Virtual communication has been the name of the game lately, and B2B marketers are offering more digital reach than ever before.
However, the heavy reliance on digital channels raises questions: Are we delivering a great customer experience? Are we doing everything we can to effectively implement digital strategies?
Businesses need to communicate convincingly with prospects and customers in order to create a great customer experience. Otherwise you run the risk of getting lost in the digital mix. However, you may have difficulty figuring out how to do this as there are no longer any personal contact opportunities such as trade shows. Or you are wondering how you can help your customers with this customization.
Here are five measures that are critical to a successful digital communication process.
1. Understand that automation doesn’t mean losing control
A human element makes automation a successful tactic. With the right tools, you define the strategy and the technology does the execution. You can spend more time and energy prospecting while automation manages your pipelines and makes meaningful connections with your customers.
You set the rules: if the customer does X, the answer is Y. The system gathers data and applies what it has learned. A single person (or team) cannot analyze every signal and respond to every request, but automation makes it possible and expands your ability to deliver a great customer experience.
2. Talk to customers about where they are on their journey
Personalization is no longer optional. it’s critical. You need to know who your customers are and what they need. But beyond that, you have to talk to them about where they are on their buying journey. If your communication is out of sync – for example, sending an email about buying a product you’ve just bought – your business will lose credibility.
One of the most overlooked opportunities is after-sale engagement. “They treat customers the way they remember you after they buy them, so it’s very important to maintain positive engagement after the sale,” said Jason VandeBoom, CEO of ActiveCampaign, in a recent article in the E-Commerce Times.
I recently had a negative post-sale experience after buying a crime game online for my wife. Less than 10 seconds after I placed my order, the company sent a request asking me to review a product that I hadn’t received yet. That let me know that it was a buggy automation. It undermined trust and made sure the company didn’t get the post-purchase data it was looking for from me. Lose lose!
It may sound like a no-brainer, but good digital communication requires targeted action. When a sales team sends a marketing manager-tailored email to their entire database, including Fortune 100 CEOs, it shows that the team was not deliberate in targeting and creates a negative impression.
Avoid mistakes like this by knowing your audience and fine-tuning your personalization.
3. Take into account the expertise of your customers
Another key to achieving a great CX is understanding your customers’ capabilities. The way customers use your product (or the features they are interested in) can tell you a lot about them.
For example, if you sell martech, some customers will know all about it while others are still learning and needing help with it.
How you set your customers up for success depends on where they are on their journey. You can use data to pinpoint their location.
4. Be sensitive to the business environment
Right now, the pandemic is the main driver of business change. Over 100,000 small businesses have already closed permanently. Those that are still standing are turning to digital channels to reach customers, increasing the demand for more help in this area.
This is especially true if you’re selling products that enable B2B customers to manage digital reach. Those who did not use digital channels before the pandemic had to adapt quickly and digitally transform in order to survive. These customers rely on you to provide guidance. Hence, your communication needs to be relevant, effective and thoughtful.
5. Drop the marketing conversation and get to the point
Don’t make the mistake of approaching digital communications like a product evangelist, just focusing on how great your product is and highlighting all of its cool features and capabilities.
It’s important to believe in what you are selling, of course, but customers don’t care about your product itself – they care about solving their problems and doing their job more effectively. Your job is to connect the dots for them and speak their language – to sell your product as a solution to their problem or as a means to improve their productivity.
Fitbit’s commercials provide a great example of how the dots can be linked for consumers by showing them how through the features of the product they can achieve an overall goal: stress management, fitness. An instant purchase value is created.
High quality copywriting is often overlooked, but it must be a top priority when creating your messages. Mark Twain once said, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter so I wrote a long one instead,” which underscores the importance of a great adaptation.
In digital communication, respect readers’ time – try to grab their attention quickly and briefly – and move and inspire them by speaking their language and focusing on their problems.
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The pandemic has increased reliance on digital communications, but it’s not a new exercise for marketing and sales teams.
Now is the perfect opportunity to think about your digital strategy and optimize the customer experience. With personalization, automation, and the right mindset, you can virtually connect with customers in a more meaningful and positive way.
More resources on digital communication
How to communicate with the most tech-savvy generation
Planning Your COVID-Related Communications: A Flowchart [Infographic]
How the creative collaboration developed [Infographic]