As this year is going to an end I want to take some time to look into the 2020 and give you my thoughts on what are going to be the top three important topics for customer success and customer experience for the next year.
As we are going from traditional marketing several years ago, to the modern era of digital marketing and onward to product marketing I will in this article focus on how to show value to your customers and why it’s important, how and why you should use pain selling and that companies need to start ask for more qualified feedback from customers.
Top 3 trends in product marketing for 2020:
- Proactive marketing
- Customer pain selling
- Feedback qualification
This is a topic I’ve been talking about before and I still know that this will be even more important for years to come. With proactive marketing you are there for the customer before they know it. If you can understand your customers and communicate to them at the right time and with the right content strategy you will not only reduce churn but in the long run you will get more loyal customers and with loyal customers brings more marketing qualified leads/new customers.
There are different ways of being proactive. One of them is to use a self service tool where you collect most frequently asked questions – a knowledge base where the customer get faster help 24/7 without even starting a conversation with you. With Intercom’s Help Center you can create articles as Q&A and even use these articles in your customer journey. When a user reaches a specific page in your product and if they don’t manage to do a task or they been on the page for too long, you can through an Answer bot push articles. This is proactive marketing for you in 2020.
Another piece I wrote earlier this year which very much includes proactive marketing and how to bring value to your customers: Bring value – Use the data and send it to the customers!
Customer pain selling
Customer pain selling is all about getting your customers to understand the value of your product. The value should be as high as they would not even consider of leaving you for a competitor. In other words, customer pain selling are different ways of reducing churn.
Let’s think of this scenario: A customer calls you and want to terminate their account with you. This is a big customer with 50 users, using a lot of integrations and have been loyal for 5 years to your product.
In most cases the receiver of this type of phone call would ask them to stay, maybe give a discount, offer a restart educational program and trying to identify the reason of the customer to leave. Even if you would persuade the customer to stay, they might just stay for a while before leaving you completely in a couple of month’s.
The essence companies are missing here is to start from the very beginning. When a new customer are going into your product for the first time, you already have different flows of on-boarding to give the customer the full experience of your product. The term “on-boarding” is to get the customer on-board.
What is the best way of on-board a new company year 2020?
Before you let the new customer to run freely in your product you have to sit down and talk about the customers business objectives, closely connected to your product. They had a reason of signing up to your product and they save a value of it. You need to capture this in the on-boarding phase which you can use later when you do check-ins with your customer, to see if they are using your product to fulfill their business objectives (the once you agreed on). This is something you need to bring up if you come to a road block when the customer want to terminate their account, go back to these discussions you had in the beginning of the on-boarding to identify where this problem arose.
Business case: You are about to on-board a new customer. At the very first stages you are identifying that the customer want to use your product in order to save time and money. In this stage you sit down together with the customer and defining the objectives they have. At the same time you need to show the customer how they can reach their objectives using your product. When you are agreed on business objectives and the customer are on-board with how to use your product you can move to other phases.
This “agreement” can be used to pain sell if needed. Going back to the case in the beginning when a high valued customer wants to terminate their account – if you had done the business objective phase with the customer, you could easier understand where the customer lost track and the real reason why they want to leave. The reason can be both ways, either you are doing something wrong or the customer are not using the product in the best way of saving time and money in their business.
With referring to these business objectives gives you and the customer a chance of getting on the right track again. This is one form of customer pain selling and this is going to be the next thing in 2020 for product marketing.
Are you gathering feedback from your customers? Good! Are you qualifying the feedback and once you done changes to your product due to this feedback, are you reaching out to the customer?
For 2020 I believe companies will do better at collecting feedback and do follow ups to the customers. There are several exciting feedback tools out there with API capabilities to integrate to other parts of your organization.
Qualification is the key to most things in marketing. By qualifying customer feedback you can in a better way determine how important the feedback are.
How many customers ask for this? What kind of customer want it, are they big or small? Why does customers want this?
All feedback collected are truly a goldmine for UX and tech teams. With all incoming feedback you can understand user behavior and experience. But if you give your customers be ability to send feedback from different sources such as NPS, CSAT, CES, chat, phone, e-mail, inside product, F2F and other sources – the higher are your expectations of letting the customers know that you are going to do changes, or even NOT going to do changes. How do you manage these types of communication?
How are you qualifying this feedback? Capturing who the user is and the user role can be valuable for tech team to know in order to understand the users workflow. These questions along with feedback tools are going to be one of the most important questions for tech companies and customer success teams for 2020.