“Marketing” can mean many different things – different techniques, different technologies and different approaches. But in the end it all comes down to the perception of your brand in the eyes of your customers. If it’s positive, you win; if it’s negative, beware.
Your company’s brand is your most important marketing asset. This perception is driven by your on-going customer communications and the experience customers have interacting with you. Indeed, this kind of brand perception is much more deeply rooted than simply the appearance of logo or the design of a website; it is the kind of customer sentiment that can mean the difference between growing the business and losing market share.
Your Documents Are Your Secret Weapon
Companies like Target, Geico and Nike spend millions to build their brands. But what if you don’t have millions to spend? Are you out of the game? No. You’ve got two secret weapons: your documents and your existing data. That’s right, the data in your business software can be used to produce dynamic and relevant messaging, promos, ads and branding. Turn your existing documents, like order acknowledgements or statements, into powerful communication solutions. Without any modifications to your business software, your marketing team can use the same forms you are delivering today. All this can be accomplished with little or no assistance from your IT team.
New customer communications solutions offer Value Based Pricing Models, which means even small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can afford the same powerful communication features used by the Fortune 1000. Imagine using the same tools used by Fortune 1000 companies to up-sell and cross-sell to the customers you already have – using the software you already have. Imagine this: an existing customer places an order online, and your business software immediately generates the order acknowledgment. But this time, your customer communication software adds relevant messaging and targeted advertising with a link or QR code that will lead them back to your website to make another purchase. You never miss an opportunity serve your customers.
One of the best ways to build your brand is by deputizing your documents as “brand ambassadors.” Your common customer correspondence is on the front lines, directly interacting with customers and clients and directly influencing perception of your brand…for better or worse…one interaction at a time. How can you make the best of each customer interaction? Here are three steps:
#1 – Communicate your brand
The first step to leverage your transactional documents and customer correspondence is to make sure they clearly communicate your brand. Work to define it, communicate it, and involve everyone in building a vision of how your brand should be portrayed. Consider the following questions:
- What is your company’s purpose?
- How do you want customers to feel about your company?
- What steps should you take to make sure customers feel the way you want them to feel?
When you answer these questions you will have a better footing to build your brand. Here’s an example: Target is known for telling its customers to “expect more while paying less.” It’s a fantastic brand promise. That’s why they reiterate that mission on every customer document in a fun, fast, and friendly way. In the end, Target customers perceive that prices are low, but the value is top of the line. That’s the “expect more” portion of Target’s brand promise. Be like Target — figure out how you want people to feel when they interact with your company and then figure out how your documents can make that happen.
#2 – Empower Your People
The best way to market your brand one interaction at a time is to empower your people. The more informed your employees are, and the better planned their customer interactions are, the better your branding results will be. So take action to educate and empower your people. Give them talking points, facts and interesting nuggets about the company that they can share online, on the phone and during face-to-face interactions with customers. Keep your key messages short and simple, and repeat them often. Encourage your employees to do the same. Now your employees will have the tools to build the brand of your company one interaction at a time.
#3 – Support “Brand Ambassadors”
Any business depends on its satisfied customers to tell their friends, colleagues and family members about their experience. Referrals drive revenue, so it is important to support these customers and convert them into “brand ambassadors” for your company. Offering incentives, discounts and give-away promotions can be a powerful tool to promote and encourage referrals, and the best way to do that is using the documents that you already send. Invoices, statements, confirmations and even packing slips become powerful cross-sell and up-sell promotional tools.
How do you do it too? One way is by using our flagship product, Customer Communication Center (CCC), an innovative and intuitive software solution for designing and generating dynamic business documents. But more than that, you can use routine customer documents like bills, statements and notices to sell more, improve customer experience and encourage referrals and new clients. Leading companies are recognizing the often overlooked value of routine customer correspondence as powerful communication tools to differentiate their brand from the competition and CCC has a number of advanced tools and capabilities to make it happen. Check out this video to see why these two Fortune 10 clients turned to Eclipse.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help, or just call us at 678.408.1245.