Alinea Partners Consulting recently mystery shopped a number of cloud service providers. Our Buyer’s Journeys revealed a number of website, sales engagement and purchase challenges. Different partners had different challenges to contend with, however, across the board, companies are struggling with customer references. We thought we’d ask our resident customer reference program expert, Claudia Herzog why that is. Here is what she had to say…
Many organizations consider Customer References to be the most powerful and influential asset for supporting marketing strategies and sales cycles. Customer References enable companies to
- achieve goals
- grow revenue
- create credibility with business partners and prospects
- gaining broader visibility within their industry
- shorten the sales cycle
Customer References enable organizations to engage loyal customers in every aspect of their marketing and further strengthen their brand. Therefore, there is a large number of benefits to build a well-organized Customer Reference Program. Despite a general understanding of their importance, many companies struggle with establishing a program to regularly and programmatically develop and promote customer references. How can a company get started on the path to success?
How to get started?
Start by talking to your customers, find out how each of them is willing to participate in your program. What sort of reference activities are of interest to them? What type of content are they willing to create with you as your reference?
Some great examples on how to efficiently use a customer as your reference include the following:
- Sales reference – reference telephone calls or onsite visits with a potential customer
- Press release and press interviews – supports the increase of your external visibility
- Web site content – published under the customers/references (e.g. logos, quotes, online references)
- Case Study – e.g. published on your company´s website, in a trade journal, on social media platforms, etc.
- Videos – demonstrates “how-to”, offers visuals and the customer success story
- Event Speaker – at trade shows, industry conferences, user group meetings
Thank you for sharing Claudia! For more information about Mystery Shopping and Customer Reference Programmes or to inquiry about ours, please contact us at Customer.Experience@Alinea-Partners.com or directly through Linked IN.