Is it your product, or your entire experience?

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Small business owners and entrepreneurs have all created something; A good, a service, a new supply chain, it could be anything. It is also ‘their baby’, and requires a lot of attention from quite a few different people to tweak it, and make it right. If you are sure that your ‘baby’ is a good one, what else can you do to make it even better? How about questioning your ability to create a remarkable customer experience?

In this increasingly remote, wired, business world, you probably have a system in place that hasn’t been test driven in a while. After all, you are collecting communication points, you are sending them out electronically at regular intervals, you have measurement tools for conversions, up-sells, and regular purchasers, right? But, can these figures be bettered? Can you look at your entire prospect and customer interaction, and make it better?  Are their processes, sometimes obvious, more often hidden that can be bettered? I remember a situation with a small company that had autoi-email system set up for each step of the commitment cycle, and knew they were going out at the right time, but (would you believe), they all contained the same grammar error! While conversions were taking place, they could have been bettered by simply correcting this one mistake: After all, who would trust a company that wrote to its prospects and customers in such a slap-dash way?

While looking at these specific engagements, what about the rest of them, from returned products, to sales calls? Are they all good, or is everything from your business to anyone out there, the dreaded ‘just Spam’? You could do with someone who tests out these communications without your company knowing – the famous fictional ‘Secret Agent’, that reports only to you: A Business brain, sure, but one that doesn’t already know how your company works. One that can approach the company as a prospect, sign up as a customer, receive your product, return it, buy something else, cash in a coupon, in fact – everything. This isn’t for spying on your company, but one that can experience what your company offers with the eyes of a regular new, returning, and committed fan. How are they treated? More importantly, how do they feel about you?

This may sound vague, but how someone is attracted to you is not only a vital piece of the sales process, it is an emption that is hard-wired into the Human experience: If someone likes you, they are more likely to continue spending time with you. This holds true of any human interaction, and today – when communication has become so personal and immediate online – it is expected that you will come over as warm and fuzzy, not prickly and remote.

You can now check every link of the communication chain with everyone in your sales funnel in depth, and find out if anything can be strengthened, or if it needs to be replaced. Your Secret Agent will have the freedom of working outside the company, and report back everything he sees from a new perspective. It needn’t be expensive, it needn’t be quick, but this test-bedding of your engagement systems may show you one very important time-saving technique: Perhaps it’s not your product that needs the tweaking, perhaps it’s your communication. Once you have done this for buy-side engagement, you can do the same for your supply-side. Who knows what goodies that will show you?

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