Customers are increasingly aware of sales and marketing techniques to generate new business leads and are correspondigly reticent to invite unwanted email spam or cold calls while they’re in the fact finding stage of the buying cycle. This makes prospects reluctant to share their personal details with an organisation they don’t know. However, there are very good reasons why customers should take a little time to engage with assessments as they provide a key source of value exchange for both the customer and the company. They might want your services; you might want them as a new company, but until somebody gives something the relationship can’t move foreward.
Value exchange between clients and companies is one of the most basic concepts of 21st Century marketing. The deal on the table is a straight swap of a customers’ cash, time, or key information for a preferential customer experience.
It makes sense to view value as a trade-off between what a customer stands to receive from the exchange and what a customer is expected to provide your company with. The most effective type of exchange is one that gives the most benefit to your customers in exchange for the smallest amount of data, personal information, or whatever else you are expecting to gain from the exchange.
It’s generally regarded that there are three types of value exchange which benefit both parties as follows:
The oldest form of exchange in sales and marketing, quite simply this is an exchange of cash for products or services.
The exchange of client data for a gift, reward or benefit. This is a highly effective way of facilitating business transactions and continuing customer loyalty and engagement.
The customer provides data or feedback through a range of assessment methods such as, online or paper surveys, social media exchanges or apps, in exchange for the promise that their assessment data will help to develop strategies for improved customer service.
We’re going to focus on The Promise Exchange, as in the past, the promise exchange has largely been an afterthought – something it would be valuable for an organisation to obtain, but not essential. However, the promise exchange is becoming increasingly important and is currently one of the major goals in modern selling practices.
The promise exchange enables a company to facilitate deeper relationships and develop lasting client engagement. Information harvested during the promise exchange through surveys, feedback assessments and the like instils higher expertise in your staff, using customer intelligence to inform future customer practice, which in turn can help to ensure longevity of client to business relationships.
The Promise Exchange isn’t always easy to facilitate, let alone sustain. In order for the exchange to be successful, customers are going to need to shift ingrained perceptions of how companies may use information provided through assessments, and begin to trust that the data they’re sharing is going to be used in a manner that will be advantageous to them in the future.
Fortunately, the advent of the web and social media offers innovative new ways to gather and analyse client data – data that may be more valuable than you think in improving customer to business relationships in the future. What’s more, customers are now much more willing to engage with companies using these methods as opposed to traditional marketing methods such as tele-marketing Consumers have a growing appreciation and understanding of the role they have to play in unlocking higher expertise from companies, and so are more likely to engage than in the past.
If you’re using assessments as a source of lead generation, remember to keep the company’s side of the bargain by delivering on your promise – provide meaningful insight in exchange for their participation, use the information sensitively to tailor your approach to the prospect, adapt and personalise your strategy so the customer knows you have valued the time they took to fill out the assessment, otherwise you risk losing valuable customers before you really get started. The Promise Exchange, like any promise, needs to be kept in order that trust is not broken and longer term relationships can endure.