by Rodolfo Ramirez, COO of swivl

“Converting prospects into life-long customer advocates involves facilitating meaningful conversations with your customers:

  • to get them to “buy-in”, 
  • to understand which channels have the most impact on their needs, and
  • to create a unified stream of customer data to make actionable decisions.” 

 Rapidly Changing Landscape of Customer Experience 

Today, it seems as if technology platforms and suggested approaches to potential customers change every week. Everyone using digital media to sell products or services understands how rapidly this landscape is changing. Due to the number of new tools and increasing competition, it is critical to test new platforms and approaches to maximize customers revenues. 

As a tech entrepreneur myself, one of the biggest things that keep me up at night is how to improve my sales process as we scale our business. A mentor recently told me that to do this, one should focus on the most critical pinch points within your process, one at a time. 

This led me to start thinking about others’ approach to this same problem. I decided to reach out to local professionals in the Greater Denver Area to help me understand their top pain points and understand how they engage with their customers through personalization, conversation, and unified processes.

Specifically, I asked them, “What are the biggest pain points one should focus on when converting potential customers to paying customers?” 

1. Leverage Customer Education and expert recommendations to push sales of products or services (especially luxury items)

 

 

 

 

 

John Webster

Head of Marketing Furniture For Life

Top Tips

  •  Need to be experiential   
  •  Focus Digital Channels on brand and consumer  education 

“The eCom world is a bit different for us. We manufacture and distribute products that carry a luxury price point and are extremely experiential. Trying to engage, educate, and eventually close a sale on a $9000 massage chair without the consumer ever trying it is rare. A lot of what we are doing online is trying to establish the brand and educate the consumer so that when they do have the opportunity to experience the product, they are cued up as to what they should feel and what brand they should look for.”

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Garner 

Director of Membership Straightline Private Air

Top Tips:

  • Have meaningful conversations to gain actionable insights
  • Tailor solution to address customer pain points

“Lack of insight into true needs and hesitation to engage in conversation. In today’s information world, people are conditioned to have immediate answers at their fingertips. I sell a high-cost product in a complicated industry, so providing a “bullet-list” of information that a prospective client asks for is ineffective at distinguishing me from my competition. More insight through meaningful conversation allows me to better tailor solutions to address and solve the individual’s needs.”

 

 

 

 

 

Ken McDonald 

General Manager TeamSnap

Top Tip: 

  • Provide value first (e.g. think Free Trial) 

“It is mostly about getting customers to try the product enough to get value out of it. Once they do that, customers are much more open to paying.”

2. Calculating ROI for Marketing and Sales campaigns is crucial

 

 

 

 

 

Angelina Butler 

Marketing Director @Office Interiors

Top Tips:

  • Need to A/B test services for best ROI
  • Setup forecast system to keep track of results
  • Stay top of mind through value-added touchpoints

“I’d say the top 2 pains for me would be ROI and staying top of mind. To start off with Return on Investment (ROI), the reason this can be tricky is no system or campaign reaps the same results. So sometimes that means trying out different services like Yelp for business, Google ads, Bing ads, Facebook sponsored ads and more before figuring out where your ideal customers are. Sometimes it also comes down not only to the platform you use for your industry, but also the content that you put out there. For example: “Memorial Week 25% off Office Furniture” may get better results than “Denver Office Furniture Dealer – Office Interiors”. So the pain comes in the part of not knowing what will actually work until you try each one, which means also spending money that you may not get back.

The second pain I mentioned earlier is staying top of mind. When you get leads and send out emails, or call the business, maybe they don’t have a need for your service for at least another year. The hard part can be staying on top of their mind, so when that need does come up they think of you… but doing this in such a way that doesn’t annoy them or spam them with constant emails and calls.”

 

 

 

 

 

Justin Thomas 

VP of Sales @ Hotel Engine

Top Tip:

  • Invest time in identifying your target market

“Although this may not be a typical roadblock in the sales process it’s certainly one top of mind for myself at the moment – finding the right contact/decision-maker for Prospects.  The amount of time it takes sales reps to reach and speak to a potential customer/decision-maker is significant and drastically slows down our sales process. The reality is, sales reps simply can’t afford to waste time on nonessential sales activities.”

3. Most companies need a true source of unified customer data to make actionable decisions

 

 

 

 

 

Chad Jenssen 

Director of Account Management @ Nutrislice

Top Tips

  • Unify your communication channels to collect actionable data
  • Set up a Customer Feedback Loop throughout your organization

“Clients connect across many different mediums – email, text, phone, and chat. Consolidating all the conversations to understand a unified voice is challengingIt’s also a challenge to understand what medium they prefer, as everyone has a unique communication that works for them. The second challenge would be generating a feedback loop throughout the organization that everyone from frontline employees to leadership is able to create an actionable plan that facilitates responding back to customers. Facilitating the conversation across your customers, on the mediums that have their attention is difficult to scale.

Yes, we are leveraging tech for feedback loops – an example would be our NPS score. It is recorded in SF – where we have created response buckets to deliver to our product team and anyone in the company can view. We have also connected it to Slack through SF so we are able to respond to key responses immediately. The Slack channel is available to the entire organization. SalesForce is the key to the entire feedback loop giving us a true source of data.”

 

 

 

 

 

Christian Prenzler

VP of Business Development @ Teslarati

Top Tip:

  • Automate the process of ingesting and learning from actionable trends in consumer data.

“From a targeting perspective, identifying real actionable trends in our consumer data has been difficult. Sifting through large data sets and identifying what’s a true trend can be quite tough. From a logistical standpoint, keeping our automated email funnel up to date and with the correct landing page links. It’s always desirable to update the funnel and add new offers, but I’ve found the best success by creating a broader study and executing it in a few days (updating it slowly over time has been far less successful).” 

 

 

 

 

 

Kyle Hall

Chief Product Officer @ swivl

Top Tips: 

  • Leverage digital channels to learn from user interactions
  • Use customer feedback to drive your product experience 

“One of our biggest issues before launching swivl, and one that we see time and time again when talking to potential customers, is the inability to find a platform that is able to proactively engage with customers and learn from those interactions. It’s difficult to sift through all the noise and apply those lessons to improve the overall customer experience. 

Ultimately, we found that “eating our own dog food” helped solve this issue by using our platform to better understand our customers and how we can help solve their pain points. We leverage customer interactions via chat, email, ticketing platforms –  and create proactive feedback loops that help us make better decisions through automation. 

The key here is to learn from those meaningful interactions and use them to create better content that will inform our product roadmap and constantly improve our product experience.” 

Wrap Up – Have more meaningful interactions!

In conclusion, some of the most interesting things that I learned during this study on how great companies think about converting prospects into life-long advocates involved facilitating meaningful conversations with their customers:

  • to get them to “buy-in”, 
  • to understand which channels have the most impact on their needs, and
  • to create a unified stream of customer data to make actionable decisions 

At the end of the day, the common thread to all these initiatives is listening to your prospects and understanding their present and future needs. 

Give people a great experience today and tomorrow, and they will convert!

Thank you!  

A huge thank you to all the experts that contributed to this roundup. 

Which of these pain points and tips resonated the most with you?  Please reach out to us on social media and share your thoughts.  Let us know what is working for you and how others can benefit from it. 

 

We invite you to learn more about how swivl is helping address the issues of converting web visitors to customers with our new Live Chat!

 

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