Friday, September 25, 2015

Part 2: Aligning Content To The Customer Journey — A.C.T.

There are three leading phases that your customers will pass through as they prepare to move into the fourth phase, PURCHASE. Knowing what people search for, how they search and what types of actions need to be targeted to inside each of these phases can help you better engage these visitors. During each phase, you can create content that addresses their needs, building your relationship and solidifying a sale, thus providing the customer with an exceptional experience that makes them return.
Phase 1 of the Customer Journey: Awareness
This is when customers gather information and are surround by all forms of adverting and have so many choices to start their process but may or may not know which direction they want or need to move towards. They are just beginning the process of researching products and services that can help them resolve a particular need or desire. 

These customers are most interested in reading content that gives them an informative and engaging exploration of the topic in which they are interested. That is why in-depth articles, blogs, reviews, social media and videos can be excellent types of content for this phase.

Phase 2 of the Customer Journey: Consideration

As people progress to the Consideration Phase, they begin to move from making informational choices into explored actions. They have now interacted with your brand enough that your business becomes a potential viable option in their mind. They are interested in flushing out the leading brands and determining what makes your company worthwhile and unique. 

During this stage your business needs to produce rich content that positions your brand as an industry and thought leader — a business customers can trust when they want help solving their problem. This is where your business needs to establish the differentiation and why your business should be chosen.

Phase 3 of the Customer Journey: Transaction

Customers that move into the Transaction Phase know exactly what they want to find. They did their research during the Consideration Phase so they most likely have a business or brand already in mind.  At this point the consumer already knows the product the want but still need to make the final choice. But, what makes them get chosen? 
For businesses or  brands to be chosen, they need to focus on the experience of the customers for whom it is intended. That means aligning your content to the customer journey and being willing to expand your interaction with visitors beyond the traditional confines of how your business typically operates.

When your business improves your interactions with your customers, you will build your content and establish a more firm foundation of success.
The customer is now ready to take action.  Did the customer chose you?

If your business needs help targeting customers inside A.C.T. please go to ConnecTheDot.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Client Control Has Every Business Tied By A Noose

If you want to provide exceptional experience to your clients every single member in your business needs to comprehend one fundamental principle: the client is the hierarchy, they must be placed first every time. That means the client is in charge, they the standards, establish today, create tomorrow and in one way or another dictates the future.

Experience is the order of the day in our era, and serving clients with excellence will be the core ethos of successful companies in the coming years. Leaders who understand this will see their companies thrive instead of just survive. The dawn of mass competition, clients’ access to up-to-date information and their ability to communicate with each other via social media allows the client to be in command. The migration goes beyond the business paying more attention to client experience: it means aligning everyone and everything in the business on providing more customization, value and unique adaptation to clients quicker.

In this client-centric world, businesses need more than quality products, or optimal customer experience, or proficient processes. Every business needs to serve their clientele through authentic, human-to-human connections that satisfy not only their emotional desires but their real-world wants. Businesses who fully grasp this reality and create a culture of ‘client experience extraordinaire’ will be rewarded with client loyalty and profitability. 

Client Experience Is Every Business Members Focus…No Longer A Department

No matter what business you’re in, there are a plentiful of other businesses that offer consumers pretty much the same product or experiences. If you offer that product along with personal experience that exceeds every client’s expectations, you have a durable competitive advantage—if done properly the cost is minimal but if done improper then you need to hire a company like ConnecTheDot to fix the client experience now. Don’t just take what I write as the example; seek out the research. Studies have found that client experience can be the best way to distinguish a company from its competitors. Clients want to feel valued, unique and wanted. Make client experience part of every member of your businesses job description and the mantra of your entire business strategy. 

What You Except Is What You Get In Return

The most effective way to improve client experience is to set high standards and communicate them with clarity, passion and execution. Every member, from the top member of your business to the newest member, should continuously let everyone know what is expected of them, so there can be no misunderstanding. Most employees strive to be exceptional performers. Unfortunately, they don’t always understand exactly what their job is or how their contribution to the business affects retention, growth and profitability.

You Win Clients One at a Time and Lose Them In Multiples

Many years ago, a mentor of mine said something I have never forgotten: “You have two ears and one mouth, always remember: you gain clients one at a time, and you lose clients in multiples. In order to gain clients and not lose any, focus on serving every single client exceptionally as if it is your one and only client (think of the movie Gerry McGuire). Any client doing business with you for the first time should be treated with the same attention and quality as someone who’s been a regular client for years. 

The power of social media is so strong that one client who has one bad experience with your business can go online and convince thousands of people not to do business with you. That’s one of the reasons clients rule now more than ever; they have the power of the masses. They have the ability to make your business thrive, and they have the ability to make your business sink to survive or maybe even die. Hail to the client!

Based on current trends client experience will be even more crucial to your company’s success in the coming years. In fact, more businesses will spend their traditional advertising dollars in a different way. More money will be spent from 2015 to 2030 to fix a business client experience infrastructure than the business will spend on traditional advertising. Why? Simply because in today’s competitive market where supply is high and demand is even higher, consumers have more choice and less loyalty. End result, it costs more money to acquire new clients so the business must establish key metrics to retain each and every client they have. 

The Circle Of Business Success

In the end, client experience hinges on every member of the business. 
John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States, stated, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

 If you want satisfied clients, clients who continuously return to your business and clients who refer your business to the masses, you have to make them the hierarchy of your business.  Place clients at the top and let everything else trickle down. That means providing and allowing every member to have equal control of the client and giving them the confidence, trust, skills, and resources to deliver exceptional client experience. 

Create Tomorrow, Today! ConnecTheDot can help.

Email us or go to our website for more information.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Do you feel like a "valuable" consumer?

Today — I stand and believe I have worked in the business spectrum long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its brand identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as complex and rapidly shifting as I have ever seen it.
To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firms operate and think about making money.  I write this from the view as a consumer dealing with various companies over the years.

It might sound surprising to a skeptical public, but culture was always a vital part of a firm’s success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by clients. The culture was the secret sauce that made companies great and allowed them to earn clients’ trust for hundreds of years.  A time when a handshake was stronger than oak. It wasn’t just about making money; this alone will not sustain a firm for so long. It had something to do with pride and belief in the organization. There was a time of loyalty from internal clients (employees) and external clients (consumers) but what happened? Why is there so much client turnover and dissatisfied consumers today? Well, I am sad to say that I look around today and see virtually minimal trace of the few organizations that still operate with this style of culture.

Over the course of my career I have had the privilege of being a business consultant for a multi-national Advertising Firm advising thousands of clients across the United States. I have always taken a lot of pride in advising my clients to do what I believe is right for them, always delivering the “BEST” experience possible…internal and external clients.

How did we get here, why am I writing this? A “CLIENT” cultural shift is needed quickly and those organizations that adapt the quickest will prevail immensely.

Today, many organizations display a culture quotient of exactly zero percent. I attend external webinars monthly, undertake future studies, attend business conferences, but yet, not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help retain clients. It’s purely about how we can make the most possible money off of them or how do we 'grow our business'. 

It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen several different organizations that I personally dealt with on a consumer buying continuum pose little to no thought towards the end-to-end client experience…simply once the sale was made or the contract was executed…se la vie!

No humility? I mean, come on. Integrity? It is eroding. I don’t know of any illegal behavior, but will people push the envelope and pitch lucrative and complicated products to clients even if they are not the simplest investments or the ones most directly aligned with the client’s goals?

Absolutely. Every day, in fact.

It astounds me how little organizations today conceptualize a basic fundamental theory: If clients don’t trust you they will eventually stop doing business with you. It doesn’t matter how smart you are.

These days, the most common question I gather is, “How much money did we make off the client?” It bothers me every time I hear it, because it is a clear reflection of what they are observing from their internal business culture about the way they should behave. Now project 10 years into the future: How many companies will fix the client experience and become part of the wonderful day-to-day companies to conduct business with, or, how many more will fall victim to the overarching theme of sell now, client later?

When I was a first-year consultant I didn’t know where the bathroom was, or how to tie my shoelaces. I was taught to be concerned with learning the ropes, finding out what about who was the best and how to become better than them, understanding finance, getting to know our clients and what motivated them, learning how they defined success and what we could do to help them get there.

My proudest career moments in life — getting hundreds of clients to become millionaires over the past decade through an exceptional client experience. I just don’t see this happening in the industry as much as we should…change is needed.  Time to step up and adapt!

I hope this can be a wake-up call to all organizations out there. Make the client the focal point of your business again. Without clients you will not make money. In fact, you will not exist.

If you need help retaining your clients reach out to us @

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Content/Social Marketing - How Important is it to the success of your bu...

In today's ever evolving digital marketplace, content marketing is becoming one of the most important aspects of a successful digital campaign for a business.
Having a company, such as ConnecTheDot, work with your business to create a creative AND THOROUGH content marketing plan can make a significant impact on your business.

In addition to increased revenue, common content marketing goals include:

Brand awareness
Thought leadership
Increasing the number of marketing-qualified and sales-qualified leads
Improving conversion rates
Lowering the cost of customer acquisition
Enhancing customer service
Better customer retention and up-sell

If your business needs help, ConnecTheDot is here to help.

Contact us today at 302.314.3762.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

How Does Culture Impact Client Experience

ConnecTheDot defines culture as how internal employees & external consumers think, believe, and act, and if a business strives to differentiate its client experience, it must address each one of these areas. Culture change is not static, it’s a constant progression. Is your business culture in tact? If not, we can help.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

ConnecTheDot - What we do, who we are! Call 302-314-3762 Today!

Part 1: Content = Customer Experience

Businesses strive for several things, however, in our expert opinion they really focus oodles of attention on one highly important factor.  What might that be? Bring website changes to help the end user (consumer) find the right content. Content drives online marketing efforts, and the client experience is key to all business success.

The client experience dictates how consumers see a brand and how they feel about it. Content as it was spoken in the past ‘Content Is King’ is now an afterthought. Content to enrich the experience of consumers is the ‘NOW’.

As a business, content strategy should reflect solely how your business will be communicating with your consumers. Better put, use your 2 ears first and 1 mouth later.  Listen to the clients, hear what they have to say, listen intently to what they want and satisfy their needs.  The results will be quickly evident!  Below are three things to think about in regards to the right content:

  1. Content that is rich that fits the needs of the consumer inside the consumer buying cycle will allow your website to be on the forefront because the information will allow trust to take place onsite.
  2. Your business will increase engagement with new visitors, loyalty with followers and retention with existing clients.
  3. Your business will provide a better client experience, producing more brand allies and increased positive reviews — according to a recent case study a positive review can increase the odds of someone making a purchase by as much as 58 percent.

Creating content for your client experience simply means meeting consumers where they are, both in terms of the websites they visit and their progress towards making a purchase with your business. However, don’t forget post sale, retention is where most businesses fail these days leading to higher new client acquisition costs. Client experience focuses first on retaining the clients you have so you don’t lose them to your completion due to unhappiness, a bad experience, a customer service problem, or just bad business.

The Inevitability Of Strategy For Client Experience

If your businesses primary concern remains with the client experience, then you must be willing to engage your clients wherever they might be (Social Media, Digital Advertising, Outdoor Advertising, etc.), even when they’re not on your website. Occasionally clients might come across your ‘BRAND STRATEGY TECHNIQUES’ or other alternative marketing channels and may not want to visit through to your website.

As a business you have two paths you can take: Engage these potential leads or watch them leave.

Developing a differentiating strategy for your marketing effort means addressing the needs of consumers, regardless of the marketing channel on which they interact with your ‘BRAND’. While bringing people to your business website should always be an objective designed to attract consumers, you also need to provide content that will help and engage them off-site.  This is where relevancy takes place and is critical for any SEO efforts your business partakes in for website strategy.

Establish – Implement – Promote - Monitor

Part 2 will revolve around the client experience journey a consumer goes through inside the consumer buying cycle and where your business strategy needs to focus strict attention...stay tuned!