Standing out from the crowd is becoming more important with the saturation of most markets. However, it’s no walk in the park when your product or service is pretty run of the mill. You know your USPs, but your potential customers will struggle to see beyond the preconditioned conceptions they have of marketing agencies or tech companies.
So, what can you do to get the people behind an initiative on the less sexy side of the spectrum? Ultimately, you’re looking at how to build a brand that people can fall in love with but that can also be a struggle. Taking a leaf out of the books that came before is always a good place to start. The following initiatives were presented by Channable’s UK business development, Conor McIlduff, at the Digital City Festival in 2020. They are working examples used by feed management tool, Channable, which has led to a customer base of over 3000 companies with a customer average lifetime of 42 months (and counting!) and an NPS score of 52, vs. the industry average of 26.
Partners and resellers
This is no revolutionary idea, but shockingly only 20% of SaaS platforms offer a reseller scheme. Channable has always worked closely with marketing agencies, even the concept of Channable was born through the input from clients, and therefore has offered a partnership/reseller scheme from the beginning. Today, a third of all new clients are onboarded and managed by Channable’s partners. Channable now has over 3000 clients, the maths adds up. Depending on your company model and revenue model, how you identify a partner and what added benefits there are can really differ. It’s handy to set minimum requirements, so you can ensure that your partners will want to work closely with you instead of just attaining a badge and not nurturing the relationship. For instance, in order to become a Channable partner and reap partner rewards, companies will need to onboard a minimum of 5 clients.
Especially when you’re a smaller company, you might find yourself with multiple responsibilities but it’s important to have designated roles to ensure customer success and loyalty are nurtured. If you have a sales team juggling between business development, customer success, and sales targets, all too often all activities will suffer. Channable created specific roles in each regional team to ensure existing customers remained happy. You can always adapt your internal structure to focus on customer happiness.
Customer centricity is a definite buzzword in the world of marketing, but how do you exercise it? By making your clients king, they will feel important and integral to your company’s success. If your able to incorporate the client’s input into your roadmap, even better including them in your roadmap planning, you’ll leave them feeling appreciated. Imagine if you saw your idea in practice, it would feel good. In addition, it’s an added benefit for your company as you’ll be developing it to your market’s needs rather than what you think your market needs.
Engaging with your clients offline is important on so many levels. It helps them personify your company, you can have better conversations face-to-face, you can improve relationships, it can extend your reach, it can help legitimize your company, etc. Digital companies most definitely need to remember the importance of offline presence. If you want to increase that customer loyalty, host your own events for your clients! If you can pull off an event that’s a success, you’ll see your clients looking forward to the next event. Make it memorable. Channable likes to host a big BBQ for its partners in fun locations e.g. football stadiums or botanical gardens, and also hosted a customer training day inviting over 150 clients. If you don’t have a huge budget, even just inviting clients to your offices for a training or networking event, or partnering up with another company to co-host an event can be arranged by anyone and will have a similar impact.
Transparency can be subjective, but can you say that your customer is fully aware of how your company runs? Transparency is a pillar for trust and in today’s world, with high competition, you rely on customers trusting you to gain their loyalty. Being transparent about your pricing, values, and offerings are clear starting points. Use your website to communicate this important information. If you’re concerned about competitors benchmarking themselves against you (don’t forget competitors also ensure healthy growth for a company) or you’re protective of certain aspects of your offering, offer callbacks, testimonials, or a FAQ page. The age-old saying “honesty is the best policy” has never been truer and consider how you, as a fellow consumer, value transparency and honesty from companies.
These pillars for building customer loyalty when your offering isn’t exceptionally sexy may not be revolutionary. But, they have helped Channable dominate the Benelux market and hopefully can inspire you.