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THINK Contributor

7 Insights into more actionable customer intelligence

By , September 2, 2016
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Customer intelligence is all about relevance. The more relevant you can make your communication and your marketing, the more customers you will gain and the stronger your customer relationships will be.

The Internet is becoming a more honest and open place. This means you can tap into the information people freely post and make the most of your marketing. Businesses that are willing to do a bit of digging can often come up with awesome insights that can be used to create amazing customer experiences. If your customer experience is fantastic, your customers will spread the word, and with social media the voices of your customers are louder than ever before.

Not only does an exceptional customer experience mean more referrals from raving fans, it also means you can charge a premium price and position yourself as the best brand in your market.

Here’s how to gain powerful intelligence about your customers and propel your business to the next level!

1. Connect With Your Customers on Social Media

The more customers you can connect with on social media the better. Which social media sites are the best to connect with your customers?

Twitter is a smart place to start.  This is because Twitter is an almost entirely open network where new connections are encouraged and part of the culture.

After you connect on Twitter, connecting on LinkedIn is a solid next step. This gives you another link with your customer and shows them that you are serious about your business connection. To maximize your conversion rate of new connections on LinkedIn, don’t just use the default invite text. Instead, personalize it, mention your connection on Twitter, and any other personal points you can include.

My LinkedIn networking has been so successful I now feel overwhelmed by it’s success and I hardly have time to review and accept or deny the thousands of people who have requested to join my main LinkedIn marketing group. If you don’t yet have a LinkedIn group in your niche, I highly recommend you create one.  My LinkedIn group has been directly responsible for many sales and plenty of great contacts.

When you connect with your customer on a personal level it may also make sense to become friends with them on Facebook. Each time you connect with someone on a new social media site take a minute to check out their profile and posts.

The content your customers share on social media sites is often a great source of intelligence that you can use to create more relevant communication and stronger customer relationships.

2. Know Where in The World Your Customers Are

Knowing where in the world your customers live is an important element of sending them timely marketing and communications. For example, if some of your customers are in Melbourne, Australia and you are in Manhattan, New York you should schedule your emails while keeping in mind that they are 14 hours ahead of time.

If your customers follow you on Twitter you can use the Twitter tool Tweepsmap to visualize your customers on a map. Tweepsmap is an great visualization Twitter tool that shows you where in the world your followers are located. You can then generate lists of followers in every city in the world that you have a following. This opens up a world of demographic based marketing that you can leverage to create new and stronger customer relationships.

Once you know where your customers live you can schedule your communication and marketing messaging accordingly. Just don’t get obsessive with perfectly timed emails and messaging.  Remember, a follow up email sent at an odd hour is far better than no email at all.

3. Create Targeted Prospect Lists Based on What Your Email Subscribers Click

Any email marketing software worth its salt gives you the ability to generate new lists of leads based on what your subscribers click in your emails.

For each unique link that someone clicks indicating that they are interested in a certain product or service category you should add an if/then rule to your email marketing software so it adds this subscriber to a related list with an autoresponder email sequence promoting that product with a daily email.

For example: “If subscriber clicks digital marketing link then add them to digital marketing prospect list.

Ideally, each prospect list should have a daily email autoresponder follow up sequence. A fully optimized follow up email sequence should contain at least 30 evergreen daily emails.

The fortune is in the follow up and persistence is how you overcome resistance.

The golden key is following up with the right offer for the right prospect and following up tactfully and relentlessly. List segmentation powered by relevant email link clicks is a powerful way to do this.

4. Reveal Customer Contact Info on LinkedIn

The tool Lusha is a cool Google Chrome plugin that gives you important additional contact information for your LinkedIn contacts.

Using this tool I have been able to easily attain the phone number of key influencers in my network, helping my professional life thrive.

Use social media and email to turn a cold call into a warm one.  If you warm up a new connection by liking their content on social media this will help your interaction go much more smoothly.

In our digital age calling someone up might seem old fashioned but calls are a powerful way to grow your business and the more calls you make to quality prospects the more success you will achieve.

5. Make a Point of Celebrating Birthdays

For many people their birthday is the best day of the year.  It is a day unique to them, and one when people often treat themselves with bold purchases.

When brands extend a “Happy Birthday” to a customer, client, business partner or prospect, it lets them know the brand cares and is paying attention on a personal level. This small act can help strengthen relationships and possibly bring further business to your brand.

Facebook and LinkedIn are great ways to get informed about when your connections are celebrating their birthday. If you cannot find your customer’s birthday online I recommend doing some digging to find out.

You should also definitely be wishing your coworkers a happy birthday since the good vibes this creates will make working with them a much better experience and typically more time is spent with your co-workers than it is with your customers.

Once you discover a birthday don’t rely on your memory: Set up an annual reminder in your calendar so it’s impossible for you to forget. Then on the day of make sure to send a “Happy Birthday” to your friend.

Sending a message on LinkedIn or Facebook saying, “Happy Birthday” is great. Sending a text is an even better way to send a birthday greeting! The reason a text or a call means more is because you aren’t just wishing them a  happy birthday after you saw it on social media: You made an effort to recognize their birthday and personally reach out.

Wishing someone happy birthday is a great way to show that you care, it’s often appreciated, and it will help you create lasting relationships with your coworkers, customers, and friends.

6. Implement Automated Follow Up Systems

Implementing follow up systems that re-engage prospects who almost converted is a smart way to turn more prospects into customers.

Last week, I was in Costco shopping and checked out a Groupon offer I heard about from a friend. The offer was for a brewery tour with samples. Although it sounded like a fun time, I was more focused on getting everything I needed for my new condo in Costco, so I didn’t buy the Groupon.

Not long after I was pleasantly surprised to get an email from Groupon with the subject line “Still Interested in That Deal?”

Inside the email was the sub-header “This Groupon misses you!” along with a picture and description of the offer.  This is an example of automated email marketing follow up at it’s best!

It’s hard to say how often this automated follow up system converts customers for Groupon but I think it’s safe to say that this simple email follow up strategy has easily helped them make millions in additional sales.

7. Let Your Customers “Choose Their Own Adventure”

Remember those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books where you could choose which way the story would go? The books gained massive popularity because people like to make choices.  

The reality is that these choices were inconsequential because whichever adventure you chose the book was still written by the same author and the outcome was always determined by the author.

You can use surveys to get the same level of control as a “choose your own adventure” author, only on a more powerful level because instead of a book page you can send your readers to a landing page where they can buy from you.

Google offers one of the most robust free solutions, but if you have some budget I recommend springing for premium cloud based software, even though great results do not require complex surveys.

An exhaustive survey that asks dozens of questions is not necessary to direct your prospects towards the most relevant offer you have for them. Setting up a survey that determines the most relevant offer and sends its recipients to targeted landing pages does not require a custom algorithm to achieve.

Upon survey completion simply set up a redirect to send your visitors to a landing page determined by the product or service that they are the most interested in.

For example:

What part of your marketing funnel do you need to improve the most?

·         Driving More Traffic

·         Capturing More Leads

·         Converting More Customers

The answer given above corresponds with three landing pages, one targeted to each topic.

Next ask:

If a solution existed that eliminates your source of business pain and stress would you consider buying it?

·         Definitely

·         Yes

·         Maybe

The beauty of the question above is that all three options will increase your chances of conversion.

Use Proven Elements of Influence to Increase Your Intelligently Engage Your Customers

PhD psychologist, Robert Cialdini, gained fame for his book “Influence” which outlined core elements of influencing others.

One of these core elements of influence is consistency about which he asserted “If people commit to an idea or goal they are more likely to honor that commitment because of establishing that idea or goal as being congruent with their self image.”

Get your prospects and customers to express affinity for something you offer and then send them to a landing page where they can act consistently with this affinity and convert on a related offer.

When landing pages are consistent with survey answers the conversion rate of your landing page will be consistently outperform unqualified cold traffic.

Commitment is another one of Cialdini’s core elements of influence.

That’s why getting your customers to commit to “Definitely” “Yes” or even “Maybe” buy your product or service will only help your relevant offers succeed.

How do you gain customer intelligence and improve your marketing relevance?  

 

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