What is a customer journey?
Think of the “customer journey” as the full range of experiences your customer or client has with your company—from the first time they learn about you to the point of purchase and beyond. The customer journey may never end if you retain your customers for repeat business.
What are customer touchpoints?
Touchpoints are the different interactions between your business and your client throughout each client’s customer journey. Many touchpoints in the customer journey may occur well before a sale is completed. For example, customers may see social media posts, blog posts, or other marketing efforts. The actual browsing experience and checkout process on your website are touchpoints, as well as post-purchase interactions such as surveys, billing, or thank-yous. There are also industry-specific touchpoints. In the real estate industry, for instance, certain milestones along the way to purchasing or selling a house offer opportunities for interaction, such as completing a house inspection or at closing. The below graphic provides examples of frequent touchpoints.
How can customer touchpoints be leveraged?
Understanding touchpoints is critical to designing a customer journey that maximizes sales, retention, and referrals. To better leverage customer touchpoints, ask yourself the following three questions:
Asking yourself the above questions can help you increase sales, retention, and referrals. What are the unique touchpoints in your business? How can you expand or improve these interactions?
For additional information on leveraging touchpoints, check out: https://blog.hubspot.com/service/customer-touchpoints
Ca-ching! Every time a customer completes a transaction with you, it’s a good thing, right? Yes, making sales is fundamental to your business and your bottom line. But, is your marketing focused only on creating transactions with your clientele? Or, do you use marketing to focus on building a relationship as well?
So, what is the difference between relationship-based marketing (RBM) and transaction-based marketing (TBM)? Simply put, RBM emphasizes high commitment to customer satisfaction and contemplates a long-term relationship with a client that fosters their loyalty. By contrast, TBM has a narrower focus on completing sales with a broad audience, with less thought put into customer retention.
Relationship-based marketing: In RBM, marketing is part of an effort to foster a partnership with clients. This approach relies on high quality products, committed customer service and high loyalty from the brand to the customer. These factors can combine to create an overall high-quality customer experience and long-term relationship.
Transaction-based marketing: In contrast, TBM is more myopically focused on driving transactions. It can reduce the customer experience to being primarily concerned with price. TBM often does not involve much strategy to retain clients or increase the value of the interaction beyond a competitive price. Additionally, TBM operates on a much shorter time scale than the long-term relationships contemplated with RBM. The aim of TBM is simply to make a sale.
As you can see, RBM is an extensive, long-term strategy with the focus on building close relationships with your customers. The rationale is that the longer you have a customer, the more profitable they tend to become. For companies and professionals who are looking for repeat transactions or depend heavily on referrals, RBM is a worthy approach. It can also be an effective use of marketing dollars compared to TBM, since it is less expensive to obtain repeat sales rather than sales from new customers. It’s a critical strategy for businesses large and small, like ours.
What type of approach makes sense for your business? How have you thought about implementing relationship-based marketing in your business?
Account-based marketing (ABM) involves a highly-tailored approach to growing your business. ABM combines sales and marketing efforts to specifically target certain high-value client accounts. The objective is to create a unique and personalized experience for potential customers.
With ABM, less is more.
As noted on the Hubspot blog:
“The saying ‘quality over quantity’ applies to account-based marketing. The process requires you to invest significant time and resources in engaging and delighting a group of carefully-chosen, high-value accounts, versus trying to quickly close deals with less-qualified leads who may not be the best fit for your company in the long run.” (Emphasis added).
Ultimately, ABM is all about treating an individual prospect or account as a market of one, as if it is the only pitch you are making.
In contrast to ABM, common marketing efforts include email marketing, phone calls, and search engine optimization. While these methods have value, it can be difficult to make these efforts unique to each of your prospects. Instead of going a mile wide and an inch deep, ABM focuses on methods that allow for personalization. For example, customized direct mail, custom reports or relevant case-studies, and other efforts that allow for personalization may be more effective. These methods may also be used in conjunction with traditional broad-based marketing initiatives.
In one example of effective ABM, a security solutions provider sends a gift box to top accounts to help with engagement:
“We send out a gift box and soon after we can see them coming to our website, starting to download our free content, and clicking on the ‘talk-to-us’ buttons. Independently these tactics wouldn’t work well, but put together, they are very effective.”
The mix of efforts to reach each individual account may be different, which proves the point of ABM. After all, it is a customized approach.
This leaves small business owners like you and me with a big question: How can we think outside the box to implement account-based marketing for the accounts that are most important to our business?
Check out this graphic to understand some ways a handwritten note can have an impact.
Last newsletter, we talked about how to begin practicing gratitude. Like any practice, the key to success is consistency. To develop this consistency, regularly sharing your gratitude with others—and taking action based on your gratitude—can take you to the next level. Today we focus on why it makes good business sense to act on your gratitude.
Let’s start with your goals:
Let’s take your workforce. What could be more essential to your business than those who get the job done day in and day out? Your team is central to your success.
So, how does gratitude play in? Expressing gratitude bolsters your employees’ morale. As discussed in the Graziadio Business Review, in the workplace, “gratitude may positively impact such factors as job satisfaction, loyalty, and citizenship behavior, while reducing employee turnover and increasing organizational and productivity.” Satisfied, loyal employees will form a qualitatively better work environment. Quantitatively, you will have less attrition and better performance—both critical needs in today’s tight labor market.
The risk of not expressing your gratitude is that your team may never realize how much you value them. As a result, you may miss out on developing a deeper degree of cohesion in your company.
When it comes to business strategy, actively expressing gratitude regularly should be a no-brainer. It’s a perfect fit for those who are customer obsessed and always striving to keep loyal customers coming back. Why? Because a team that experiences gratitude is more likely to pass on that joy and appreciation to your customers.
In short, if you are obsessed with customer satisfaction, we think it’s a great idea to be obsessed with your employees too, as they form one of the most fundamental elements of your business success. This approach fits with a trend we have noticed among our own clients to show appreciation to their employees on a regular basis.
In the near future, we will share with you a series of strategies our clients and other business owners use to show gratitude to their teams.
The Business Case for Practicing Gratitude
Part I: How to Start Practicing Gratitude
The benefits of practicing gratitude—such as taking time to notice things you are thankful for—are well documented. Psychology Today has referenced research showing that these benefits range from improved physical and psychological health, to better sleep, increased empathy, and even improved relationships.
The benefits of practicing gratitude clearly are expanded when we take time to express our gratitude to those around us. As noted in Forbes:
“Gratitude goes hand in hand with the act of giving recognition. When we recognize one another, it makes us even more appreciative and inspires the person we’ve thanked to give that feeling to someone else.”
And what is the result? Forbes says this leads “to a swell in happiness, well-being, morale, energy, and engagement–all of which directly influence performance, productivity, and retention.”
See the positive cycle? Through regularly expressing gratitude and creating recognition for positive efforts and events, you can help to build a positive pattern that reinforces itself.
How do you start? Here are three quick tips:
With the practice of gratitude, we can find additional clarity, purpose, and joy in our day. When we express this gratitude, it can create a positive cycle with our personal and business relationships, and open doors to greater success in the things that matter most.
—The GiftHopper Team
As I write this, the presidential election is not yet decided. This seems to be par for the course for 2020 -- the year of social distancing, intense politics, and big economic swings. Sometimes it seems like our whole country is collectively holding its breath.
It is times like this that building bridges takes on outsized importance -- both professionally and personally. In business and in friendships, now is not the time to retreat -- it is the time to reach out. Small acts and words of kindness can:
GiftHopper exists to help you do these things.
Right now, we are offering 10% OFF ALL ORDERS through November 25, 2020. We can work with any budget to do a bulk shipment to your clients, colleagues, or even family and friends. Just email us! You can also visit our site and use code 10%Holiday2020 at checkout.
This holiday season, let us help you position yourself as a bridge-builder -- both in business and in the rest of your life -- as we welcome 2021.
I love the theme of being a bridge-builder -- whether that means making win-win business connections, fostering a personal relationship, or creating opportunity for someone else. Following is the beautiful poem by that name:
The Bridge Builder
By Will Allen Dromgoole
An old man going a lone highway
Came at the evening, cold and gray,
To a chasm, vast, and deep and wide,
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim;
The sullen stream had no fear for him;
But he turned, when safe on the other side,
And built a bridge to span the tide.
"Old man," said a fellow pilgrim, near,
"You are wasting strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day;
You never again will pass this way;
You've crossed the chasm, deep and wide-
Why build you this bridge at the evening tide?"
The builder lifted his old gray head:
"Good friend, in the path I have come," he said,
"There followeth after me today,
A youth, whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm, that has been naught to me,
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him."
So, what is an unboxing experience? Simply, it is the opportunity to create a memorable and shareable experience for a recipient opening a package. It's a chance to delight your recipient with hand-selected materials and a carefully presented item.
There are several components that go into the unboxing experience.
The first opportunity to surprise someone is in the outer packaging. The box or shipper could potentially come in a variety of colors and weights to provide something unique and higher end for your recipient.
The filler that keeps the item in place inside the box is the next consideration. At GiftHopper, we use a variety of colors of crinkle paper depending on the desired color scheme. This is a fantastic opportunity to reinforce your branding through color association.
Branded or custom stickers are another way to add pizzazz to your packaging. For our business and premium members, branded stickers are included in your membership.
A custom message to your recipient helps make the unboxing experience unique to the individual. For the icing on the cake, consider ordering a handwritten message to your recipient.
You could add your business card or other printed informational/promotional content to your package to provide a value-add to your recipient.
When all of the above elements come together, the experience is powerful.
Are you paralyzed by wanting to send a gift but not knowing what to send? Maybe you believe that a gift would be appropriate to give a contact or client, but you are not confident in what will make the best impression.
At GiftHopper, we are here to help you select the perfect gift for your recipient. We have experience and research on our side. Research, you say? Yep, it's been studied.
Although gifting may not ever truly be perfect, research shows that there are six principles to giving the perfect gift:
The perfect gift, in short, is one that delights the recipient.
This is where we at GiftHopper come in. We have a range of gifts to “delight” your recipient. In this fast-paced world, taking the time to send the gift is a sacrifice on your part. We designed our gift selection to make the recipient happy. Even if you send a useful item, it’s a treat. When you choose something you know your recipient will love and surprise them with our fast delivery and impeccable packaging, the recipient is sure to be pleased.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you send gifts to wow your recipients!
We love to let our prospective clients know how their gift packages will look in custom-branded packaging. Our service is hands-on, personalized, and lets you make a tremendous first impression on your recipients. To get started, fill out our short survey...
Are you spending several thousand dollars on billboard or newspaper campaigns?
Here's an idea -- take $500 or $1000 that you would have spent on plastering your ads. Instead, spend that $500 on some of your best customers. Let GiftHopper create 20-40 beautiful thank you boxes and ship them out to your customers on your behalf. THANK them for being your customers. Let them know you love doing business with them. And let them know you would love to serve their colleagues and friends as well.
We are going to guess that you will get a lot more "BUZZ" from 20-40 beautiful thank you boxes, spreading serendipity. Give it a try! We are here to help.
We are excited to get things up and running at GiftHopper.com. Our goal is to help YOU say thank you to your clients, prospects, or team members in a meaningful, memorable way. Welcome!