Clams: How to tell the Full Customer Story

customer story

Yesterday I had a conversation with Right On Interactive’s CEO, Troy Burk, that many would consider a bit bizarre. We are currently in the process of planning a full day retreat for the marketing and sales teams to outline goals, strategies, and tactics as we move towards the new year. Troy and I were discussing the planning of this meeting, and it went something like this:

Troy: “Would that make you happy (referring to a topic to be discussed at our meeting)?”
Tyler: “Yes, sir. It would make me happier than a clam!”
Troy: “Where did that phrase come from? Clams are not happy, are they?”
Tyler (caught off guard and lacking knowledge of general clam psyche): “Uhhhh…they are happy if they are not being eaten?”
Troy: “Look it up. I want to know why clams are happy.”
Tyler (after researching): “Well, Troy, the full phrase is ‘happier than a clam at high tide,’ because clams can only be harvested at low tide.”
Troy: “Well, that makes sense, but why did the second half of that phrase get dropped? Is it really that much more work to add, ‘at high tide’? People need to make sure they tell the full story when they reference clams. You know, that would be a good blog post, Tyler. You should write something about happiness and telling the full story.”

So here we are ladies and gentlemen, you have been educated regarding the history and emotions of clams, but this is a Customer Lifecycle Marketing blog, not National Geographic. For a B2B software company like ROI, the full customer story revolves around much more than customer acquisition and lead generation. In fact, a prospect’s relationship with the sales team should be a small blip on the customer engagement radar relative to their engagement with the rest of the brand.

Lead scoring is important, but in order to take marketing and client retention rates to the next level, companies also must employ client engagement scoring. One specific situation where client marketing should be enhanced through client engagement is a new client on-boarding campaign. For many companies, this campaign sets the tone for the rest of the relationship. How well does this campaign work to establish the needed feeling of a 1:1 relationship? Does this campaign ease the transition both technically and mentally for the new client? How important is the content of this campaign? If this campaign contains necessary CTAs to the client being implemented in a timely fashion, are they engaging with these CTAs?

Through client engagement scoring, client success and marketing teams alike can identify those clients that are highly engaged and committed to the onboarding process versus clients that may need additional nurturing and individual attention. According to Maximize Business Marketing, a whopping 68% of customers leave B2B companies because they feel that you do not care about them or that you are ignoring them. Only 9% of customer attrition is due to being persuaded to go to a competitor, and only 14% of attrition is due to the customer being dissatisfied with the service/product.

So next time your team is “wading” through a “pool” of unhappy clams (customers), remember that the key to retention is engagement and extending the “story,” not necessarily having a perfect product. As long as your company continues to “turn the tide” toward engagement and client scoring, you will find escalated retention numbers and happier overall clients.