Tips for an effective online chat: I

These days customers are increasingly using live chat as a communication channel to interact with websites to get instant help in case of any queries. Here are some tips to leverage online chat in order to reassure lead nurturing:

1. Offer a copy of the transcript to the customers:

Customers contact the live chat agents so that their queries are resolved instantly. The whole chat process provides them with valuable information. But, most people don’t record every conversation so this information can get lost or can be rendered futile. So, provide your customers with transcripts at the end of live chat sessions.

Transcripts
Transcripts

2. Include chat button in email campaigns:

This feature allows your customers to provide direct feedback on questions they may have regarding the email they’ve received from you. Emails could be anything from periodic newsletters or follow-ups to individual questions or grievances and embedded chat button along with it provides an ease of instant query resolution.

Embedded chat button
Embedded chat button

3. Provide chat agents with previous chat transcripts:

Providing your chat agents with a chat history for returning visitors allows the agents to come up to speed on issues that the customer discussed previously, and to proactively follow up with any questions. This will hasten up the live chat process and customers will appreciate the fact that they don’t have to repeat their previous problems to newly assigned chat agents.

Chat history
Chat history

4. Initiate an automatic response:

The only way to guarantee a quick response is to accept all incoming chats immediately. Once a customer initiates a chat session, the system should accept the chat automatically and convince the customer that a chat agent will respond shortly. Pre-canned messages can be used to welcome the customer and let him know that action is taking place immediately.

Auto accept chats
Auto accept chats

5. Inculcate pre-chat survey forms:

Pre- chat survey forms allow customers to set the direction of the conversation. They include questions that allow your chat agents the necessary background so they can provide a quick and courteous answer.  The pre-chat survey forms also allow you to quickly route the chat session to the agents who are most qualified to handle the respective conversations.

Pre-chat survey
Pre-chat survey

Lead nurturing tactics: III

1. Sales and marketing alignment:

For sales and marketing alignment, the shared expectations, responsibilities and goals for this collaboration between sales and marketing should be outlined in a sales and marketing service level agreement (SLA). Creating a formal sales and marketing SLA will help the two teams hold each other accountable for converting leads and effectively nurturing them into paying customers in the long run.

Sales and marketing alignment
Sales and marketing alignment

2. Multiple touches:

According to a research, on average, prospects receive ten marketing touches from the time they enter the top of funnel until they’re a closed won customers. The most successful lead nurturing strategies deliver content that helps prospects progress through the buyer’s journey by addressing common questions and concerns such that they are contented.

3. Maintain permission to keep prospect updated:

Maintaining permission to keep a prospect updated is important because if a prospect loses interest in your messages, they’ll disengage by unsubscribing, marking your messages as spam, or emotionally unsubscribing – reflexively ignoring or deleting your messages.

Keeping prospects updated
Keeping prospects updated

4. Guide your prospects efficaciously:

There is a possibility that a potential buyer who you’re nurturing may not enter a buying process for a long time. But during the lead nurturing phase, if you can educate prospects and guide their thinking to incorporate specific requirements and ways of thinking about the market, your company and solutions will be much better positioned in their minds when they finally decide to make purchases.

Guide your prospects
Guide your prospects

5. Study the Digital Body Language:

Digital Body Language is the aggregate of all the digital activity you see from an individual. Each email that is opened or clicked, each web visit, each form, each search on Google, each referral from a social media property, and each webinar attended are part of the prospect’s digital body language.Just like the body language is read by a sales person managing a deal, digital body language is an amalgamation of all the digital touchpoints. Digital Body Language can help you understand where your prospects are in their buying process. As they progress through the process, they’ll reach a point at which your lead scoring system tells you they’re ready to engage with the sales process.

Digital body language
Digital body language

 

Lead nurturing tactics: II

1. Build a retargeting audience:

Retargeting is a paid medium.  A retargeting audience may be built in any of the 4 following ways

i) Select marketing content – this is what will be displayed to your audience.

ii) Pixel based interactions – this audience is built by placing a pixel on your website that uses cookies to track online visitors, helping you remarket to them.

iii) Contact list segments – this audience is defined by a segmented contact list you already have in your database

iv) “look alike” contacts –  these are outside contacts who are similar to those who have engaged with you, offering a way to exponentially increase the numbers of impressions made.

 

Building retargeting audience
Building retargeting audience

2. Make timely, well-researched calls:

The best way to convert inbound leads into qualified sales opportunities is a timely followup email or a phone call. When you make a timely, well-researched call to an inbound lead, you know exactly what the prospect is researching based on his/her recent browsing behaviour and you also have enough information about the prospect to initialize a research about the organization they work for and their specific role within the company.

 Timely follow ups
Timely follow ups

3. Personalized email marketing:

You can further improve your lead nurturing strategy by personalizing your emails. You can send triggered emails when someone downloads your gated content, clicks on links in your emails, visits certain pages on your website, or when they demonstrate a high level of engagement in order to be in touch.

Personalized emails
Personalized emails

4. Offline marketing:

Offline marketing refers to strategies that utilize offline media channels to create awareness of a company’s products and services. These campaigns may include radio and print advertising – including billboards, signs and pamphlets,telemarketing, and television ads.

Offline marketing
Offline marketing

5. Lead scoring:

Lead scoring is a methodology used to rank prospects against a scale that represents the perceived value each lead represents to the organization. The resulting score is utilized to determine which leads a receiving function (e.g. sales, partners, tele-prospecting) will engage, as per the set priority. Lead Scoring allows a business to customize a prospect’s experience based on his or her buying stage and interest level

Image result for lead scoring

Best customer retention strategies : Part I

Customer retention is termed as a process of inculcating those techniques by the companies that help in the exemption of customer defections. The sole purpose of customer retention programs is to help companies retain as many customers as possible through customer loyalty and brand loyalty initiatives.

As a matter of fact, customer retention begins with the first contact a customer has with a company and continues throughout the entire lifetime of the relationship.

According to a research an average business loses around 20 percent of its customers annually due to customer dissatisfaction. In some industries, this leakage is astoundingly 80 percent. However, following some preventive measures can help curb this loss.

Here we have mentioned some of the best customer retention techniques that will enhance your customer retention significantly once implemented and will have a gigantic impact on your business.

1. Build relationships online and develop trust:

In today’s era majority of people are glued to their computer screens for hours due to those enticing social media platforms. so, connecting with your clients through these mediums can benefit you to a large extent. Majority of your clients will have active profiles on websites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc. So, it makes sense to connect with your potential customers through such sites. Moreover, trust is crucial in business, and building relationships with clients will cumulate that trust for you.

A study by the African Journal of Business Management found that commitment tends to grow along with trust. So you should take an interest in your clients and their business. Simply providing a service is not long enough. You further need to start building shared values with clients and showing you take an interest in them and their success.

2. Let your interest in the leads be consistent:

Though every business loses some customers virtually, not all of them measure or recognize how many of their customers become inactive. Ironically, many businesses spend lavishly on building that initial customer relationship. Then they leave that relationship unattended, in some cases even losing interest as soon as the sale is made. The easiest way to grow your business is to avoid losing your customers. Once you stop the emanation, it’s often possible to increase your growth rate quite efficaciously.

3. Identify customer expectations:

Set expectations early and lower than you can provide, so that you can eradicate uncertainty as to the level of service you need to offer to ensure your clients’ satisfaction. This technique enables your company to ensure you are always over delivering.

Since clients tend to remember negative experiences, so, your client will no doubt cite a negative experience as a reason to cancel his or her contract with you.

4. Use a rolling calendar of communication:

Building relationships with your customers are not enough! You need to be in touch using a rolling calendar of communications. This is a programmed series of emails, events, phone calls, “thank you’s”, special offers, follow-ups, magic moments, and cards or notes with a personal touch etc. that ensure constantly and automatically at pre-decided points in the pre-sales, sales, and post-sales process.

People not only respond to this in a positive manner, they really appreciate it because they feel valued. It acknowledges them, keeps them updated, offsets customer remorse, augments the reason they’re doing business with you and makes them feel part of your business and that too an important one!

5. Implement a monthly email marketing campaign and start a blog:

Email your existing customers once every month. Touch base with them, keep them updated with your services and share a couple of great articles you believe will help them profit from their business. You should also link to your articles as a way to drive your customers to your blog.

Write a weekly article on something interesting, say, an accomplishment you feel your customers would value. However, you need to be consistent with your blog. You need to start using it as a medium to build relationships with your customers.

How is live chat better than phone and email support?

Live chat has become a turning point in a customer’s shopping ride and while making purchase decisions. It really gratifies the customer to such an extent that just having a live chat icon at your website boosts the confidence of the customer. He is happy that just like in a real store front, here at the website also there is some one “live” to help him out, in a fix.

Continue reading “How is live chat better than phone and email support?”

Strategies for generating B2B leads online: II

1. Content Marketing:

Content marketing refers to the marketing focused on creating, publishing and distributing content to online targeted audience.It is a crucial element for B2B lead generation. It is often used by businesses in order to attract attention, generate leads, expand their customer base, generate online sales, increase brand awareness or engage an online community of users. While pursuing content marketing, the main focus of the businesses should be the needs of the prospect or customer.

Once a business has identified the customer’s need, information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video,white papers, e-books, infographics, email newsletters, case studies, podcasts, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, blogs, etc. The appropriate type of content for any business will depend on the business’ goals and target customer.

Content marketing
Content marketing

2. Search engine marketing:

Search engine marketing includes both paid search results (using tools like Google Adwords or Bing Ads, formerly known as Microsoft ad-center) and organic search results (SEO) and plays a crucial rule in B2B lead generation. It includes the following steps:

  • Keyword research and analysis: It involves ensuring the site can be indexed in the search engines, finding the most relevant and popular keywords for the site and its products, and using those keywords on the site in a way that will generate and convert traffic.
  •  Website saturation and popularity: It means how much presence a website has on search engines, can be analyzed through the number of pages of the site that are indexed by search engines (saturation) and how many back links the site has (popularity).
  • Back end tools: These include Web analytic tools and HTML validators which provide data on a website and its visitors and allow the success of a website to be measured.
  • Whois tools: They reveal the owners of various websites and can provide valuable information relating to copyright and trademark issues.
  • Google Mobile-Friendly Website Checker: This test will analyze a URL and report if the page has a mobile-friendly design.
Search engine marketing
Search engine marketing

 

 

Strategies for generating B2B leads online: I

In the previous post we talked about B2B lead generation and its components. Now let’s take a look at the strategies that can be employed to generate leads online:

1.Email marketing:

It refers to sending a commercial message to a group of people (typically potential or current customers), using email. It basically inculcates the use of email to send advertisements, request business, or solicit sales or donations, and is meant to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness. Email marketing can be carried out using:

  •  Transactional emails: These emails are usually triggered based on a customer’s action with a company. To be qualified as transactional or relationship messages, these communications’ primary purpose must be to confirm a commercial transaction that the recipient has previously agreed to enter into with the sender, along with a few other narrow definitions of transactional messaging.
  • Direct email: It involves sending an email solely to communicate a promotional message (for example, an announcement of a special offer or a catalog of products).
  •  Mobile email marketing: It develops large amounts of traffic through smartphones and tablets.
Email-Marketing
Email-Marketing

2. Social marketing:

This type of marketing involves leveraging social media to generate leads online. Businesses can use it to generate and nurture millions of dollars worth of leads. As a matter of fact, one of the most obvious ways to generate B2B leads from social media is using LinkedIn. Since social media is an integral part of content marketing, and to some extent, search marketing, so, your blogging or info graphics can be extremely successful if you are active on social media platforms.

In order to integrate social networks into their marketing strategies, companies have to develop a marketing model. One such model includes the following steps:

  • Selection of the correct social networks to use
  • Setting out a financial plan for hiring social media brand managers or consultants
  • Designing organizational structures to manage the social network in the companies’ market
  • Selection of target markets
  • Selection of the products, services, brands or company messages that you plan to promote
  • Performance measures for the social media strategy such as evaluation, data analytics, etc.

 

Social marketing
Social marketing