For Better Sales and Marketing Messages, First Get Everyone Uncomfortable

For Better Sales and Marketing Messages, First Get Everyone Uncomfortable

La-Z-Boy sells a lot of recliners. I don’t believe they win a lot of design awards, but then again their customers likely put a low priority on being fashion-forward in the family room. The recliner buyers wants to be comfortable and those big cushy chairs can indeed deliver comfort. That might be fine at home—but on the job comfort can wreck your marketing and growth plans. Too often I see internal teams running on auto-pilot in the ways they deal with customers and prospects. On the external side, you can be sure that competitors are trying to make your customers a little uncomfortable. And we have to make prospects similarly uncomfortable in order for them to consider doing business with us. ...
Ask Customers This in 2018

Ask Customers This

Sometimes, assumptions can hold our businesses down. I have come to recognize at least one assumption that often keeps businesses from selling more to their existing customers. The benefit of escaping that assumption can mean increasing your revenue by ten to twenty percent—or more.  The assumption is that your customers—even the loyal, longtime ones—know all of the things you offer. Why wouldn’t they? I mean, how long has your average customer been doing business with you? We are all creatures of our comfort zones. Your customers might be quite comfortable in what they buy from you today, how they have dealt with you in the past, and how they have come to think of you over time. ...
We are Where the Money Is - Improve Customer Experience

We are Where the Money Is – Improve Customer Experience

It was the annual meeting of the company, a large manufacturer with a dealer network across North America. Several hundred employees gathered at a plush Virginia golf and conference center, including the corporate staff, sales and product development professionals, dealer executives, and—importantly—parts and service managers. ...

Customer Conversation Challenge 2: Consistency

“The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.”

"We just aren't on the same page."
"It seems like everyone is just rolling their own."
"Why can't we all sing from the same hymnal when we're out with customers?"

If you hear these phrases around your organization--or even catch yourself saying them--then there is ample evidence of inconsistency in your customer conversations. It’s common to have disconnections among units (Marketing, Sales, Service), geographies, product/service lines, or what potential customers hear online versus offline. I think that evolving work patterns, where more is happening virtually and teams rarely are in the same space at the same time, exacerbate the gaps. So have pressures on training and onboarding budgets.

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When to stop surveying customers

When was the last time your team learned something really valuable from a customer-satisfaction survey program? 

Having had research experience on both the academic and private-sector sides, I try to pay attention to those customer-satisfaction surveys in the marketplace. From what I’m seeing, many organizations need to reconsider what they are doing.  

Just as there really is such a thing as bad publicity, and just as you actually can over-communicate, it is indeed possible to have too much information coming from your customers (if that information is devoid of meaning). 

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