As we enter another year of global uncertainty, everyone is searching for something positive — including your customers.
As the pandemic continues to upend our expectations, brands are finding that consistency has become more essential. And with more options than ever, consumers find it easier to write off a brand after a negative experience.
For the 12th consecutive year, the strength of consumer relationships and trust in brands have declined. According to the Havas’ Meaningful Brands Report, a survey of 395,000 consumers found that 75% of brands could disappear and be easily replaced.
If you are able to make a good impression on your customers, they are much more likely to remain loyal. In a study by Qualtrics, 62% of respondents said that businesses need to care more about them. The study also found that after a positive customer experience, consumers are 3.5 times more likely to purchase from that business and five times more likely to recommend it to others.
As competition for customers continues to grow, you have to work harder to keep yours around. Here’s what you should prioritize in the new year to avoid the Great Customer Resignation, and how ZoomInfo can help.
Prioritize the Customer Experience
Improving customer service and support should be at the top of your list for 2022. Think about your purchasing cycle, from interest to implementation. Where do you see the biggest gaps in customer satisfaction? Are you able to respond to support requests quickly or does it take days? Where do you have the most frequent customer complaints and how do you plan to address them?
“Competition in terms of product and price is more fierce than ever,” says Dominic Constandi, senior vice president of customer success at ZoomInfo. “The loyalty gap lies in the customer experience, and it is absolutely paramount.”
According to Zendesk, 82% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company because of bad customer service. Making continuous improvements to your support offerings, not just during a sales or marketing push, is key to customer retention.
Additionally, consider which channels you’re using to communicate with your customers. Do they have to bend over backward to get in touch with a service representative? If you don’t have ample support options, such as chat, email, and phone, you could be driving your customers away.
As with hiring, how you onboard new customers can make or break the relationship. Customer trust and retention is built through good communication and service. Both of these should be prioritized in your onboarding.
According to Wyzowl data, effective onboarding after a purchase can increase loyalty in 86% of consumers. Walking your customers through an informative onboarding process ensures that they thoroughly understand your product and its opportunities.
Hosting onboarding content in one easily accessible location is another great way to improve the onboarding experience. Provide on-demand content, like tutorial videos and an FAQ page, or build out a more robust online education platform. Offer continuing education, like webinars, when a new product or feature is added. These options give your customers the freedom to learn at their own pace, along with an easy self-service portal if future problems arise.
Further, ensure that your implementation and training meet your customers’ needs by following up with a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey or other customer satisfaction gauge. In addition to an NPS survey, reach out to customers for feedback on a semi-annual basis. And most important, any time a customer calls in for help, send them a follow-up survey to check if their needs were met. Collect this data to help identify potential gaps in service, product knowledge, or support.
Meet Customers Where They Are
Your organization should meet consumers where they do business. With the continuing uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, virtual interactions remain the primary means of customer contact — and the preferred sales method for 92% of B2B buyers. Plus, virtual sales allow for a faster, more cost-effective sales process and connects you with a greater number of prospects than in-person selling would allow.
Not only are customer expectations higher, but they’re also providing more feedback on more channels than ever before. Consequently, according to the Qualtrics study, 63% of consumers believe companies need to get better at listening to customer feedback.
Using social listening — the process of tracking mentions of certain words or phrases across social channels or the web — helps you hear your customers to build more meaningful relationships. You can capture their feedback and use their comments, messages, and reviews to make improvements.
ZoomInfo’s Intent data can help B2B marketers better understand the wants and needs of customers and prospects. Intent aggregates online research activity to identify which prospect accounts are searching for a product like yours, allowing you to reach out at the right time. It can also assess when your current customers may be looking to jump ship, giving you the opportunity to mend the relationship.
Data Done Right
Personalization is key in every step of the selling process, but it shouldn’t stop once you’ve onboarded your customers. Use the data at your fingertips to make customers feel known and heard so that every interaction drives a connection.
With our Scoops feature, you can keep tabs on your current and potential customers. You’re able to see industry, company size, and contract details, along with actionable intelligence leads, like funding and project information. With this tailored information, you can create campaigns to target specific personas, or use the right data to make sure your messaging sticks. This will help you initiate conversations that matter to prospects and build stronger relationships with your customers.
The pandemic has created a wave of entrepreneurs looking to disrupt established industries. The increasing competition and customer expectations means you need to work harder to solidify customer loyalty. As you lay out your 2022 business strategy, focus on these relationship-building tips to ensure a fruitful year — no matter what’s next.