The quest for a better Customer Experience has produced solid results for many brands. And in most cases, that means an improvement in sales. It can be in the form of new sales, repeat sales, or increased sales volume from existing customers. Either way, sales is the metric that’s making management happy.
All this is good. It means brands are thinking about their customer beyond the transaction. But there are still gaps in the customer journey that typically require attention. For B2B brands that sell through an independent dealer channel, the cracks can fall into predictable patterns. Here are three to watch out for.
1. The Hand-off.
Marketing generates the leads. Then the sales group takes over. Which is terrific––if it happens quickly. All leads have a shelf life, and the more time it takes for sales to follow up, the lower the chance of closing the deal. A common scenario consists of a series of hand-offs––with several opportunities to fumble the ball along the way. As we’ve established, the lead initially goes from the brand’s marketing group to its sales group. Next, it’s assigned to a dealer, then delegated to that dealer’s sales rep for follow-up. See the problem? Our independent research confirms what you’ve already guessed: only one-third of dealers successfully follow up on an inbound lead. The rest of the leads gave up or went elsewhere during the hand-off daisy chain. RIP inbound lead. We hardly knew you.
2. The Road To Nowhere.
This is where an ad campaign or other communication sets an expectation, but the customer never experiences what’s been promised. Sometimes it’s a click-through to a website, but rather than a specific landing page the user ends up on the company home page. This is Customer Experience 101, yet still it happens. A lot. The guilty parties tend to be corporations that are very siloed. The team responsible for the campaign is different than the team that manages landing pages. Without a coordinated strategy, the incoming opportunity risks being lost to annoyance and disappointment. It can be a monumental task to break through the silos, but it’s worth the effort to get everyone on the same page.
3. The Dealer Locator.
Managing an online tool that allows a customer to locate and contact a dealer is no small task. It can break down in a number of ways, all of which are preventable. A common issue is when a dealership is served up to a customer via zip code criteria. That would work fine if all dealers were created equal. Or at least equally responsive. Imagine that your customer just saw an ad for your product. They were curious and navigated to the handy “find a dealer” button on your site. If they happened to be located near an attentive and proactive dealer, you’ve got a win. But what if their nearby dealer was one of your worst? All your eager new customer has found is a dead end. The solution? Educate your dealers so they know what’s expected. Then monitor their follow-through and reward the best with the inbound leads you generate.
Take Your Customer Experience From Good To Great.
Removing friction from your customer journey should be a priority for every brand. Remember, that’s where sales increases come from. It’s especially important when your business depends on a successful dealer channel. This is where the objective guidance of an outside marketing expert can help. For an example of how Ten Pound Hammer optimized a client’s customer journey––with dealers fully onboard––check out this case study for DEX Heavy Duty Truck Parts. The result was a net 1,250% ROI on marketing spend. We can’t promise that staggering a result every time, but it shows what’s possible.