holidays?

It’s easy. The holidays provide tons of opportunities to share and further cultivate relationships. Here are a few ways you can do it:

  • Incorporate a holiday video greeting in your next eNewsletter and share a holiday memory/story
  • Engage your family, fans, friends and followers on Facebook with a fun holiday question, like what’s the best Christmas gift you ever received? Or what’s your favorite holiday show or movie to watch?
  • Write a blog like this and incorporate it into your business
  • Add a little touch of the holidays to your logo, email headers and social media
  • Use your holiday images in your newsletter and social media channels
  • Host a Toys for Tots collection
  • Ask your employees a holiday-related question and post their answers along with their pictures in your newsletter

As you can see the options are endless and it really is pretty simple too. What will you do this holiday season to connect and cultivate deeper, more meaningful relationships with your clients and prospective clients? We’d love to see what you come up with. Feel free to tag us on your social media posts and show us what you’re doing this holiday season. Cheers!

PS…Did you know that marketing can actually be fun? It’s true. If you are suffering from a lack of fresh, new, innovative ideas, please give us a call. We’re here to help make marketing your business fun and profitable too!

5 Ways to Measure Client Satisfaction for People Who Love Data (and Those Who Don’t!)

5 Ways to Measure Client Satisfaction for People Who Love Data (and Those Who Don’t!) 900 600 WildFigAdmin

If your business is anything like Wild Fig Marketing, your sales team is split 50/50 between people who LOVE data and those who would rather poke themselves in the eye than look at a spreadsheet. It takes all kinds to build meaningful relationships with clients and prospects and grow your business. At the end of the day, what matters is how satisfied your clients are with their experience working with you.

Here’s the deal: 91 percent of unhappy clients will never buy from you ever again. Thus, your mission is to increase the number of clients who love working with you and continue to develop relationships with the clients who already love you. Measuring customer satisfaction is one of the most powerful ways you can increase sales.

How do you measure something as touchy-feely as customer satisfaction? We’ve got five ideas for you, presented with a datahead score of 1 to 5 (5 being peak datahead).

1. Customer Satisfaction Survey (3 dataheads) 
Businesses have been sending customers surveys for ages, but automation has made sending surveys (and getting responses) fast and easy. If you’re looking for a 10,000-foot view, in-app surveys are a good choice. They live on your website and ask customers to rate their experience and maybe answer a question or two.

But in-app surveys give you a limited view of customer satisfaction. For more valuable insights, we recommend sending an email survey, ideally one that is automated to send immediately after you close business with a client (we can help with this!). You may get fewer responses than with an in-app survey, but the data you receive will be much more insightful and actionable.

2. Monitoring Social Media (2 dataheads)
Love building client relationships on social media? Then this customer satisfaction measurement idea is for you! Social media platforms are potential gold mines of customer satisfaction data. To avoid spreadsheets, add a weekly task to your calendar to check and respond to your Facebook reviews, Twitter mentions, and LinkedIn comments. You’ll get a valuable look at how satisfied your social-savvy customers are with your service or products. If data is your thing, most platforms offer exportable data on your social media relationships, too.

3. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) (4 dataheads)
This measurement tool asks your customers to rate how satisfied they are with your business on a scale of 1 to 5, then averages them to create an CSAT score for your business. CSAT surveys are simple, but they leave little room for nuance and feedback (unless incorporated into an email or other survey). But if want to assign a number to your level of customer satisfaction, this is a solution for you.

4. Customer Effort Score (CES) (4 dataheads)
Instead of satisfaction, CES measures the effort it took customers to work with you. Like golf, you’re shooting for a low score. A high CES score often correlates to lower loyalty, as it means customers must put in a lot of effort to make working with you successful.

5. Net Promoter Score (NPS) (5 dataheads)
We’ve saved one of the best for last. An NPS survey asks customers how likely they are to refer you to their friends and family. Answering this question doesn’t require any emotion at all to answer, and it helps you identify the customers who are your promoters. Your promoters are the most valuable customers you have, so treat them well!

If these ideas have you ready to get number crunching or have your head spinning, Wild Fig Marketing can help! We’d love to talk with you about how you can harness customer satisfaction data to grow your business. Contact us or schedule your 30 minute consultation with our resident data expert, Kevin!

Cultivating Your Customer Relationships Using Social Media

Cultivating Your Customer Relationships Using Social Media 900 600 Amy Judge

Every business owner’s dream is to have a brand so rock solid that their customers largely do the marketing for them. Think about Colgate vs. Crest. For the most part, Americans choose one or the other and base their decision on what they have always used. But is one toothpaste truly better than the other? Who knows and, quite frankly, who cares. You’re going to buy the one you feel more connected with. Now, while you may not have millions of dollars to sink into innovation and advertising, don’t get discouraged! Small businesses have a tool at their disposal that’s more engaging than has ever existed, and it’s largely free! Social media.

It seems social media is never going to go away. I know, I know. You’re quitting Facebook. And you mean it this time. But before you delete your online life, consider this: there are more than 1.86 billion active users on Facebook right now. And that’s from Forbes.com, so it has to be true. Social media should be an integral part of your marketing strategy because you can connect, engage, and build a loyal base by reaching multiple people at once. Not to mention your ROI! Social media platforms now have built in tracking so you can see which advertising efforts work and which ones don’t. You can’t do that with traditional forms of advertising, which tend to cost thousands of dollars. So, now that I’ve convinced you to keep your business on social media, let’s go over some steps on how to use these nifty tools.

Solve a burning problem
This is how you initially get people engaged. Check out Gekks no show socks as an example. When their sponsored content promised to solve every problem I’ve ever had with trying to achieve the sockless look, I had to find out more. I went to their website, ordered their product, and can’t stop telling people about them.

Stay engaged
Always invite your audience to like or follow your business’s page. Even though they may love your product, there’s still a chance they haven’t followed you online yet. I literally just liked the Gekk’s Facebook page and have been using their product for a couple of years. Also, don’t ignore your audience. Make up contests, provide special offers, and communicate with your customers.

Practice your customer service
Your social media platform is an excellent way to consistently thank your customers. 10% off is a thank you gift I have a hard time passing up! Additionally, when a fusspot begins to speak up, you can immediately and publicly offer a solution. Think of how that will make your company look to potential customers. People who haven’t done business with you yet will go in knowing the type of customer service they can expect from you. That’s a unique opportunity to start a business relationship with a high level of trust.

Cultivating your customers on social media doesn’t have to be challenging. In fact, it should feel natural because your audience wants to work with someone authentic. All of these hints will strengthen brand loyalty, but the bond with your customers will be even stronger when they feel like they know the person behind the product.

The majority of our customer base here at Wild Fig Marketing is made up of small businesses. So we understand the challenge of wearing too many hats and having a full plate. Managing your social media platforms is important, but it also takes time. If you find social media consistently moves down on your priority list, consider contacting us to see how we can help. And we would be remiss if I didn’t ask you to follow us on Facebook.

Customer Experience (CX): Customer Service, Reinvented

Customer Experience (CX): Customer Service, Reinvented 900 600 WildFigAdmin

The notion of customer service has been reinvented: Now, everyone’s talking about customer experience — or CX.

Customer Service Versus Customer Experience
The shift in perspective is pivotal: Customer service focuses on the provider, CX focuses on the receiver.

Customer service describes a limited sphere: specific activities in which company and customer interact. It begins at first contact, and ends when the prospect makes a purchase or stomps off in frustration.

CX Matters in the Digital Age
On the other hand, CX is all-encompassing. It’s a narrative of every step of the customer journey, from the first moment they become aware of a company to the relationship they have with the product after buying it. A customer can experience excellent customer service, but end up with a product that is junk, or just wrong for them, and that ultimately means a negative CX. Conversely, a customer could have a major snafu with a hotel reservation or a flawed product, but a thoughtfully executed CX will turn it into a positive outcome.

“Customer experience is defined by the experience customers have, remember and share,” writes best-selling business author Brian Solis. It lasts longer and matters more than customer service.

Improved CX a Universal Business Strategy
Focusing on the CX is a crucial trend in the world of business today. The American Marketing Association (AMA) cites a Forrester study stating more than 90% of senior executives describe improving CX as a “top strategic priority.” Similarly, 90% of North American firms surveyed in 2014 aspired to be “CX leaders” within the next three years, according to a study by the Temkin Group.

These are big ambitions. Why has CX become such a focal point?

“It’s been reported that customers will pay up to 25% more for a similar product if they believe they’re going to get an exceptional experience,” writes Solis. That’s a pretty good reason!

Additionally, technology has enabled companies to be connected and responsive for much more of the customer journey than previously. Emails and automation, social media and digital customer reviews have radically transformed the relationship between buyer and seller.

CX — a Lazer Focused Vision on Customer Perspective
Even more so than with customer service, the business intending to excel at CX has to really live its commitment to the cause. Lip service won’t be adequate: it’s necessary to become intimately acquainted with what customers really value, and apply people, passion and resources to upgrading their experience. CX can only be measured from the customer’s perspective, and it’s the sum of their experience throughout their relationship with the company. That might be five minutes at Subway, or a lifetime with a car insurance company.

Bottom line — CX is entirely dependent on customers’ emotional reactions for the totality of the customer journey. For this reason, companies have to embrace a holistic approach: every process, policy, technology and interaction which touches the customer matters, so they have to be designed to work together.

Achieving great CX demands total focus on the customer’s perspective, identifying what may be missing or broken. It also requires awareness of other players in the field, and beyond. You’re competing with their satisfaction in their lives as consumers as a whole. They’ve flown SouthWest Airlines, they’ve shopped at Zappo’s, they’ve hailed an Uber — all these experiences influence the standards they inhabit.

CX: Ambitious, and Necessary
Sound big? It is. Perfecting the customer experience is bound to be a process, not a destination, but the payoff in terms of loyalty and goodwill ensures that it’s a journey worth taking. If you want help defining or redefining your customer journey, give us a call; we’ll work with you to identify ways you can improve or develop your CX and, ultimately, improve your client retention rate. Or, click here to set up a time to meet with one of our automation experts to talk about other ways automation can improve your client retention!