Articles Tagged ‘Online engagement’

The Power of Stories

Monday, March 19th, 2012

So how do you build your own offline and online story to uniquely position your business or organization in the best possible light? It’s not a simple question to answer but I’d like to share with you a few strategies to improve your chances of engaging customers, prospects, and the media you seek to engage.

First, find, gather, and document compelling stories from existing customers. Having spent over 11 years in the direct sales industry offering telecom and advertising services, I can tell you that my best customer prospects were those who believed not so much in me, but the third party stories and testimonials from other happy clients I’d already worked with. The use of well matched stories helped to greatly lower the initial perceived risk level in their mind.

It was pretty simple: in the forst few minutes a prospective customer on the phone or in a face-to-face meeting knew that I was there to discover if I could match my offering to a need or want they possibly had.

Since I was tagged as a salesman immediately, I knew their were already two strikes against me and no matter how good my presentation skills were, I always felt more confident by sharing third party success stories to quickly establish maximum credibility. To earn an appointment or possible deal I quickly learned that strong marketing materials , especially written and video testimonials, were the foundations to our marketing success.

A second area to investigate regarding building a great story for your company or organization is to ask your current customers to reveal why they chose to work with you. You’ll be stunned at how much incredible feedback (good and sometimes bad) that they’ll share in helping you to craft your unique story from their viewpoint and not just your own.

A third and final approach to employ in helping you craft your unique story or reason for being in business is to ask powerful questions based on the customers point of view. A few questions you should continually be thinking about and asking include:

*Why should prospects choose or trust to do business with us?

*If someone looks at our website, direct marketing tools or offers, is there a strong enough set of reasons or compelling story for them to strongly consider using or choosing us?

*If a prospect finds online, what’s the process for them to engage us and maintain interest in the first 5-10 seconds?

*Does our online presence engage, activate, and educate or do potential prospects visit once and never return?

There you have it. As legendary marketing mind Seth Godin says,“All marketers are storytellers!”

Tony Rubleski
Mind Capture
616-638-39121
www.mindcapturegroup.com

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Creating a Better Experience Using the Patagonia Playbook

Monday, April 11th, 2011

kylepic

I was recently posed a question by Austin Wechter, campaign director at MindFrame, on how nonprofits and companies could utilize the experience of Patagonia Customer Service in their marketing and communication. It was such an interesting concept…. I had to write about it.

Here is what Austin experienced.

1) I was shopping for product on patagonia.com
2) I couldn’t find my size. However, a chat bubble popped up… I talked to agent… and they found one in the warehouse for me.
3) I bought, they shipped, I received, and Patagonia made me look good.
4) After the initial purchase, I received an email from Patagonia asking about my purchase.
5) I replied and wrote review. I had the ability to upload picture of me wearing product, or video, could also post review to Facebook.
6) Once my review was submitted, questions about the product were shown to see if I had any similar issues or questions.
Brilliant system isn’t it? This gives you an example of how the sales process, customer service development, and customer reviews should act and deliver. The concept is customer centric and is developed to help the customer tell a better story after the sales process is completed.

Let’s look at how this process would work through a nonprofit.

1) I was reading about an initiative at coolnonprofit.org. I couldn’t figure out which initiative to support.
2) A chat bubble popped up and donor support helped me make a decision (automated or not)
3) After I complete the online giving (information provided for mobile and email) I receive an email thanking me for my gift with links to the online community and more information.
4) The email also asks for my story on why I gave to this initiative.
5) My story is approved and posted on the CoolNonProfit Blog. Once the story is posted, I receive another email asking me to share my story with my network.
6) A few weeks later, I receive a mobile text stating that my contribution helped save 450 children in South Africa.
What is important about both the processes? They involve the customer and the donor in the sales process, ask about the experience, and respond to the individual after the purchase. On top of that… they are collecting every piece of data relating to the experience of Customer A and Donor B.

I’m pretty sure… Austin will purchase from Patagonia again and I will give to CoolNonProfit next year when funds are needed to change the world.

What are you doing to enhance your customer/donor experience?

kyle lacy, ceo
brandswag corp
(blog) www.kylelacy.com
(web) www.getbrandswag.com
(join) www.smallerindiana.com
(tweet) kyleplacy

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