At Samanage we are big believers that IT is more than just the technical gatekeeper. They are involved in far more than they realize and the organization realizes, especially from a marketing standpoint. What the IT help desk may forget is that they are an important touchpoint in the marketing funnel. And, as a customer touchpoint, the help desk needs to be involved in moving the customer through that illusive marketing funnel that constantly comes up in meetings and presentation.
If you aren’t familiar with the marketing funnel, it’s that diagram that shows how the customer moves throughout different aspects of marketing, from the top of the funnel when they are just interested in blog posts and social media, to when they fill out a form or download a white paper to the time when (hopefully) they become a loyal customer and even a brand advocate. Here is what the help desk needs to know about the marketing funnel and how they can help become a factor in moving a customer further down the funnel.
Where a Customer is in the Funnel
The marketing funnel progresses like this:
- The top of the funnel (picture the widest part) is where consumers become aware of a particular product.
- The customer then begins the consideration phase, which usually includes research and asking questions about the product. They might choose to ask friends, post questions to social media, or even call or email the company directly.
- The next phase is the preference phase, at which time the consumer develops a preference for one particular product or brand as opposed to the alternatives.
- The action phase follows the preference phase. This is the point at which the consumer who is shopping for a product actually buys and becomes a customer.
- If the customer likes the product, they will continue to use it. At this point the customer becomes a loyal customer.
- A few customers are so impressed and satisfied with the brand and product that they begin telling others about it and recruiting new customers for the brand. This is the phase of advocacy. The goal of your brand is to bring every consumer from the awareness through the advocacy phase through stellar products, excellent customer service, value pricing, and delivering on promises.
How to Move a Customer Along in the Funnel
What does it take to migrate a consumer from awareness through brand advocacy, or at least loyalty?
- Make it easy for the customer. Customer satisfaction is directly related to how much effort they have to put forth to get things done and resolve issues. For the help desk, this can mean adding options like self-service portals, chat features on your website, and an easy email process, in addition to talking to a live person on the phone.
- Make it easy for the customer to find out what their options are for contacting you. Put it on every page of the website, make sure it’s in your Google, Yelp, Foursquare, and other listings, and insist on it being listed on any ads and printed materials your company produces.
- Deliver what you promise. Customers would rather work with a company that promises a little but delivers a lot than a business that promises tons yet never does what they say they will do.
A solid IT service management system can help you help your customers. The right ITSM solution will make it easy for your customers to find you and easy for you to deliver what your customers expect. It’s one more piece in the puzzle of moving consumers down the marketing funnel.