Tag: marketing

29 Dec 2016
customer segmentation analysis

Customer segmentation analysis: why it matters and how to make it count

No matter how large and diverse your customer base is, you can be sure your customers all have one trait in common: each one of them is unique. True, singularity may sound like an odd choice for a universal attribute, but consider this: while some marketers haven’t recognized the truth that every customer is unique, you can bet the customer knows it. It’s safe to say that every customer expects to be treated accordingly, as an individual.

This fact is true in the most exclusive high-end brick-and-mortar boutique, and it’s no less true for the online marketer serving large numbers of consumers. Obviously, though, turning that customer experience goal into a reality is a little trickier for the online business.

That’s where customer segmentation analysis comes into play.

How customer segmentation analysis puts the focus on each customer

The concept is straightforward enough. Customer segmentation simply means grouping a portion – or segment – of a company’s customers together based on any number and type of shared attributes. Rather than market as if all customers are created equal, with customer segmentation analysis businesses can sharpen messages for each segment, thereby relating to the members of each group in the way that is most likely to connect with them.

For the customer, that means a more satisfying customer journey. For the business, it means an opportunity to maximize the value of each customer segment – and the lifetime value of each individual customer. That’s critical, because customer segmentation analysis allows marketers to pay special attention to the highest value customers – the ones who determine the success of a business in the long run, as has been famously demonstrated in the 80/20 rule, also known as Pareto’s Principle, which is explored by Dr. Elizabeth Rush Kruger in an article on ManagerWise. That 80/20 distribution has been applied successfully to countless endeavors, but for marketers it has long meant that 20 percent of customers are responsible for 80 percent of sales or profits, a ratio that even has Dr. Kruger arguing that marketers should focus on the 20 percent and forget the rest.

Not every marketer would go that far, but the point certainly illustrates the importance of strategic segmentation analysis. When using an intelligent self-service solution like Nanorep, you can make use of channeling to ensure the right path for your customer, and to see to it that high-value queries are escalated to the right human-assisted channel. This is segmentation and omni-channel service at its best.

Selecting the right variables for your segmentation analysis

Thanks to today’s cutting-edge tech solutions that provide unparalleled customer analytics and customer journey mapping, it’s possible for marketers to slice and dice a company’s customer base into a virtually unlimited range of segments. These can include the most basic ones, such as age, gender, geography, income and education, and other key demographics, as well as crucial information about the customers’ relationship with the business. For example, how frequently do they make a purchase? How recently? What is the total number of purchases they have made? The total revenue and the total profit? How many new customers have they referred?

By digging deeper into the data for increasingly sophisticated segmentation analysis, it’s possible to create ever more precise affinity groups and craft ever more precise messages to reach them – in other words, we can begin to understand what’s unique about those customers.

Benefits beyond marketing

While the benefits of focused marketing messages are clear and compelling, segmentation analysis also pays off throughout the company, from product development to customer service and sales.

With the heightened understanding of how each subset of customers behaves on their customer journeys, what motivates them, and how they respond to specific products, companies can key in on possible quality issues or gaps in their product lines. Similarly, the information gleaned from segmentation analysis can reveal opportunities for upselling or cross-selling, and shift focusing efforts to pursuing the highest quality revenues.

In addition to helping businesses understand their current customers, however, customer segmentation analysis can also be a powerful tool for identifying and targeting new prospects, focusing on people who share the attributes of key segments.

Nanorep’s smart self-service a winning combination with segmentation

Seeing beyond what your customers tell you means you need to listen to their voices. Knowing what they actually think, based on how they interact with your brand, is the key to understanding your customers in a real and meaningful way. Nanorep’s Voice of the Customer analytics gives you a global view of customer voices and frequently unanswered questions.

These robust analytics map out your customers’ concerns and queries in real-time in a visual manner, allowing you to watch trends and follow the ways in which your content is accessed. Beyond the traditional abilities to learn from these analytics and optimize your customer service, you can use VoC to track the ways (and which types of) data is consumed by customers and segment out key demographics. Harnessing the power of AI, Nanorep’s self-service solution can even provide different answers to the same question based on context, understanding of intent, and details of the customer interested in the information. The ability to understand customer needs by segment combines with personalization and sophisticated technology to exponentially improve the customer journey.

Keeping an eye on the big picture as well

Those finely-tuned segments have yet another critically important lesson to offer discerning marketers. They clearly spell out the relative value and impact of each of the segments, definitively showing what percentage of revenues or profits relate back to each group. That provides marketers with valuable intelligence to guide decision-making – and maybe to test out that old 80/20 rule.

27 Oct 2016
Facebook fail - customer service metrics to focus on

Facebook Fail: why customer service metrics matter so much for marketers these days

Three seconds. What can you do in three seconds? Not a whole lot it would seem. Three seconds isn’t enough time to apply lipstick, nor is it enough time to check your phone. It’s not even a sufficient amount of time to update your Facebook status. But apparently it’s enough time to effectively evaluate whether or not a video has been viewed by any particular user.

What actually constitutes a “view” on Facebook

Facebook owes a nice chunk of their revenue and growth altogether to the fact that historically, they have been able to claim bragging rights when it comes to being the platform that gets the most views per video. In a tight space that includes potent competitors like Vine and YouTube, metrics such as this can mean a whole lot when it comes to where companies place their marketing dollars. But the way some platforms measure ”views” was always a bit amorphous and ad buyers and marketers apparently never thought to stop and question just what Facebook constituted as a “view.”

Well, long story short, now we know – While Vine measures a view as having watched an entire video (which last up to all of six seconds) and YouTube clocks in at 30 seconds, since 2014 Facebook has felt that a mere three seconds was enough to consider a video as “viewed”. According to the Wall Street Journal, this elastic definition used by Facebook’s video metrics has likely led marketers to overestimate the average time spent watching videos on the platform by 60-80 percent.

Inaccurate Customer Service Metrics = A Shaky Foundation

The backlash Facebook experienced isn’t very surprising. Undoubtedly, many marketers misjudged the performance of their video material and the inflated rates surely caused teams to place too much emphasis on Facebook alone. David Fischer, VP of Business and Marketing Partnerships at Facebook apologized for the faux pas that influenced business decisions for two years, saying “While this is only one of the many metrics marketers look at, we take any mistake seriously.”

It’s true that looking at total views is just one of the many metrics that marketers evaluate in their quest to create a complete picture of what’s taking place within a brand. The thing about metrics is that each individual marker on its own is useless. Think about your individual markers as bricks. Here is one brick – “How many people visited your site on October 15th?” Here’s another for you – “How many shares did your last blog post get?” “Have calls to customer service increased or decreased in the last month?” is another potentially important marker. But each on its own is limited in its usefulness, telling a very small part of the larger story of your brand, just as individual bricks strewn across the ground are little more than stumbling blocks. Put them all together though and a structure begins to emerge. And if one of them is wrong, misleading, or over/under emphasized, your structure is likely to be far less stable than it would be if the foundation were properly grounded.

Metrics Make Marketing a Science

Before the concept of big data came around, marketers had no choice but to rely on shoddy, half-proved figures to attempt to measure success. But today, with all the information that companies can potentially draw from their resources if they understand how and where to look, there is simply no room for inaccuracy. As marketing maven Jayson DeMers says “Measurement is what makes marketing a science, rather than a superstition.” Accurate metrics move your brand from merely pitching blindfolded guesses to making highly educated decisions backed by hard core data. Proper markers yield the power to take action exactly where it’s needed the most and optimize a customer’s journey with your brand. Most importantly, if something can be measured, chances are it can be improved.

The Customer Service Metrics you should be Focusing on

Now that you understand why accurate metrics are critical when it comes to getting crystal clear insight into the true state of relationships with your customers, let’s take a quick peek at some of the most important metrics you need to keep a close and regular eye on. Tracking views on videos can certainly yield some, if extremely limited, insights into your customers and their satisfaction with your brand but the following metrics provide far more salient data:

Now that you understand why accurate metrics are critical when it comes to getting crystal clear insight into the true state of relationships with your customers, let’s take a quick peek at some of the most important metrics you need to keep a close and regular eye on. Tracking views on videos can certainly yield some, if extremely limited, insights into your customers and their satisfaction with your brand but the following metrics provide far more salient data:

Rep/Agent-based activity metrics:

Are your reps/agents able to get the information they need to help customers in a fast and seamless way? Are they able to handle problems themselves because they have access to the knowledge they need or do they need to refer to supervisors, which delays the process?

Customer expectations metric:

At the end of interactions, provide quick and easy channels for feedback. Find out if customers’ experience with your brand met their expectations, exceeded them or fell short.

Customer retention rates:

How well does your brand hold on to customers? Getting new customers is nice but a much greater indicator of success is found in the ability to hold on to existing customers.

Issue resolution time:

Are customers able to find the information they need on their own in real time? Or do they need to sift through virtual piles of information to find the answers they need? If they need to upgrade to an agent, are their issues resolved within the initial interaction or do they need to make contact numerous times?

Overall customer service satisfaction rate:

Once again, provide channels for feedback and find out how likely customers are to recommend your brand to friends, if their experience was a positive one and if they plan on returning to your site.

You don’t need to look to Facebook or their video statistics to collect metrics like these, the ones that provide a much more accurate and complete picture of how effective your brand is at delivering experiences that keep customers coming back time and again. Checking in on a regular basis with these metrics will keep your pulse on the true state of your customers’ experience and will help you determine the best course of action to deliver experiences that will create loyal customers for life.

21 Jul 2016
12 Things You Must Know About Marketing to Millennial Generation Consumers

12 Things You Must Know About Marketing to Millennial Generation Consumers

The very word strikes fear in the heart of marketing managers and analysts alike. Millennials consumers, ages 21-34, one third of whom hold college degrees, making them the most educated generation in the history of this country and 85 percent of whom own smartphones which they use them at least 45 times a day are poised to wield $1.3 trillion in buying power by 2018. Obviously reaching this group, born hooked on social media, with iPhones in their hands, is critical for the long term survival of most brands.

Yet most marketers fail to reach millennials consumers generation. Why?

Not only are they failing to reach them, they are completely off mark about what motivates and what speaks to this tech-savvy, socially-minded group of consumers. Many a digital marketing manager assumes that by slapping emojis on packaging and displaying a Twitter handle, they’ll come across as understanding what makes Gen Y tick. But they have got it all wrong.

Here is the other thing about this device obsessed group – they can smell empty messages mile away, a natural result of growing up in an over-exposed digital society. To really appeal to millennials, you have to deliver an authentic message, crafted with their interests, rather than your pocket, in mind. Here are some tips, culled from the experts about how to create a message that resonates with this ever-important demographic group.

So how can you win the millennial generation consumer?

  • Millennial consumers love their tech – As we mentioned above, millennials are true digital natives. Many of them don’t remember what life was like before iPhones, let alone the Internet. As such, the fact that they are constantly connected, though it might seem overindulgent to other demographic groups, is totally warranted. And simply put, if you want to reach millennials, you MUST rock your digital marketing to millennials game. Their very lives are a digital experience. This group shops for clothing, gadgets and even groceries online. They communicate via text based apps like whatsapp and Facebook messenger. Know this above all when you think about creating your game plan to reach them.
  • Millennials live to share and inform. Having grown up in a Facebook world, sharing information is simply second nature to millennials. In fact they do it all day, mostly without even thinking about it. They snap pictures to Instagram and Snapchat all day and they share their thoughts constantly via Facebook and Twitter.  This urge to share can have huge ramifications for a brand. Delight them, they’ll tell their friends on all their networks ASAP. Make them angry, and well, their friend will know about it and so will all their friend’s friends… You get the picture. Remember this power of sharing with each interaction.
  • Some love to become brand evangelists – Among this group of sharing-inclined consumers, an elite few are uber-sharers. These are the people with the potential to become brand evangelists. Not only do they sing praises from digital mountain tops for the brands they love, they get others charged as well. This authentic word of mouth marketing is worth it’s weight in gold. There isn’t any good way to sort out who among your customers has the potential to become the one who others will turn to regarding your brand – so treat them all as if they could be that “one” – soon enough that digital mountaintop will start getting pretty crowded.
  • Their experience isn’t linear. As a matter of fact, our society and its values are not the same as they were 20 years ago. As such, today’s millennial isn’t necessarily thinking about settling down or making huge purchases like homes any time soon. Some look to spend their free time giving to causes and others want to spend their free time traveling and experiencing life hands on. The point is that while millennials generation might be all grown up, it’s not the same linear delve into adulthood that other demographic groups once apron a time experienced. Understand their reality when you try to reach them or you’ll be out of touch.
  • They don’t have the same social groups – Speaking of their delve into adulthood, they tend to see themselves through different societal lenses then marketers might expect. Generation millennials dedicated to their own “causes” regardless of how lofty or mundane a cause it might be. They expect that the brands they give their hard-earned money to will also be socially-conscious as they want to be.
  • They love to experience things first hand Millennials are masters of testing the waters. While they love to hear about great experiences their friends have, what they really crave is jumping right into the thick of the action. Giving them an experience they can sink their teeth into speaks to this nuance of their collective personality.
  • They need to control their experiences – Just as this generation love to experience things first hand, they really want to be the ones calling the shots while having their experience. They want to control how and where they find information and how it’s delivered to them. Giving them the self-service tools to control their experiences while they are on your site is exactly what the doctor ordered.
  • Millennial will be paying off loans for a long time – Millennials have the dubious distinction of being one of the worst off demographic groups when it comes to gaining their financial independence. Recent studies show that the average college grad is $40,000 in the red, a full 10,000 bucks worse off than their elders were when they graduated university 10 years ago. Inevitably, this impacts their buying habits. Or at least it should. Though it might seem like Millennials don’t really give much thought to their buying habits, they don’t have the financial freedom to snap up every cool gadget that comes out. Make sure your offering is actually worth it to their limited budgets.
  • They see through marketing, they don’t trust traditional advertising – Chalk it up to the fact that Millennials have been fed a strict diet of social media and blogs their entire lives – it’s really no wonder that traditional marketing tactics are pretty much useless when it comes to influencing Millennials. And very often, these interruptive tactics turn them off. They skip commercials with their TIVOs and block online ads on websites. In fact, studies show that a dwindling 1 percent of Millennials are influenced by TV and print ads. Don’t waste your millennial marketing bucks here.
  • Millennials do trust their friends – While traditional means don’t grab them worth a dime. Millennials trust what they hear from their friends. Word of mouth recommendations from friends and positive reviews from trusted blogs means worlds more to them than banner ads, tv commercials and magazine spreads ever could. What real life messages are your customers passing on about your brand?
  • They love gathering useful content that speaks to them. Another facet of this sharing obsessed culture is that they also love to pass on valuable content to their friends. They love passing on engaging relevant and original content in the form of blogs, articles, videos, games, you name it – as long as it’s something captivating and useful it can be shared. Creating shareable content is a great way to gain exposure in a way that resonates with this group in a real way.
  • Millennials Generation spend more – More time and more money online, that is. On average, Millennials spend about $2000 more on online spending and on IRL spending than other demographic groups do. And just as you would imagine, they use their devices to check prices online as they shop and make purchasing decisions. Sure, hipster girl might love your pale blue vintage dress with the little pink flowers but she can and will look for it on other sites to make sure she is getting the very best deal. Make sure to bake value into each and every product to keep them focused on your brand.

When marketing to millennials, above all keep it real and show this generation who you really are. Get to know them personally and let them know about you and what your brand stands for.

 

And they will come back for more.

16 Mar 2015
How to Retain Customers

How to Retain Customers

Attracting new customers will cost your business 5 times more than keeping an existing customer according to Lee Resource Inc. So although you should always keep your eyes on the customer acquisition prize, neglecting to build a strategy to improve retention and satisfaction for your existing customers isn’t just bad for your brand, but hurting your bottom line and killing each future sale. 

Investing in customer retention can greatly impact your profitability. According to Bain and Co., a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%. These stats show the value of a sale to your current customer is tremendous. 

Now that we’ve sold you on why you need to focus on retention, here are some strategies to build a plan that will increase your customer satisfaction and guarantee future, repeat sales.

Respond Quickly to Customer Complaints

Your clients value their time, do you? In order to build the kind of trust necessary between your business and your customers, you have to show them that their time matters and that their complaints will be dealt with and resolved in a timely manner. In fact, 71% of online shoppers shared feedback that valuing their time is the most important thing a business can do to provide good service, according to Forrester Research. 

Whatever the answer, the faster the better according to your customers. Time is money and the era of multi-tasking, omni-channel engagements requires that you provide instantaneous support before you clients seek the answers and speed that they need elsewhere. Build trust in your business. When your customers need resolution, they should be able to count on your business to deliver satisfaction. 

Create Friction-less Experiences

If your service channels aren’t a “friction free zone” you are risking your customers’ satisfaction and jeopardizing retention efforts. Not to mention ruining trust and the possibility for future sales. Friction can be defined as any time your customer:

  • Has to wait for resolution
  • Is ineffectually re-routed
  • Has to repeat their complaint
  • Engages with a negative response
  • Doesn’t find resolution

The best way to ensure that your clients won’t have an uncomfortable experience with your business is to employ a self-service solution. You can immediately deflect the top-funnel, repetitive questions with immediacy, regardless of the touch point they choose when engaging. Then for more urgent questions, you can re-channel to the right agent with the right skillset, immediately deliver the initial query for fast resolution. 

Self-service can also provide personalized answers based on CRM data and individualized responses according to geo-location. So you aren’t just deflecting the general questions, but more account specific queries. This not only increases customer retention by creating a friction free environment, but helps lessen the queues and wait times in your call center. Everyone wins, including your bottom line. 

Kill the Groundhog Day Effect

No disrespect to Bill Murray or that 90s classic about reliving the same day over and over again. But when dealing with your customers, making them repeat their complaint at every touchpoint is a huge turn off and will not help you build a better retention rate or trust. This happens because your support processes are not streamlined nor optimized to remove the bureaucracy from your customer care. 

You can picture it clearly, a client, head in hand, painfully recounting the details of a faulty service or account issue. You can guarantee that by the time this valued customer gets to the third agent, the niceties and patience that once filled his voice are gone and are replaced with a bit of an edge that even the most seasoned customer service professional will be challenged to diminish and rebuild trust.

Build personalized escalation paths to ensure that your client queries are heading in the right path for resolution and that complaints will be handled by the right agent the first time. The agent will receive the original question submitted via self-service so there will be very little backstory necessary to help your clients get what they need. 

Update Your Knowledge Base

Self-service can also be utilized to quickly update your knowledge base according to the unresolved queries that your customers are asking. This creates a wider net for those first touch interactions to ensure that you are giving the answers your customers need immediately. This is best accomplished using a self-learning knowledge base with fine-grained analytics. 

Your customers are constantly giving you feedback through their digital body language. Don’t neglect to take this unspoken feedback into your analytics as well.

It’s also helpful to add a feedback function on your current knowledge base. Adding a field that asks, “Was this answer helpful?” or even a rating system for each answer will give you the feedback you need to constantly improve the information you are giving your clients to increase satisfaction and retention. 

Forge New Ground with Product Development

This should go without saying, but even if you integrate every best practice in customer service for increased retention, if your product lags behind the competition, your customers will leave. Of course the obvious advice  is to focus your R&D teams and product development to  be early adopters of new interface trends and to build new, intelligent technologies. There are also things that you can do on the customer service side to feed the right customer-generated feedback into your product development to ensure that your product roadmap aligns with your customers’ expectations. 

The feedback you receive from your customer support channels shouldn’t only be used to improve support processes and your knowledge base. The Voice of the Customer can provide feedback right back into your product development conversations. Your clients are telling you what they want and what they need. Don’t make it a one way conversation, take these insights and adapt your product and service to meet their expectations and increase trust. 

The Bottom Line

Gartner Group statistics tell us that 80% of your business’ future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing customers. So invest in your existing customers, listen, respond and implement the right technology to decrease friction and add trust to their relationship with you. Your bottom line depends on it. 

08 Feb 2015
How to Write an FAQ Page

How to Write an FAQ Page

The trusty, traditional FAQ page is a mainstay for any site. It might not have been the first thing you thought about on your sitemap, or something that you continually optimize. However, your frequently asked questions are a chance for you to clearly connect with your customer, creatively and clearly explain your company, resolve questions and hopefully push more conversion and drive sales.

The strategy for you FAQ page should be to give relief and support to your customer service team. People frequently ask the same questions repeatedly and you can drastically reduce your support queue if you take the time necessary to optimize the information on your FAQ page. Your FAQ page is also an opportunity to convince cautious buyers and drive conversion.

We have put together a strategy and added some optimization tips to ensure that the people on your website find resolution and the information they need in order to commit to sales. Here is a checklist to help usher your traditional FAQ page into 2015.

Add sub categories to your FAQ page

Organize your questions and answers on your page so that the common themes are logical and written in terms that your customers understand. It’s easy to get lost in a fog of explaining your company on your FAQ page. Do not neglect to offer the most valuable information that your customers really need.

Link questions to more information

This is just a good SEO tactic, but adding links to articles, blog posts and other resources that can complement your answers is a good practice when creating an FAQ page. Provide easy navigation for those customers who require a little bit more information in order to find the answers they need.

Provide easy escalation

Just put yourself into your customers’ shoes for a moment. They have obviously traveled to your FAQ page in the hope of finding more information about your company, service, products and terms. In case you aren’t able to satisfy their request. Create a smart strategy and be a customer experience king by providing an easy escalation path for these valuable people. This can be as simple as adding a field on the page asking “did you find the answer you were looking for” or as sophisticated as a self-service platform integrated with chat and email for a seamless experience when your customers ask questions and need more information.

Be open to feedback

According to the content of your most frequently asked questions you can quickly decipher how to change and optimize your FAQ page to better suit what people are looking for and what questions they are asking. Try adding feedback options that act as a rating system to each company FAQ and then implement an escalation path to answers receiving a low rating to constantly update your website’s information.

Use simple language

Speak in a way that your customers will understand. As nice as it is to use big buzz words or trendy industry lingo, if people cannot easily comprehend the answers that you are providing, then your FAQ page is missing the mark and cannot succeed in decreasing support center load. Be sure to present your company’s information in a way that people will understand.

Use visual/new media to illustrate

Much like any site content you want to publish, steer toward rich media to complement your answers and clearly share information with your visitors when they need their questions answered on your FAQ page. Everyone enjoys an engaging video clip, diagram or infographic. Some product explanations just aren’t as effective without visual explanation. So don’t skimp on the imagery and video.

It’s short content, don’t write a novel

Along the same vain as using rich content, remember how your visitors prefer to ingest information online – skimming is a thing. Please do your customers a favor and take the simple route, with simple text, short answers about your company and bullet points where applicable when creating your FAQ page. Help a skimper out.

Search is good, but not enough

Let’s assume your strategy is to bulk up your frequently asked questions page with tons of content about your company. Your knowledge base is robust and answering your customers’ needs…search is necessary for your FAQ page. If discovering the questions that they need answered is too tedious for your visitors, then it defeats the purpose of this smart page that is supposed to ease the pain of finding information. A simple search bar is great, but a search bar doesn’t understand when your traffic is looking for if they don’t use the same language as you are on your site. NLP or natural language processing is a new technology that insures that people find the resolution they seek, even when they use their own specific way of asking.

Not enough knowledge for your FAQ page

It’s hard to intuitively know all of the most frequently asked questions that your visitors may have, and many companies find that their knowledge base is quite lacking in the beginning. It’s important to optimally use the insights you get from analytics and customer feedback to improve and build up the information on your support page. People will tell you what is missing if you listen. Another great option is to use customer support analytics focused on the Voice of the Customer. Platforms such as nanorep’s Voices instantly reveal your most asked and unresolved questions for a demand-driven support content strategy.

Don’t shy away from sales and conversion

When your visitors are looking for resolution to their questions it is a perfect time to help accelerate their purchase journey by making navigation relevant and friction-less and leading to conversion. Are they searching for information on your page about upgrading their service or product specific on your FAQ page? Provide a clear path to conversion within the answer that you provide. Don’t miss the golden opportunity to increase sales with your customer support strategy.

Take FAQs out of the traditional box

It may not be easy to get out of the traditional support mindset, but remember that all features and changes you make to your FAQ page will be worthless if they aren’t focused on making your website experience better for your customers. A customer-centric experience means that you need to meet your visitors where they are, no matter the touch points, screens, questions or time. Resolving issues shouldn’t just be designated for your killer FAQ page, take your service to the next level and integrate a self-service solution to meet your customers where they are and give them the information that they need.

29 Jan 2015
How to Increase Website Conversion

How to Increase Website Conversion

Chances are that your marketing department spends endless hours devising new strategies and optimizing campaigns to send more traffic to your website and push your prospects to the right page to process an order. From strong social campaigns to top of the funnel content, to personalized landing pages and buying traffic, marketing’s job is to bring leads to sales. But sometimes it’s more about the people that arrive to your website, view your products and still don’t make an order. These top of the funnel prospects need you to dig deeper into your website conversion process and find out why they may not buy from you.

A beautiful website with amazing graphics and inspired content may seem like just what it takes to drive conversions, make people buy and increase order volume. Although you may delight and capture the senses of your website visitors, it’s possible that you are missing the mark and need to improve the order of your offerings and site navigation to create a clear plan of action for visitors. Don’t worry, many companies struggle with this exact issue.

The new generation of “webizens” are convenience customers, meaning that they want to be able to glean the most important information easily and navigate exactly to the right places on your site. Their time is valuable and your customer experience game needs to be tip top. There is an ultimate action that you want your users to take, and the clearer that journey, the higher your conversion rate will be. Here are a few key features that you should not neglect when optimizing your website for conversion and driving purposeful action on your site.

Nail Down the A/B/Cs of Testing

Optimization is an  ongoing process. As your customers’ needs change and your product evolves, so should your site. The testing process is ongoing and you must constantly seek the most optimized website to give the information necessary for that valuable conversion.

Your intuition in messaging and design may be spot on, but nothing replaces the importance of testing your website. An element of your conversion funnel that you believe is strong, can always be improved by tweaking colors, placement and text. There are a few prime areas for optimization that you should always be testing to improve your conversion rate:

Page Layout and Navigation -Testing out  CTAs in different places, with varied layouts to find optimal navigation are all great practices for increasing conversion rates online. Test different landing page layouts and discover which most successfully drive the action you want.

Messaging and Headlines – Online “reading’ oftentimes becomes more likes scanning. Are your headlines and messaging clearly presenting who you are and your offering? Most of the traffic to your site is short on time and depends on you to clearly present relevant marketing information to help them take the right action.

Calls-to-Action– Playing around with the wording and testing the placement and volume of calls to action on your site are good ways to begin. Don’t miss the moments when your customers are looking to self-serve themselves, this is a perfect time to drive conversion. Add calls to action in your support section and FAQs as well.

New Media – Video and other engaging graphics can have a large impact on website conversions, people want to quickly learn about you with as little effort as possible. Entertain them, it will drive conversions. Video on landing pages can directly impact your profits by providing your site traffic with truly engaging marketing material in lieu of run of the mill content with expected calls to action.

It’s all about action. What will drive the desired action you want from your website traffic? Increased profits and conversion rates are inevitable with proper testing of your marketing messages.

Optimize the Customer Journey to Increase Conversions and Profits

Now that you have set up the proper testing processes for your marketing assets to increase the conversions on your website, it’s time to take a closer look at the customer journey, especially for your top funnel prospects. At every step along the way, your customers need a clear path to conversion. Are they on the product page of your website? Perhaps recommending  a related piece of content about that specific product, a case study or white paper chalk full of information will push them right along the funnel?

No matter how engaging and informative your online content is, your visitors are going to have questions about your offerings. Self-service and virtual assistants help alleviate the friction when your customers aren’t finding the answers to their questions when on your website. Being there to support your customers’ queries can be the difference between more sales or bounced traffic.

Self service has been proven to directly impact and increase conversion rates. Learn more about how Build.com did it here.

70% of the sales process is over before anyone ever makes contact with you. The customer journey for your site traffic must be cleared so that the valuable people visiting your website can easily navigate and discover the information they need in order to make a decision and ultimate buy from you.

Self-service also delivers highly relevant, targeted marketing offers to drive action and conversion rates. Let’s say that a customer is asking “Does this product also come in black.” Self-service has the ability to not only give relevant information and answer the specific question on the product page, but can also include a call-to-action inside of the answer, to drive sales and boost conversion. Delivering marketing offers that are timely and relevant to the question asked is in essence grabbing the low-hanging conversion fruit on your website and is an easy win for increasing profits.

Improve Your Website Analytics

This of course goes without saying, but you need high-grade insights into the people who are visiting your website in order to improve conversion rates. Google analytics is of course the marketers’ go-to for understanding what links visitors click on, what they read on site, what information is most compelling and how long they stay. But there are even more advanced online analytics tools that can actual behave like a “mind reader” of your customer to better serve your site traffic. You can instantly see what questions your customers have at each specific spot along their online journey. This can feed changes and upgrades to your marketing content and messaging by focusing on the Voice of the Customer. By understanding what their pain points are and how you can better address what matters to them you can affect website conversions. Please your customer, increase sales and profits. It’s that simple.

Without the proper web analytics your conversion funnel is broken and your map for customer action is muddled. You must be armed with online  tools to review the status of each phase in the sales funnel. As mentioned earlier, everything must be tested, but testing relies on your ability to track and analyze the results of your marketing campaigns. Follow your online prospects all the way down the funnel into your CRM for an advanced strategy to improve website conversions.

Give Em What They Want – Social Proof

We’re all just a little bit tainted. We’re desensitized to online advertising and marketing as a society. We tend to place more value on authentic people sharing positive experiences. This seems to counter consumers’ fear of blindly trusting companies’ overdone marketing messages, which seem to promise disappointing results.

People are driven to belong to a group. It’s natural and the online world has quickly adapted to this very basic human need to give people the tools necessary when comparing companies’ offerings, products and services. This “Social Proof” is a tool used by marketers to create positive engagements with people which increases conversion rates and impacts what your traffic will buy.

Real reviews from real people on your product pages is a great online tool to give credence to your messaging. This injects a level of transparency to companies and improves the user experience for visitors – which increases conversion rates. Self-service platforms that support dynamic FAQs and user feedback via ratings on answers also build trust. This juices up the companies’ content by giving their site traffic a reason to believe what they say.

Testimonials and case studies are invaluable for increasing conversion rates and delivering the information needed. Your prospects want to hear how real people from real companies benefited from your product and the less “marketing” language included in these valuable assets, the better. Remember that most people visiting your site are educating themselves with the information you provide before they ever make an order or decide to buy. Landing pages will also benefit from social proof in the form of customers’ logos and testimonials from well known companies. Before your prospects take action, they need to know that they are following in the footsteps of other intelligent decision makers that went before them.

24 Oct 2013
Increase Sales With Your Customer Service Analytics

Increase Sales With Your Customer Service Analytics

Thirty years ago, the roles of marketing and sales departments were separate and clearly defined. Marketers, for example, would create a roadside billboard or newspaper advertisement to generate interest in a product or service. The people who would become interested would then go to or call the store, and then salespeople would take over from there.

Of course, the problem with this old-fashioned paradigm was that there was a lack of concrete, precise data on what exact marketing and sales techniques and tactics generally lead to sales. Today, however, a near-infinite amount of data is available as more and more marketing and sales activities move to online mediums including websites, social-media networks, and mobile devices. All of this data is relevant to both sales and marketing, so the two departments need to work together – it is no longer a one-way street.

Web Analytics – General Insights on Your Audience

In such an environment, the correct use of web analytics in numerous contexts is crucial to business success. Here are just a few examples of the questions that analytics can answer to inform future marketing and sales strategies:

  • What online channels are sending website visitors that tend to convert the most?
  • How are mobile-device users engaging with our website?
  • What types of activity on what social-media networks brings the most website visits?
  • Which website pages have what conversion rates, bounce rates, and other metrics?
  • Which calls-to-action, online forms, and landing pages tend to deliver the greatest number of users?

Online Customer Service Analytics – Insights on Users Needs

Now, nanorep brings also customer service into the web analytics game. nanorep’s solution provides deep, comprehensive insights into knowledge bases and how your visitors or customers interact with the information and messages on your website. Our customers can analyze and use the data to improve the customer service experience and optimize their online marketing by constantly improving messages and information.

Most-Popular Questions

What are the most popular questions asked on your website? Once you know the answer, you can train your service team to address those topics and also adjust your website information and knowledge base to recognize and answer such queries. If the existing sales materials and product pages do not cover those topics, then you can also consider whether to revise them.

Most popular questions asked by customers

Customer Intelligence and Trends

By seeing the overall trend in customer inquiries over time, companies recognize changes in product interest and gain valuable business intelligence. If more questions are asked about a given item at a particular time of year, the sales and marketing departments might want increase their efforts to promote that product at that time. If people start to ask when a piece of software will be updated or released for a certain computer or mobile operating system, then the company may want to add that functionality. These are just two examples.

Real Customer Feedback

Website visitors have the ability to provide feedback on the answers provided by the knowledge base. If an answer is not precise or comprehensive enough, then the feedback will let you know to improve the answer accordingly. Such functionality is a way to improve both the quality of your knowledge base and your customer service in general. In addition, the level of feedback is another insight into the customers themselves. If a particular question and answer generates a lot of feedback and discussion, then that topic is likely of great interest to potential buyers. Marketing and sales can incorporate this knowledge into their work.

Most satisfying answers

Conversion Rates

Certain issues – whether a shirt is available in a certain color or whether a piece of software can be used on both Macs and PCs, for example – can make or break a sale. nanorep shows which questions lead to conversions and/or sales, so the marketing and sales teams can see what specific issues should be addressed in their general  work as well.

Questions that lead to conversion

Unanswered Questions

nanorep tells business what questions need answers to be added in the knowledge base and which queries cause customers to escalate to (expensive!) live agents. This information tells companies when to take actions that will improve efficiency and increase agent productivity by using them for only high-value interactions.

Questions with no answers in the knowledge base

With nanorep, customer analytics brings more value and insights for the marketing and sales departments, as well as to the customer service & support teams. Providing all three departments with valuable business intelligence allows them to make better decisions within the scope of each department and increase performance. Working together with those insights can bring an even higher value to the entire company, by optimizing processes which lead to higher revenues.

05 Mar 2013
From Mass Marketing to Behavioral Targeting & Service

From Mass Marketing to Behavioral Targeting & Service

In the “Mad Men” era of newspapers, radio stations, and broadcast television, businesses used mass marketing to sell to a general audience. Each advertisement or sales pitch in a given outlet needed to be generic enough – but still effective! – to appeal to millions of different people of varying ages, backgrounds, and buyer motivations.

Over the past few decades, however, the world moved into niche marketing as a result of technological advances. Just a few examples:

  • Most countries now have hundreds of cable and satellite television channels that each focus on a specific entertainment niche or political viewpoint
  • Satellite radio stations now offer countless playlists that cater to nearly any music or talk-radio preference
  • The Internet consists of millions of websites on any topic under the digital sun

Say that you want to sell a new high-tech gadget for consumers. Just a few decades ago, you would put, for example, a generic commercial on NBC in the United States or a general advertisement in The Times of London with the hope of piquing the interest of as many people as possible.

Today, however, marketers can research exactly what media your target demographic consumes. In this hypothetical example, one could determine the demographics of the people who love high-tech gadgets (say, college-age males) and then advertise only on the media that people of that background use. You would want to find out:

  • What TV shows and movies do college-age men watch?
  • What websites do they visit?
  • What magazines and other publications do they read?
  • What online communities, forums, and sites covering high-tech gadgets and other related topics already exist?

Obviously, it would be better to advertise in these locations than on, for example, websites frequented by teenage girls. Niche targeting generally delivers a higher ROI.

Now, a third marketing paradigm is revolutionizing sales: Behavioral targeting. Mass marketing targets a population. Niche marketing targets a segment. Behavior-based marketing targets a person – and the practice looks to return the highest ROI yet. The more precise your targeting, the better your results.

According to Jasmine Maleknia of What’s Up Interactive:

  • Behavioral-triggered email campaigns perform 325% better than simple blast campaigns
  • Behavioral-based advertising averages 670% improvement in performance over traditional display ads

There are many ways that companies can use behavioral targeting on their websites. Here are just a few from Bryan Brown of Silverpop (the explanations are ours):

  • Capture Some Behaviors – When a given person visitors your website, does he browse through some product categories but not others? When he returns, have your system use “cookies” to highlight products in the category in which he has already expressed an interest
  • Send Personalized Messages – Tailor the web experience to each visitor. Greet logged-in users with their real names (like Amazon), remind them of items they had left in their shopping carts without finalizing the purchases, and so on
  • Let Them “Choose Their Own Adventure” – Instead of pushing a specific sales funnel or item on the visitor, invite him to navigate your site in a way that that he wants. Offer an informative e-book to download, an online brochure to browse, and product categories to browse based on the person’s level in the sales funnel (see this example from the Silverpop website):

Customer Navigation Expeirence

nanorep offers a personal shopping experience using a first-of-its-kind way to combine the idea of behavioral targeting with the existing customer service on your website to increase sales and conversions:

Online Personal Shopping Experience

Websites that force visitors to search through pages and pages of product categories and items have lower conversions. In today’s high-tech world, people have low attention spans – they want results, and they want them immediately. Take the above example. Normally, people would need to go through countless product descriptions to see which of your laptops come with a CD/DVD writer. If they cannot find one right away, they may leave your website and go to a competitor.

However, if the person can ask a question and see relevant results and products instantly, then he will be much more likely to make the purchase. Our widget uses behavioral targeting to help website visitors to find exactly what they want – quickly.

Most likely, your B2C or B2B website is already using niche targeting since the time of mass marketing has long passed. But if you want to surpass the competition today, you will need to use behavioral targeting to differentiate within your niche further. The more precise your targeting, the better your results.