Getting the customer hooked

Mark Sten
Globys
It is not the adoption rates that affect your bottom line. It is identifying the customers and their behaviors that will have the greatest impact, guiding those customers through the adoption stages, and ultimately changing their behaviors to create product dependency and ultimately higher value for your business.  
 
By understanding the five-stage process that customers go through -- from learning about a new product to becoming loyal to the product and the provider -- you can align your customer engagement strategies to accelerate success.
 
The first stage is when customers know about the product and its availability, but is wondering what it could do for them. Marketing is the process of building a relationship with your customers and prospects, which develops as a result of frequent contact over time.
 
While intuitively we understand the importance of frequency when promoting a product, it is often sacrificed for reach. When launching or promoting any product, it is important to evaluate all of your touch points -- portal, website, IVR, email, support representatives, paper bill, customer newsletters, account reviews, etc. -- and determine how to best leverage them for delivering the right series of on-going messages that resonate with a customer and their needs. For example, instead of rattling off a laundry list of functionality, simply state that the product can “save you time” or “be customized to meet your needs” and how.
 
In Seth Godin’s book, Permission Marketing, he uses an analogy of seeds and water to demonstrate the importance of assuring adequate frequency in your promotional campaigns. If you were given 100 seeds with enough water to water each seed once, would you plant all 100 seeds and water each one once or would you plant 25 seeds and use all of the water on those 25 seeds?
A few months after launch, you should ask yourself whether you are doing everything that it takes to move customers to the next stage of adoption.
 
The second stage is when customers learn of the product’s full range of capabilities and benefits. For this stage, it is important to ensure that your approach adapts to the three different learning styles -- listening learners, seeing learners, and experience learners. Think about one of life’s earliest lessons, “The Stove Can Burn You.”   Listening learners heard this from their mother, believed it, and never touched a stove. Seeing learners watched their brother touch the stove, and never touched it.  Experience learners touched the stove – but only once! 

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