Treating customers like prospects is a dangerous game

Why you shouldn’t treat your customers as prospects

When you’re marketing to prospects, you don’t know too much about who you’re talking to. For the most part, that’s fine for prospect marketing. You fire out all kinds of offers, promotions and one-way communications across all kinds of channels to reach each group, measuring campaign successes through open rates and click-throughs.

With people who’ve already bought into your business, things are very different…

These are people who’ve already invested their personal time and money with you. They’ve told you who they are, they’ve signed up to your services, and they’re expecting a personal service in return.

Too many companies fail to build trust with their existing customers by communicating with them in the same way as they communicate to prospects – with one-way content and offers (like ‘batch & blast’ emails).

To build trust you must manage customer interactions with sensitivity in message timing, frequency, tone of voice and channel mix. That sensitivity only comes from data that customer has given you and expect you to protect and use sparingly.

– They want you to show that you know them.

– They want to see that you understand their situation.

– They want you to get how they’re feeling.

– They want you to listen to them as individuals and adjust your service to their preferences.

Do that, and they’ll invest even more time and money with you – the KPIs that really matter. But treat them like strangers and you deserve to suffer the consequences. What consequences?

Today’s customers are smart, connected, web-savvy, and fickle as hell. They’re swimming in brand choice and it’s never been easier to switch companies. Yet as the facts above show, customer experience is make or break.

Not only is bad customer experience the most common reason that people stop using a business when they leave they tell other prospects to steer clear as well. That’s a bonus kick to the nether regions – and it comes from being prospect-obsessed and customer-lukewarm.

So stop treating customers like prospects and start maximising your customer relationships.

Patrik Eriksson

Head of Growth