The Marketing Worked. Now What?March 28, 2014 By Scott Draeger
As we periodically recap our efforts, all marketers will be evaluating whether it has been a year of achieving their targets. Hopefully you have won new customers through effective campaigns, and your existing customers have become net promoters, introducing you to their social circles. Your social media programs have been getting likes, plus-ones, fans and generating leads.
If it's been a year when your marketing campaigns have worked, then now what?
Most marketers do not have the luxury of time to think about what happens after they meet their metrics, because a new set of metrics is on the horizon. But in order to succeed from a company perspective, it is important to remember that your past marketing success can be easily undone in the future if any of it results in a poor customer experience for those who responded to our promotions. Customer experience issues do not typically show up on any marketing team's metrics, especially when related to customer communications. However, subsequent communications that happen after your marketing efforts succeed are even more critical to ensuring a company's long-term success.
When a prospect makes the decision to become a customer, the process of customer onboarding begins. This part of the process is generally budgeted, managed and owned by a different department. Regardless of which industry you work in, onboarding can include a large quantity of forms, disclaimers, statements, applications and other communications. The customer onboarding process generally uses a series of separate systems, forcing customers to re-enter data and fill out complex forms. Poor onboarding experiences can cause frustration, abandonment or even cancellation of a service or relationship within the first 90 days.
A cumbersome onboarding process is largely caused by a mismatch in goals set at the management level. Marketing teams seek high ROI, and understand the need to spend money to make money. Their communications are high-touch, multichannel and engaging. Operations, on the other hand, focuses on efficiency and dislikes perceived waste, which means this department often views high-cost communications as expensive and wasteful.
Customer experience failures are a frequent consequence of today's organizational structures, because the silos are well-defined. From the customer perspective, many well-managed companies switch from a welcoming customer experience during the marketing phase to a poor experience during onboarding or normal service. The effort to "save" on the cost of a positive experience shows up as operational costs in unrelated departments, like the call center.