Last week, TowerData sponsored the Salesforce Connections conference here in New York City. Connections has long been considered the “digital marketing event of the year,” and, while the transition to the Salesforce brand has brought a lot of change, with speakers like Seth Meyers and Diane Von Furstenberg—not to mention performances by Elle King, The Roots and a surprise appearance by the one and only Derek Jeter—the energy was excellent.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud CEO Scott McCorkle delivered a rich keynote address on Wednesday. Scott’s session revolved around something near and dear to all our hearts: personalization. More specifically, personalization and its place in what Salesforce calls the Customer Success Journey.
What is the Customer Success Journey?
According to McCorkle, the Customer Success Journey has five stages:
- Acquisition: The first step in the cycle requires brands to spark interest, generate quality leads and begin to fill the sales pipeline. In this stage, the brand must create highly personalized advertising to reach high value customers.
- Selling: In this stage, the sales and marketing departments must join forces to lead prospects down the funnel toward becoming a customer.
- Onboarding: After completing the sale, it’s up to the brand to onboard the customer by creating a targeted and personalized experience. This stage is critical to driving engagement and establishing customer loyalty.
- Engagement: This stage is all about relationship-building. Brands must utilize customer data to offer personalized offers, create relevant product recommendations and execute multi-channel campaigns that appeal to customers at the right time and in the right place.
- Advocacy: If you succeed in effectively engaging your customers, they will become advocates. In other words, your customers will become so involved with your brand, they’ll share their experience with others. This stage will help your brand in future acquisition efforts.
Customer Onboarding and the Role of Personalization
While each of these stages is important to building a positive brand identity, one stage is specially crucial.
“Onboarding might be the most critical step in the entire lifecycle journey,” says McCorkle. This is because it’s in this moment that brands transform from being a solution to the solution. In other words, this is when customers determine whether or not they will invest their loyalty in your brand.
You can effectively onboard customers by doing the following:
- Welcome your customer. When you walk into a store for the first time, what happens? If the business cares about its customer experience, it’s likely someone will greet you. When a brand acknowledges your presence, you feel more comfortable reaching out with questions, concerns or to make a purchase.
- Say “thank you!” Your customer just made a purchase. However, how do you keep your brand front-of-mind? How can you make sure they’ll return to your brand next time they need a product or service you offer? Offer gratitude. Taking the time to thank your customers shows you care about them on a personal level.
- Introduce them to your products or services. Your new customers may be highly familiar with your offering. Or, perhaps this is their first interaction with your brand. Either way, take a moment to initiate them to the products or services most relevant to their wants and needs.
Effective onboarding leads to happy customers, and happy customers are more likely to engage. But, how do you make sure your onboarding messages make an impact? As you may have guessed, it all comes back to personalization. By utilizing your customers’ demographic information, purchase history and household data, alongside your first party data such as browsing and purchase history, you can offer more meaningful and memorable messages.
Whether you are a Salesforce Marketing Cloud client, or using one of the many other awesome digital marketing suites, achieving personalization this early in the game means making a positive impression and laying a strong foundation for future advocacy.
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