Consumers today are informed through multiple channels before they become customers. Businesses spend a great deal of effort and expense to drive traffic through a variety of marketing methods. And most businesses miss out on key moments with these prospects by failing to provide interactive and engaging methods to turn these prospects into customers or provide excellent service. This problem increases when multiple customer facing channels are employed, such as a company website, social media fan pages or email marketing campaigns.
This trend is largely driven by the amount of information available to consumers and business purchasers prior to making a purchase. These sources include sites that rate products, services, or companies, input from friends on social networking sites, and your company website and marketing collateral. An April 2011 Google study suggests that the average shopper has nearly doubled the number of sources they use to make a purchase decision from 5.3 sources in 2010 to 10.4 sources in 2011. This represents an increasing challenge for small businesses to have a voice with consumers today as the number of information channels continue to increase. (Google/Shopper Sciences, Zero Moment of Truth Macro Study, U.S., April 2011)
Listening is the first step to understanding how your company’s products, services, and overall reputation appear to the info-savy consumer across various communication channels like your website, social media, or product ratings. Once you’ve put a monitoring strategy in place, you can form a strategy around how to ensure that you’re maximizing company communications and customer touch points across all of these communication channels.
One key element to any strategy for managing communications across is to segment and analyze the current customer and prospect data you do have. What sources did your current customers list as ones that influenced their decision to purchase your products or services? How many times did your company communicate with your current customers? What communications were the most impactful in their decision to purchase from you?
To help manage this dizzying array of data , it’s important to have a solid monitoring and Contact Management (CM) system in place so that you can effectively track, record, segment, and analyze this data to create a winning strategy for your business.