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Tips from the Front Lines
Understanding why customers bail on you. Critical
mistakes B2B sites still make today.
From AICPA Custom Media Solutions
Why customers switch from you. Survey finds
big disconnect between what customers and vendors think.
What are the main reasons you lose customers to
competitors? Inadequate service and support, according to 74 percent
of customers in a recent Loyalty Connection survey. Service and
support breakdowns far outpaced any other factor, including price
(25%), quality (32%) or changing customer needs (8%).
But, here’s where it gets interesting. When
companies were asked why customers bailed on them, their explanations
were quite different. Nearly half (49%) cited price; 36 percent
cited changing customer needs and only 22 percent said customer
service and support.
Why customers bail on you
Source: The Loyalty
The positive news in all this is that your Web site,
if done well, can help you strengthen loyalty by filling in offline
service gaps and making existing service programs more effective.
They key, say the experts, is in understanding what level of online
service and support will get it done. For example, it could be simply
making it easier or more convenient for customers to complete mundane
tasks like register for free newsletters, white papers, downloads,
Webcasts, products, warranties and the like.
Avoiding key mistakes for B2B Web sites
Internet Marketing Report scours
hundreds of B2B Web sites each month. Most of the mistakes, they
say, fall into the following five categories. Chances are you own
site may be guilty of some.
1. No call to action. We see this
again and again in banner ads that our clients (and their agencies)
submit to us for the Insider E-newsletters. If no call to action
is included in your advertising banners, there’s a good chance
you’re forgetting to stress it on your Web site pages. The
call to action – asking for an e-mail address, telling prospects
to call a toll free number, filling out a free download form –
is what generate qualified leads.
2. Inadequate or confusing navigation.
The Web is all about speed and efficiency. Prospects use the Web
because they’re already in research/due diligence mode. Your
site should make it easier, not harder, to navigate to the purchase
validation information they need from you.
3. Trying to do too much. The best
Web sites, according to Internet Marketing Report, are “lean
and mean.” They focus on doing only a few things and they
do them right.
4. Flash intros that waste time.
This is a pet peeve of the CPA Insider staff, too. The “skip
intro” button doesn’t really help. Nothing tells prospects
“we don’t respect your time” more than a Flash
intro on your site. A recent Marketing Sherpa study found that 80
percent of nearly 600 customers surveyed preferred a static HTML
home page to the Flash.
5. Chest-thumping sites. Telling
prospects how great your company is – rather than solving
prospects’ problems – is another surefire way to drive
prospects away and leave them with a negative impression of your
organization. Not sure if your company’s site is too self-absorbed
or not customer focused enough? Try running your Web site pages
through this free tool from Future
Other ‘Gut Checks’ for your home page
Your home page should answer the following questions,
say the experts:
1. What problems do you solve?
2. What results do you produce?
3. How can you prove it?
4. What makes you so unique?
Marketers stretched thinner than ever. How
publishers can help
Nearly half of all marketing professionals report
being close to burnout according to the latest research from UK-based
Brand Republic. The leading causes? Longer hours, expanded duties
and a hyper-competitive marketplace.
What’s more, most surveyed marketers say the
situation has worsened in the past five years as they’ve had
to learn many new skills, manage multiple campaigns across more
channels and do more with less money and fewer people.
What we’ve seen here at AICPA Custom Media
is that overworked marketers are increasingly turning to, even expecting
publishers, conference organizers, and Web site owners to assist
them in planning, executing and measuring campaigns across all media
channels that they work with. “While more work for all of
us,” notes Hank Berkowitz, Publisher of the AICPA’s
Insider family of electronic newsletters,
“it’s transforming the media landscape from one of buyers
and sellers with little accountability to each other, to one of
strategic partners with significant accountability to each other.”
Proven tactics for cross-selling online
timing are the keys to successful cross-selling on the Web, say
Internet marketing gurus Matthew Roche and Lauren Freedman. Relevance
in this sense means offering the right add-on product or service
to the customer’s main (intended) purchase. Timing means making
the cross-sell or up-sell pitch at the ideal time in the buying
how to put this knowledge into play on your site, they say:
on product pages, but save up-selling for the shopping cart or post-order
e-mail. Why? Because if you up-sell on product pages you’ll
come across as overly aggressive. Post-order e-mails work better
because recent customers are highly receptive to them and they typically
best-sellers and hot items when you don’t have relevant
products to offer as a cross-sell. This works well if your site
doesn’t collect data about customer preferences.
price sensitive. Some marketers have more success when
the price of the cross-sell is equal to or less expensive than the
main item. Keep testing to figure out what works best for your organization.
Chronicles for more.