Have you heard about the Customer
Experience (CX) flywheel? You will! Much of what we’ve been telling you on this
blog contributes to this new model for driving customer engagement: AI,
influencers, social media, content marketing, and more. MarketingProfs has put
together a clear,
straightforward explanation of why many businesses are now moving away from the traditional
sales funnel to the CX Flywheel.
The flywheel concept is
surprisingly easy to grasp. Rather than a gradual outreach effort to prospects
through sales and marketing efforts resulting (hopefully) in an eventual
conversion, the flywheel approach puts the customer at the center of the model.
On the outer edge are all of the touchpoints that you create as you acquire
more customer data. This seamless model allows customers to become part of the
outreach, evangelizing for you.
Savvy integrated marketers regularly
their customers want and look for ways to transform their experiences
through various touchpoints. The flywheel is a customer-centric approach to
identifying, targeting, and communicating with audience segments. Rethink your
customer outreach to continue to acquire customer data, continually improving
your understanding of your audience, enhancing personalization, and getting a
greater return on your investment in each customer/prospect.
For 100 years, the funnel model has provided a linear customer
journey through sales and marketing to eventual conversion. Typically, a
prospect learned about your product or service through marketing (ads,
commercials, direct mail), and then talked with salespeople to discover why they
should make a purchase decision. This could go on for some time.
But today’s customers are much more
empowered. They learn about products in several ways—research on their phones,
word of mouth from friends or family, online review sites, social media,
chatbots, and more.
Welcome the Flywheel
A consumer nowadays may not come
into your system until they’ve made their purchase. This changes the goal from
getting the customer to make that initial buy to retention, growth, and
evangelism. Integrated marketers can now engage with customers across physical
and digital platforms, rapidly collecting more data and building stronger
audience personas. By working together, across the company, in-house teams can
attract and engage with customers holistically, providing a more satisfying
experience at every stage and encouraging them to promote your company, product
Building Your CX Flywheel
Putting the customer at the center
of your flywheel model makes it easier to engage with and inspire them. Think
of it as a wheel with the customer at the center and your touchpoints as the
spokes. With each touch, you are gathering and synthesizing more data.
You Need the Cloud
Flywheel success starts with that
data. Collect, store, manage, and categorize data in the cloud for better
targeting. Take all of the most relevant information including customer
purchase history and geographic location, and combine it with second- and third-party
information for more robust data.
The more data you are dealing with,
the more important privacy and security are for the customer. Be sure you are
clear with prospects and customers about how you are using data, how you are
protecting that data, and what types of outreach they can expect from you.
Make Your Touchpoints
Do what you can to drive
engagement using your customers’ preferred outreach methods. Let them easily make
a purchase from your app or site; use AI, nurture campaigns or digital
assistants to smoothly move customers through the purchase experience.
For customers to share their data
with you, they need to believe that they can trust you with it. Be transparent
and respectful about how you will be using their information—if it’s only to
help them find information that is critical to their decision-making, tell them
MarketingProfs advises that
rather than “reaching the right person with the right message at the right
time” (as marketers have long championed), the flywheel depends on “using the
right strategy, with the right data and technology.” Similarly, Hubspot advises
that “the biggest threat to your company’s growth isn’t your competitors. It’s
a bad customer experience.”
So, take some time to investigate
the flywheel model and how you can implement it within your company for more
strategic customer outreach. Utilize some of the tools that are now available
to augment the customer experience, and strive to create a human experience
with meaningful outreach, greater engagement, and that will allow your
customers to become your greatest advocates.