We’re often asked how BatesMeron shows return on investment (ROI). And we often answer in an unexpected way: We don’t. Instead, we prefer to leverage customer success content to highlight the real impact of our work—a tool we’ve coined return on experience (ROX).
To understand our approach, we’ll have to dig a little deeper, starting with the importance of showcasing customer success.
In short, customer success content is a great tool for engaging prospects and turning them into clients or customers. From a business perspective, good customer experience brings forth a myriad of benefits, like increase in web and mobile conversion rates, growth in average order value, greater retention, higher customer lifetime value, increased loyalty program memberships and much more.
But how does an intangible customer experience bring forth these real, tangible business benefits? For starters, in our world of convenience, everything potential buyers want or need to know is easily accessible online. Customer stories are just that; they give buyers the confidence that your product or service will perform and provides results—confidence they no longer get from businesses themselves.
While most every business now has a beautiful website with customer testimonials and well-produced customer videos, buyers tend to tune them out. After all, they don’t feel they can trust slick marketing content. Instead, they prefer raw, authentic insights from peers.
Of course, as mentioned before, customer success content isn’t just a believable story—it’s also a great sales tool. According to research conducted by Gartner, 85% of customers interactions with brands today will take place without speaking with a human, sometimes going all the way to signing up for a trial or buying a solution without speaking to anyone on the vendor’s sales team. With consumers increasingly turning to the internet for answers, causing you to lose phone time with potential customers, you must find other ways to prove the value of your product or service. Enter customer success content.
With a well-documented customer story, you can attract B2B buyers with content that educates them and answers their questions throughout every stage of your sales cycle. In fact, a study conducted by Forrester found that “today’s buyers might be anywhere from two-thirds to 90% of the way through their journey before they reach out for a salesperson.”
In other words, there are a lot of different buyer journeys out there, and you have to be prepared for all of them. More specifically, you have to work hard in order to earn the right to engage with them. That’s why B2B buyers look for customer success content such as case studies, reviews and testimonials. Remember: They believe what their peers say about you—not what you say about yourself.
So, you have an array of customer success stories that prove the value of your business. Now you have to build them out into usable content. Today, business buyers (especially the up and coming millennial generation) behave more and more like consumers shopping online in their personal lives. In fact, 85% of tech buyers will read up to 10 customer reviews before making a final decision—just like they do when shopping for themselves on Amazon.
Reviews, however, aren’t enough. A review won’t give prospects a complete look at how you can help their business. However, case studies, or what we at BMSD call customer stories, do tell the full story. When prospects read a case study, they learn how you helped a business solve one of their top challenges and achieve measurable results. Plus, case studies can be used across all stages of the sales cycle.
According to Hawkeye, 71% of B2B buyers in the awareness stage and 77% in the evaluation stage cited testimonials and case studies as the most influential types of content. Buyers also look for case studies when they are getting ready to buy. Many Google terms such as “Company ABC + case study” when they are in the decision phase and need proof that a product or service works. To that end, customer stories have quickly become one of the best tools for sales success.
It goes without saying that customer stories can also help marketers reach their goals. The B2B Technology Marketing Group surveyed more than 600 tech marketers, and 44% of respondents said that case studies are the most effective content marketing tactic for lead generation. With significant investments being made in customer success content, top marketing teams use any number of the following tactics to spread the word of their customer success:
In any form, customer success content is an invaluable asset when it comes to establishing proof that what you’re offering is valuable, of good quality and provides results. With consumers trusting brands less and peers more, it’s the ideal way to communicate your value by sharing the successes of other customers’ experiences—hence, why we rely on ROX to communicate ours.
Interested in proving your ROX? Let us at BMSD develop your content and help you market them to get the most out of your customer successes.