You’ve probably heard of The Marketing Funnel, a model based on the idea that your leads or prospective clients pass through several stages on their journey to becoming a client.
The Marketing Funnel treats gaining a customer as an end point. Basically, you take a bunch of prospects, throw them into the funnel and shake them up until some fall out of the bottom. Once you’ve reached your end point, you start again, throwing more prospects into the funnel.
What the funnel model fails to address is that customer service plays a big part in future sales. This is why you should put your funnel away and turn to The Marketing Flywheel.
A flywheel is a device that, with the addition of energy, starts to spin. The more energy added, the faster the flywheel spins, and the greater the momentum. Unlike the linear funnel, the flywheel represents a circular motion that puts your clients at the centre.
There are three stages (or segments) in the flywheel, that together wrap around your customers: ATTRACT, ENGAGE and DELIGHT.
1. First the attract stage, where you earn attention instead of forcing it.
Inbound marketing is critical here; use your expertise to create content that drives people to you. Consider this blog - it’s relevant (and hopefully educational) to both our clients and prospects - you might even feel compelled to share it with others.
After the initial effort of writing it, it’s content that we can use for a long time, requiring minimal updates to keep it current.
2. Once you’ve attracted people, it’s time to engage them.
Start by allowing your prospects and clients to engage with you when and how they choose.
Offer options like free trials or samples, which allow a client to investigate your product in their own time. Allow clients to choose the communication channel they prefer; be that phone, email, a lead-generation form, chatbots, or the ability to book a meeting with you from your website.
Some people do extensive research before making themselves known to you, others want to speak to a human straight way - cater for all types to build trusted relationships. Trusted relationships enable you to suggest solutions to resolve your clients' problems and achieve their goals - this is problem solving selling.
3. The final stage of the Flywheel is the delight stage.
This is about understanding that you can’t succeed if your clients don’t succeed themselves.
You need your clients to get what was promised from your product or service. You must ensure that the solutions you offered were implemented and effective. Stay in touch with your clients to achieve this via support calls, Net Promotor Score and feedback surveys, and continued client communications such as product update emails or newsletters.
When you know you’ve delighted a client, you can mould them into an advocate; creating testimonials or case studies, asking for online reviews, and providing referral incentives. If you’ve done a really delightful job, your clients will happily engage via platforms like Facebook groups, community support pages, and knowledge bases, sharing their positive experiences and learnings, which in turn helps to delight other clients and creates awareness amongst your prospects.
This is where your Flywheel really starts to spin, with your clients feeding leads into the attract stage!
To keep your Flywheel spinning, identify your friction points and smooth them.
1. Prioritise and utilise your client feedback.
Read the comments on your social channels and respond swiftly with empathy and professionalism. Disgruntled clients are an opportunity to delight – and often the easiest to turn to advocates. Remember, for every complaint you get, there’s likely to be 26 others who think (and gossip) the same.
2. Identify ways that you can automate to improve your client experience.
Systems can always be improved, and new technologies can always be adopted. Don’t get stale. Your competitors' systems could be the thing that differentiates them. Don’t underestimate the value of your clients' time, or the value of time saved… you could spend time savings delighting your clients in new ways!
3. Align your Marketing, Sales and Customer Service teams.
If these departments aren’t communicating with each other effectively and sharing common goals, it’s generally your clients who feel the effects.
Need help getting your Flywheel spinning? We can help you with a solution that speaks to your needs – contact us to learn more!
*The Marketing Flywheel was created by Hubspot - who’s inbound strategy is defined by providing excellent free marketing content to delight everyday businesses