Attracting and nurturing loyal customers mirrors the work done by missionaries who have sought to attract, convert, and activate disciples through the ages.
Each company manages its customers’ experience differently. Some popular models used by companies are the conversion funnel, CRM, and design thinking-based experience models. In many companies, particularly larger ones, it's common to find a blend of these models.
Customer experience models help organize work and focus employees. But over time, these models can get over-engineered or convoluted by modifications through the natural course of business. As it gets knottier, we recruit more analysts and install more sophisticated metric systems to help us make sense of it.
Let's pause for a minute. And ask: Does our effort and measurement truly tie back to a company's mission? And can it be done in a simpler way?
To answer these questions, we looked outside the business realm for inspiration. We found a solution from an unlikely source. The missionaries who ventured into foreign lands with purpose in mind and with hope in their hearts. Across the ages, missionaries maintained a simple strategy to achieve their mission.
The Union Marketing views the business of managing a client experience in the same way missionaries viewed their work. We boil it down to three phases of a client experience journey, the same three our missionary counterparts employed:
1. Win converts
2. Acclimate and delight new clients into the user experience
3. Foster advocacy through a great service infrastructure
Every aspect of the customer experience journey, irrespective of industry or company, could be assigned to these three phases of our customer experience model. By simplifying the process, we gain better visibility of the critical customer actions to focus on for each phase. It also separates bigger company-level decisions from local ones, and helping gain support from the C-suite to frontline staff.
There are many interesting stories of missionaries who went astray as they went about their mission in new territories. They took on an increasing number of humanitarian activities, stretching their resources. Admittedly, some activities were questionable. Brands, too, can lose focus on what matters as projects expand and measurement gets more detailed. A good sign is when a brand’s activities and its metrics are easy to follow and clearly trace back to its mission.
For help creating, or simplifying, your brand experience, please call us on (484) 238 6585 or email us.
Added insight on a mission:
A mission implies both intent and movement. An intent without movement is just an idea, and a movement without intent is busyness (and is, likely, misdirected). A mission therefore brings action and intent together and when a business has a good mission, it lays a foundation to build a powerful brand experience.
Like many services businesses, the legal industry faces interesting challenges today. Many corporate clients have shifted work in-house and changes in commerce demand new practice areas. These changes pose a strategic challenge for big and small legal firms alike. What does a new revenue and service model look like? And what kind of talent should be attracted and retained? These questions are integral to revamping a business strategy but it all starts with knowing the client.
At a recent engagement, a senior partner at a mid-sized legal firm asked how they should think about prospective clients. This company earned its strong reputation by serving mid-sized companies and has done a remarkable job of growing its client base. Over the years, these mid-sized clients have grown in size, stretching this legal firm into the big leagues. So the partner asked: Where should we focus our client pipeline? Should we stick to mid-sized businesses or evolve into serving large companies?
Our answer might surprise some.
We said it should not be an either/or decision. It should be both. And it is a good idea to reframe the opportunity. First, define the profile of an ideal client. For a B2B business such as this legal firm, this would be a description of a client company that allows this firm to accent their specific strengths. Second, define the immediate periphery of clients that might also need these strengths. Together this becomes their target market.
If defined well, the ideal client will likely be too small of a business opportunity. That is why we explore the immediate periphery of potential clients, expanding the opportunity. Defining a target market as both the ideal client and its immediate periphery allows a company to play to its strengths and have courage to walk away from clients who could be better served elsewhere. When you pick your customers well, the likelihood of success increases.
So why have an ideal client in mind? Visualizing that ideal client keeps everyone’s eye on the ball. From the CEO, to the CFO, to the HRO, to the junior associate burning the midnight oil, everyone is on common ground. Defining an ideal client gives the team a concrete and relatable guide rail to what your values are, what your culture is, what your competencies are, and how to invest for the future.
Yesterday we consulted with a client on their website and their search presence. This not-for-profit organization, like most outfits of its type, does incredible work on a shoestring budget. To provide the best and most responsible service to them, we kept the consultation to a list of five essentials for their CEO to action.
Before we share this list, let us tell you what this looked like inside our heads. It was like taking a engine that is built with a sophisticated, robust network of parts - our digital marketing strategy system - and then hammering away at it to find the essentials for a healthy web presence.
Here’s the list we reviewed with this CEO:
Check Google and Bing searches and ensure your company name, two-line description and contact details are on point.
Optimize title and headers to sell your pitch. They should tell your story without the body copy.
Limit to 6 items or fewer (who can remember more?). Weight in favor of client solutions (programs, activities, happenings, etc.) before your company information (About, Contact, etc.)
4. All web pages
Check titles, headers and ensure there is a call-to-action for every page.
Choose images that tell a story or support an emotion you want to evoke. Eliminate any images that are not doing this. Add photo captions to optimize search.
So that was our list. The CEO loved the list as it was focused and actionable. Behind this simple list is a lot more marketing and technology strategy that could be expounded upon, but this not-for-profit didn't have the time or resources beyond basic blocking and tackling. What would be on your list of website essentials? We welcome your thoughts.
@smunthree | The Union Marketing Group | www.theunionmarketing.com
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