When we look at creating a great customer engagement model, what we’re actually doing is taking a proactive step towards strengthening your business. The point of putting a model together is to help you, as the business owner, understand what the most memorable part of the sale was for your customer; who in your business was part of this memorable interaction; and what the objective is that you hope to achieve through each of these memorable interactions going forward. When a business structures a fantastic customer engagement model, they can scale it to suit the size of their team as it grows.
A successful customer engagement model must include a few basic components:
- It needs to be flexible. That means working around the different stages of a customer’s buying cycle and being prepared for unforeseeable customer interactions.
- It should start at the ‘time of sale’.
- A good model should also keep the business owner focused on answering three key questions about every customer: How does this customer measure value? Are they achieving that value? Are we, as a business, encouraging an experience that will lead to customer loyalty?
From there, a business owner can look at the critical phases of every successful customer engagement model: the onboarding and the ongoing phases of a customer’s purchase cycle.
The onboarding phase means getting your customers off on the right foot. It gives you and your customer a way to agree on how you’ll measure value going forward (in the ongoing phase). An example of the onboarding phase would be if your customer meets your team for the first time, (over Skype or FaceTime) to discuss the expectations going forward, or if they download an app that enables them to start using your product. This phase is all about efficiency.
The ongoing phase is about making sure your customers achieve the objectives set out during the onboarding phase. These can be measured by time-based experiences (quarterly business reviews) or event-based experiences (logging onto your company’s support desk).
With these basics in mind, you can begin to build a great customer engagement model for your business.