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Sales Tips: Don’t Always Rely on the Phone

Sales Management

Using the phone is one of the most effective strategies to engage customers.  It allows you to develop a relationship, quickly resolve any challenges or problems, and make sure the customer is set-up for success.  That being said, there are two major challenges with using phones:

  • The Cost – A customer success employee can only have meaningful conversations w/ 10 or so customers in a day, meaning you’ll need one employee for every 200 – 250 customers in order to keep them engaged.
  • Customer Response Rates – It can be difficult to get customers on the phone.  Your customer success employees can spend a lot of time reaching only to have a low response rate.Sales Tips: Dont Always Rely on the Phone image dont always rely phone2

Therefore, in addition to using the phone, your customer engagement program should also include one or more of the following strategies.  Not only are they one-to-many, which reduces costs, they are also less of a commitment for customers than a phone call, which will increase participation.

  • Webinars – This is a great way to mass communicate new features, strategies for being successful with your product, or general advice and comments for your industry.  Additionally, you can archive them and build out a resources section
  • Customer Blog – Just as having a blog for marketing can attract leads, having a blog dedicated to your customers can attract them.   The key is making sure your blog provides valuable content.  Don’t just talk about release dates, or company news.  Mix it up with tips on using your product, general strategies to help your customers run their businesses (after all you are thought leaders in whatever you sell), and to share other customer success stories or case studies.
  • Digital User Group – It’s simple and free to create a group on LinkedIn or Facebook (learn how).  Set one up and have your customer success employees promote it as well as contribute to the group.  This is a great way to build a community for your customers.
  • Use In-Context Messaging – Create blocks of dynamic content in your product that change depending on what the user has done in your product.  These kinds of messages will be relevant and get in front of customers when your product and features are top of mind.
  • Email – This one is probably a no brainer, but I didn’t think a list of one-to-many strategies would be complete without mentioning email.
  • Social Media – In addition to creating a user group in social media sites, engage customers this way.  Respond to their comments, share their content, add them to your network, and comment on their walls.  While not exactly one-to-many, you can very quickly engage a lot of customers via social media.

The above list should help you get started.  That being said I’d be very curious to know what other strategies you guys use, so please feel free to share in a comment.

Originally Posted at Apptegic’s Customer Success Blog.

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