Customer Success – A win win story

In our pursuit to help startup and SMEs in their digital transformation journey, we often come across with very generic sales problems, and most of the problems are due to lack of basic understanding of customer engagement and pitching the solution or product poorly. In this post we have listed some of the points which we practice to overcome these problems –

Understanding the customer –

When you try to help the customer even before tagging them as customers, You should really understand them. That means you need to study the their environment and how they operate in their business ecosystem, their geographical situations and their pain points. We had our success rate increased multifold just by practicing this. To understand this better let’s get into what it means on the ground. One of our client who is an independent career counselor, a typical sales package looks like “A Promotional Website, Mobile Application and a lot of social marketing” at first glance. On a careful consideration it was realised that only doing this will not help them instead might increase operational overhead, hear us out how and why –

A Promotional website need to be targeted to audience and the place this client of our operates from, the audience are still not tech savvy which means their reach to technology is limited to Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram at most and not even to twitter, hence a promotional website is going to be a dead investment for a long time. Same time an app may solve a lot of problem but is costly due to the fee they charge to their customers is very nominal and the profit is not enough to cover the investment. People who know about career counseling will agree that this job is difficult to manage remotely and therefor social marketing through electronic media will attract the leads which will be difficult to convert into sales.

Solving the real problem –

Now once we understood the customer portfolio, it is important to solve the real problem and one should identify it before that. The pain point is, it is not going to be obvious and customer wouldn’t be able to tell you the exact problem. If we rely on customer, almost all the time, all the customers have one single generic problem and that is “Sales not happening or Sales is not increasing as expected” that is it. If you take that problem and try to solve it, you will not succeed because that is never ending pursuit, it is a symptom not a problem. The actual problem may be wrong market segment, non-scalable business model, a generic product or non innovative solution, hence it is important to understand client really have sales not happening is a by product symptom of it.

Keeping the business always in context –

You understood your customers, you identified the problem too, you have a solution just right, however have you consider that make sense for business or not? For example there are all the great equipments and machines to do the farming, you get that to the farmers with subsidised rate all set to work and plow the field, but if the most fertile land and farms have water logging problem all your investment will sink into it and for sure that wouldn’t grow into any kind of corps, what could have been a better solution is to create a sustainable ecosystem of animal husbandry keeping livestock such as cattle, poultry and fish will yield better result and can be utilised in the fertile farms to do farming for double profit and that is what it means to keep the business always in context.

Offering real value –

Work towards the common goals and don’t promise unrealistic non-practical benefits. A website in any forms only has certain goals to achieve, it is not a silver bullet and can not make the business succeed overnight. As we always say “Technology is a business enabler” , it can only enable business to grow and sustain, for example, without proper research on main objective and content of a website,  which is to have engaging content and services to offer. it doesn’t make any sense to throw out a lot of add-ons like SEO, SSL mailbox and other because these doesn’t have any individual value of its own. The point is don’t sell technology in the name of solution. Offer them real solution which adds value to their business and let the technology facilitate and help achieving that.

Train them to utilise it for maximum gain –

Offering technology solution is just not enough. It is important to train the customer to use it. Not always your customers are going to be tech savvy and technology might be only solution in such case it is better to teach them how to use it effectivity. For example which phone would you suggest to a 60 + years of indian customer ? The answer is there is no phone which target this segment specially and this segment have their own challenges i.e touch screen phones doesn’t give them taptic feedback out of the box so they don’t know the action they took happened or not, on the other hand phone which gives taptic feedback i.e the phone with keyboards have really small display and due to their poor eyesight that means by the time they realise who is calling the call would be dropped. In this case the only solution is to teach them enabling taptic feedback present in the touchscreen phone with vibration and key tone and help them to adopt it.

Digital Marketing roadmap for startups

How should a startup prepare for their digital marketing roadmap?

Once you have an idea in place and you have got the necessary legal protections for it, the logical next step is to get an MVP done ( more on MVP and Legal Protections on follow up blogs ). Let’s assume you have your MVP done and you are all set to start promoting your idea/MVP or services. But wait did we talk about promotions, you bet we did, and these promotions are very key thing for your idea to takeoff from the ground, in other words this is the escape velocity which makes or breaks the launch of your startup. That is why we are covering this very important topics in this blog.

Website –

The very basic of online promotion is to have a website of your startup. This is absolute must, it serves the purpose of base address something like an online permanent address for your startup from the existence of the startup can be proven. This is a place where you are going to pitch your product or idea to prospective customers, the investors or even your consumer ecosystem. A solid platform for your product or services. It is very important to get this basic fundamental concept right any compromise in this can cost you a lot. A very common dilemma the startup founders often face is Custom vs Ready Made Themes, It is always recommended to get a custom tailored website designed and developed to suite the idea or the product you have, we understand that each idea is unique and different from other and that is why it is in business, however if you believe that your idea is not so different or unique there are so many readymade themes available but make sure you get those tailored from experienced UX designer and get your branding done correctly in one of those things. A custom basic website costs ranges somewhere around 250 to 750 US Dollars at the time this post has been written.

Social media sites –

The next online promotion tool are social media sites, which is a secondary mean of putting the word about your startup or idea out there. These social media site can serve up to a great extent and can be very powerful if used wisely and correctly. The idea is to put out little info about the actual source or in other word micro blog about the actual blog. Let us explain how this works, Social media site is for socialising where your connections and connections of your connection and so on gets connected now this opens an opportunity to get the review and feedback from the real people who are one way or other connected with you so the authenticity of this information is debatable and subjective, how do you filter this into real insight, and that is where a primary source of information comes into picture you can filter the web traffic into real insight in your primary source of information. The cost of social media promotion ranges from 0 to infinite based on your marketing budget. 0 cost for your organic promotions.

Mail Campaigns –

Mail Campaigns are the third way of online promotions which are a good way to keep your existing subscribers engaged and and informed about your product or idea. This has compliances and laws associated with it depending upon the operating locations and countries i.e you need to have a proof of subscription or consent from the subscriber’s that he/she willfully subscribe to your mail campaign. You should also be registered as bulk mail sender for sending these emails the limit vary from one mail service provider to other.  Generally a zoho mail costs about Rs 99 annually for standard packs, while mail-chimp provides rates of $10 per month. These are quite reasonable and make your startup ready to handle clients and projects.

Content Marketing – Blogs, articles and white papers –

Blog is as necessary as a website. No business can get by without a successful blog. From 2009 to 2012, the percentage of respondents with company blog grew from 48% to 62% – don’t be left behind. It’s the core of a modern, ‘social’ marketing and communications strategy.  To support and drive the company’s web presence and social media marketing activities a digital PR and partnering program needs to be kicked off.’

It should enhance the company’s strategic positioning, promote its product/service category, define credentials, messages, and benefits as well as drive a successful thought leadership and ‘challenger’ framework. The blog is your marketing front foot – make sure it strikes out for you. Blog sites should be set up properly, designed professionally and managed tightly. Editorial strategies need to be developed, writers appointed, guest programs implemented and content carefully planned and produced.

Crowdsourcing campaigns –

“A friend in need is a friend indeed.” Yes, with time this popular adage has come true again. For a startup, getting funds is the biggest impediment. But with social media and the emerging concept of crowdsourcing, getting funds for your startup has become an easy job.

Crowdfunding is a super hot formula to win over funds. The basic idea is you need to get popular wherever you trend. Develop your product in its MVP stage and sell it among your network. Once you get popular half the deal is done.

Crowd Sourcing can be done by these few ways:

  • Create hype with pre-sales
  • Stating ROI
  • Proposing right Workflow
  • Proper test before go-Live

Large brands and SME’s are tapping into the power of the Crowd for contest based campaign ideas as well as viral content development and marketing. Crowdsourced campaigns have become another key arrow in the Social marketing quiver. Crowdsourcing can also be used for cost effective business development, market research, opinion gathering, customer service support and more.