Today’s customer is educated and has easy access to information via digital and cloud based solutions. It is vital to understand the most impactful ways to engage customers along the buying journey. There are six stages in the customer experience loop. Your job is to get your customer through this cycle as quickly and efficiently as possible. This is a series of cognitive steps, buyers can jump around, skip steps and go around again. The key here is that the buyer is trying to answer particular questions at each stage. The marketer is trying to sync with this cycle and gain competitive advantage. Let’s review each stage and then we will have you take your persona through these stages and answer questions for the award.
Stage 1. Explore Stage Customer Goals: Fit solutions to a business challenges. Could include: lowering cost; raising capacity or productivity; creating or responding to competitive threat. Partner Goals: Build unique value-add story on top of Microsoft Cloud marketing. Focus on vertical or segment (SMB/Enterprise). Drive prospects to qualifying action such as demo, event, or trial subscriptions.
Stage 2. Evaluate Stage Customer Goals: Validate and compare seller claims through demos, references, product trials. Partner Goals: Quickly qualify buying intent via digital/telemarketing. Carefully track which customers progress and invest resources accordingly
Stage 3. Purchase Stage Customer Goal: Commit to deploying the solution as soon as possible and negotiate terms and conditions Partner Goals: Provide some or all of the following to help close: quote, request for proposal and return on investment tools, case studies, customer references.
Stage 4. Expand Stage Customer Goals: Master the solutions, move from pilot to production, consider adding new functionality and user groups. Partner Goals: Provide best practices to drive success and business value. Identify internal champions and connect them to potential users. Leverage service, support, sales, and marketing to cross-sell and up-sell.
Stage 5. Renew Stage Customer Goals: Review satisfaction with the solutions and provider; assess performance and potential; decide whether to continue the relationship. Partner Goals: Reach out starting 90 days ahead of renewal date, resolve issues, evaluate up-sell and cross-sell opportunities.
Stage 6. Advocacy Stage Customer Goals: Develop a strategic partnership with the supplier, become a reference account, and actively promote success. Partner Goals: Make your customer the hero. Recruit and coach references. Arrange press and speaking opportunities. Encourage contribution to social media related to target audiences.