In a recent blog post, I gave a high-level overview of the marketing funnel from a brand communication perspective. I wanted to continue along this theme, but dive into the interpersonal relationship between the customer and the brand and how the relationship can grow through different marketing channels. Below I’ll post again a generic marketing funnel, but then reorganize it to show a customer relationship funnel.
As you can see, before the initial purchase, most of the communication is around unique selling points creating an intrinsic value of the product or service. Then what happens when the purchase is made and the product and service is received? That’s the most intimate part of the brand – customer relationship, but a lot of companies normally drop the ball, not managing the customer relationship past-sale. This is the perfect opportunity to build on this relationship, asking how satisfied the customer is, asking them to share the word, cross-selling different products, asking for how the product or service can be improved upon.
At Bellhops, the modern moving company I work for, we have a lucky opportunity that almost half of our orders are booked over the phone. While not being scalable, there is a level of interpersonal communication that can happen over the phone that can’t be done anywhere else, other than in person. Where most scaled conversion funnels focus on the USPs on the first half of the relationship funnel, we were able to have personal conversations over the phone asking questions like, “Why are you moving” and “what do you like about Dallas?” before the customer even booked the job. This helps us build an actual relationship with the customer before we even move them. We then have enough information to do cool things like send flowers/gifts to the job or send them personal emails about cool places to eat in Dallas. We also go the next step if we’re not able to move them to find them a different moving service, providing them value even if they don’t end up being our customer.
Now being able to build an intimate relationship doesn’t work for all industries, there is still the opportunity after the product/service has been received to build that relationship. In a scaled/automated environment, the company needs to initially send an email, text or in-app notification asking how satisfied the customer is with the product or service. This then branches out into different automated messages either asking them to write a review or giving them the opportunity to share the product with their friends. Follow-up should continue consistently as you tend the relationship you’ve built. Send relevant content on blogs you’ve written, promotional messaging for new product lines, or cross-sell different but complimentary products. They will eventually need your service again or want another product off your site. You’ve built a personal and intimate relationship with them enough that they return to you to buy that product or service, increasing their lifetime value as a customer.