So now what?
You’ve completed a big project to add new capabilities or value for your customers – something like implementing ServiceTrade or adding the Service Portal to your website. How do you get the word out so your customers start using and appreciating it?
If you have asked those questions, you aren’t alone. I’ve heard them half a dozen times so far this year. While you’re basking in a successful implementation, it doesn’t take long to realize that implementation was just the beginning. So what’s next? Driving adoption is the next project – and you’ll want to jump on it fast.
Feed Adoption with Customer Marketing
Every time we talk about marketing with service contractors, I feel like the response is something like “I got 99 problems and marketing is #99.” But marketing communications will help your customers understand and use your great customer service features.
Billy said this in chapter 7 of The Digital Wrap: “The strongest benefit of the digital wrap approach to marketing is that your marketing and sales impressions are actually valuable to the customer instead of being an aggravation or interruption.” He was writing about the marketing impressions that should be built into your service cycle, but it’s a pretty good rule for every marketing impression.
Marketing outreach is a good way to educate your customers about what you’re offering and why it’s good for them. You don’t want to send your first Service Link (online after-service report) and get a call from the customer asking, “What is this and why did I get it?” But your marketing must be seen as helpful, not annoying. Here’s how.
Invite Your Customers to Play Ball
Since a few people have asked for our advice for bringing awareness to their new customer service features, we have assembled examples, templates, and first-draft copy that you can use. Some of the materials available in our marketing resource center are:
- Example websites from our customers
- Bannerstand for trade shows or conferences that you can borrow
- Powerpoint slides
- Example email, invoice insert letter, and handout or postcard
- Screenshots of customer service features, and more.
Take a look at those marketing resources and use them as a starting point for your own programs. You can run a marketing communications program without dedicating a ton of time or financial resources – doing a little is more effective than doing nothing at all.
Bring Them on Home
With a little bit of thoughtful outreach and follow up, you can:
- Get your customers to adopt all your customer service features.
- Help your customers understand how the program they bought from you continues to be good for them.
- Keep the stream of communication open and ongoing.
Your account managers could do this work 1-to-1, but marketing can do the same 1-to-many. Make marketing communications do the heavy lifting, and have account managers follow up with their accounts.
There was a quote in the movie A Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.” Why that may be true for lost baseball legends on a farm in Iowa, it is most decidedly not true for service contractors who want customers to take advantage of their new, modern, online customer experience. Like with modern baseball, you’ve got to do some work to get butts in the seats.
Read Chapter 7 of the Digital Wrap for free! You’ll gain an understanding of how many valuable marketing impressions you can earn with your customers (and sometimes with prospects) during your service cycle.