Customers + Engagement = Revenue
The obvious focus of every organization is to remain in business and, beyond that, improve business. But, the former comes before the latter as a fact of nature. Another fact in the art of creating a sustainable business model is that the success of an organization does not rely most heavily on constant new business, but maintaining and growing existing business. In short, your customers are just as (if not more) important than your prospects when analyzing the revenue equation. Yet, the buzz is around lead nurturing – who’s talking about customer nurturing? Well, we are.
Prospect and customer nurturing shouldn’t be two separate initiatives, but two overlapping programs in an overall solution. One that allows you, as an organization, to communicate effectively and efficiently to both prospects and customers, even as they cross that bridge from a non-contributor to a contributor to your business’ revenue. A seamless transition is incredibly important, especially during the first couple months of the new customer experience, for a couple of reasons. One: this is their first impression of your organization from the inside, as a client. Their implementation inevitably sets the tone for their relationship with your organization moving forward. Two: utilizing the momentum garnered up to this point through their engagement with your brand is the key to success. You’ve worked so hard to get them onboard; don’t let that go to waste.
Keep moving your new customers through the lifecycle of their relationship with your brand. They were once an unknown, a suspect, qualified as a prospect and are now in the new customer stage. They still have a long way to go before you can call them a brand advocate and benefit from their value as such. To get them there, figure out how they like to be communicated with, how often, and by whom (I promise you, they’ll always prefer being spoken to by a real person – don’t you?).
Driving engagement goes hand-in-hand with measuring it. The increasingly competitive business environment forces us to take a second look at traditional customer engagement metrics, to ensure that this crucial activity contributes to the bottom line after all.
Traditional metrics aren’t giving marketers, salespeople, and business owners the visibility they need to the full view of who their customers are and how they’re interacting with the brand. These metrics are measuring superficial, surface-level activities, like number of sales calls made, number of emails sent, click-through rates (are you excluding unsubscribes and “view as a webpage” clicks?), among others. Let’s dig deeper and create a holistic, single view of your customer by truly evaluating what’s being measured and what it means for your business.
Instead, think about how you’re going to measure the relationships and the impact they have on revenue. Look at your best customers – what characteristics do they have and what has made your relationship with them so successful? Now recreate this! You may have fewer leads being passed to the sales team from marketing – if this means you’re encouraging more time being spent on truly qualifying your prospects and only pushing the ideal fits forward in the lifecycle, then so what? This is what you should be doing. Quality over quantity.
I think we’ve pretty well established the understanding that customers + engagement = revenue. Your most engaged customers are those who continue to renew, agree to upsells and, most importantly, bring you new business through referrals and word-of-mouth marketing. This is an essential that has not been a focus of many traditional business models in the past, with the exception of those who have moved to the top. Make your organization one of those success stories by concentrating on monetizing your engaged relationships.