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Customer Engagement

Developing Nurture Strategies That Decrease Time to Value

Whether you’re nurturing prospects or guiding product qualified leads through a free trial, intentionally crafting their journey allows you to coach potential buyers toward a purchase decision. Weak points in your nurture could be the cause of a low conversion rate.

 

Understanding the mechanics of a great nurture hinges largely on the concept of time to value (TTV), which refers to the time between when a customer takes an action and when the value of that action becomes obvious to them. TTV can help you diagnose where your nurture might be weak. For example, if you’re seeing low conversions from your free trial, it could be the case that your TTV is actually longer than the trial itself. This concept could apply to many points in the customer journey. Marketo found that 96% of website visitors aren’t ready to buy based on their initial visit. That’s when nurturing strategies come into play. Your nurture strategy helps to move customers through the marketing funnel with touch points that help communicate the value your product or service provides.

 

Tweaks to the nurture strategy can improve the customer experience and increase customer engagement and conversions. We worked with a SaaS company to revamp their nurture strategy to do just this. Originally, their customer onboarding experience had an ambiguous timeline and the high value actions weren’t made clear. We recommended changes that pivoted to an action-based nurture that reduced friction and personalized touch points. By identifying three critical stages in the trial onboarding period, we divided actions between what we called work, play and commit. We then frontloaded the sign up friction in the work stage. That allowed us to reduce the TTV and move customers through the play stage and toward commitment.

Also read: Uncovering the Root Cause of Low Conversion Rates to Unlock Continual Growth

 

If you’re trying to improve your customer nurture journey, there are some key best practices to incorporate. Here’s what to know.

Best Practices

Statistics show that 74% of companies are prioritizing improving conversion rates over the next 12 months, indicating this is a more important business need than driving traffic to their websites or even increasing customer lifetime value.

 

Here’s what to keep in mind if you are looking to revamp your nurture strategy to optimize your conversions and increase customer engagement:

 

  • Personalize: No one wants to feel like they’re receiving a cookie-cutter message from you so take the time to personalize your messaging based on customer actions. This goes beyond simply addressing them by name and takes into consideration where they might be in the journey.
  • Segment your lists: You can’t personalize if you aren’t segmenting, so be sure to divide your list by specific data points. There are many ways you can do this beyond the basic demographics of age and gender. You can create segments such as location, transaction history, web browsing history, and even device type.
  • Get creative and specific. Create multiple touch points: You should think of your nurture as greater than just one email. Consider all the channels you can use to nurture your customers — email, text message, retargeting ads. Make your communication ecosystem work together to create a world that pulls your customer in.
  • Include a call-to-action: In all your messages there should be a clear call-to-action that helps your customers understand their next steps. Keep it short and compelling.
  • Split test: Develop the practice of being data-lead by A/B testing all of your messaging. It’s hard to be entirely sure which subject line, call-to-action or topics will resonate with your audience, so let the data lead the way.

No one wants to feel like they’re receiving a cookie-cutter message from you so take the time to personalize your messaging based on customer actions.

Common Mistakes

We’ve noticed some commonalities among nurtures that aren’t doing a great job proving value. Here’s what to watch for:

 

  • Lack of data and research: When beginning the process of overhauling your nurture, it’s important to use both quantitative and qualitative research methods to diagnose what is missing and where your opportunities to optimize are. Your goal should be to help your customer get the value they are seeking faster by sending the right message at the right time. In order to solve this challenge, you need to research.
  • Not optimizing your call-to-action: One major mistake companies make with their nurtures is not including a sales pitch at all. Don’t do this. Not only should you specifically include a sales pitch as part of your nurture, but each touchpoint should have some type of CTA. All CTAs should be optimized. It’s smart to test different CTAs to determine which ones perform better in different situations. Remember to keep your CTAs direct and make sure each CTA is pointing to the most relevant link or next step.
  • Not knowing when to bring sales in and when to let your nurture work for you: Statistics from the Harvard Business Review show companies that get in touch within an hour of receiving a lead are seven times more likely to convert. Automating elements of your nurture can help craft this experience without the added pressure on your sales team. Additionally, customers or leads may not be ready to talk to someone right away, depending on their stage of the journey. Nurture allows you to build that relationship with the customer while slowly qualifying them before bringing in additional resources like sales.
  • Not constantly iterating: Remember that strong nurtures are an iterative process, and they change as customer preferences evolve. Constantly test and update your nurtures to ensure they are performing at their highest potential.

5 Types of Common Nurture Strategies That Improve Time to Value

Reducing time to value is the name of the game when it comes to increasing conversions. Here are five strategies we’ve seen companies use that can help you attain this goal.

Onboarding Signup

The “onboarding signup” is a nurture that encourages users to complete the signup process. This helps them get the work out of the way so they can start to enjoy the value of your product or service.

 

Purpose: Use the onboarding signup to gather data that can segment users in a sales class, or that can help you obtain other information to create segments specific to your business.

 

Strategy: Integrate your onboarding signup into the verification process with form fields that users have to complete. Fight the temptation to ask too many questions at this stage. Stick to the most relevant information that will help you properly nurture customers through their trial.

 

Success metric: If a user completes the signup process and advances to onboarding.

Trial Engagement

How engaged your users are with your platform during the trial period can significantly influence their time to value and your ultimate conversion rate. Creating a nurture throughout the trial that is optimized based on user actions can help improve their experience.

 

Purpose: Encourage users to explore features that are most likely to help them achieve their goals while also proving the importance of upgrading.

 

Strategy: Create engagement with your application by highlighting features and connecting case studies to the personalized use cases of your customers. Work toward scheduling a call with the sales team so you can create an even more personalized sales pitch.

 

Success metric: If users have used at least one of the features available in the trial.

Make your communication ecosystem work together to create a world that pulls your customer in.

Product-Focused Campaign

Educate potential customers on everything your product can help them achieve with a product-focused nurture that highlights your most important features.

 

Purpose: Become a trusted thought leader for your prospects as they advance through the sales cycle.

 

Strategy: Highlight features that solve pain points using case studies, white papers, and internal data.

 

Success metric: You’ll want to determine if customers are using the specific features you’re highlighting for them in your nurture. This can tell you if the features you’re explaining are resonating with them or if you need to find more relevant features for their goals.

Competitive Campaign

A competitive campaign is more aggressive than other nurtures on this list. For this type of a nurture you’ll get specific about what differentiates your product, and what users have to lose if they choose one of your competitors.

 

Purpose: If you have a main competitor that customers are constantly weighing against you, a competitive campaign can work to overcome their objections by educating them about how you are better positioned to help them achieve success.

 

Strategy: Use specific information gathered during sales calls to address main objections without coming across as negative. Any press you’ve obtained or industry intelligence that proves your worth can be helpful here.

 

Success metric: Count actions such as signing up for your trial or upgrades to determine the success of this campaign.

Promotional Nurturing

Promotional nurturing can help move prospects across the finish line with a limited time, exclusive offer that encourages them to act now.

 

Purpose: Promotional nurturing helps you close a sale when you are in the purchase stage of the cycle.

 

Strategy: If you’re working with a big account that could significantly impact your business, offer special pricing or access to upgraded features based on what you know their needs are. For smaller accounts, adding a discount to your email nurture toward the end of the trial stage can inspire users to upgrade.

 

Success metric: For account-based selling, assess how many times you are able to close the sale. For product qualified leads, review how often your discount code has been used.

 

Also read: Optimizing paid media strategies to continually increase leads year over year

Your goal should be to help your customer get the value they are seeking faster by sending the right message at the right time.

How to Assess & Redesign Your Nurture Strategy

Improving your nurture strategy starts with assessing user behavior to identify where you can aid with value realization. This might include collating more data on your users so you can do a better job segmenting your nurtures. It could also include competitive research that helps you identify other journeys your users might be experiencing as they compare your service.

 

Use this research to map your entire customer conversion experience to identify opportunities to increase customer engagement. Then, identify gaps in content and specific trigger points that could reduce the time to value. If you find quick wins, implement these immediately while preparing your campaign overhaul.

The Bottom Line

There are so many ways you can nurture your relationship with your customers to increase engagement, prove your value and turn trial users into paying clients. The key to it all is constantly iterating by using data to understand what your customers are experiencing at each step in the journey. Customizing your messaging to respond to their actions and experiences will help you personalize each nurture touch point, increase customer engagement and prove the value of your product or service.

Categories
News This Week in CX

This Week in CX: 3 Big Healthcare Tech Companies & Providers Announce Future CX Plans

The healthcare industry was always going to need to integrate and provide more personalized digital-first experiences for patients. The 2020 pandemic just sped up that demand.

 

Patient experiences in healthcare – and how to improve them – is something we talk about a lot. Whether with prospects, our current healthcare clients or internal teammates, we’re always hypothesizing, testing, and implementing new data-driven strategies designed to solve the acquisition, engagement, and retention challenges that many organizations are facing. These solutions always have one theme in common: They’re developed with humans at the core and with heart.

 

This week, a number of companies dedicated to developing technologies and holistic strategies that streamline healthcare experiences and improve patient engagement made announcements that will help organizations get one step closer to delivering truly personalized CX. No matter your CX speciality, these stories serve to showcase the ways in which companies are getting creative with innovative technologies and may provide some much-needed inspiration into CX takeaways for businesses small and large.

 

Here are the biggest business, tech and data developments that occurred this past week and will most certainly impact how we design and deliver the customer experiences of tomorrow.

 

HIPPA Just Gave a New Telehealth Video Feedback & Engagement Platform the Green Light

 

Twenty-first century technology is so cool. A new “video feedback and engagement platform” designed for healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies fits that bill. Medallia, Inc., a SaaS company that develops technologies for customer experience management, is getting ready to change how healthcare needs are heard and understood with their newest product, Medallia LivingLens.

It all comes down to making patients feel seen, heard, understood, and authentically cared for.

The video solution – which achieved HIPPA compliance this past week – gathers real-time customer and employee sentiment (feelings, perceptions or attitudes that arise during experiences) during telehealth sessions. Using proprietary AI technology, the solution “captures six times more information with video feedback than tradition, open-ended text based solutions, including nonverbal communication, such as body language.” This results in action-based insights that enable practitioners to predict and overcome barriers associated with providing optimal care and exceptional telehealth experiences.

 

One company currently using the solution, Just Worldwide, says the Medallia LivingLens allows them to analyze patient “video diaries,” understand how patients feel, and uncover what they wish their caregivers knew. “We use it to get the emotional impact of a patient,” explained Sally Udayakumar, Research Manager at Just Worldwide.

 

This is going to open up a whole new world of care that practitioners are able to provide to patients – including preventative care.

 

“Organizations and practitioners can only truly be lifelong partners if they are emphasizing and providing preventive care to patients,” says Tallwave Product Designer Chelsey Gloetzner. “Those who are proactively providing preventative and whole-person care will naturally improve patient engagement in-between sick visits.”

 

Also read: Innovators Q&A: How Avidon Is Solving the Patient Engagement Problem In Healthcare

It all comes down to making patients feel seen, heard, understood, and authentically cared for. Previously, practitioners could only know what patients verbally told them or they could physically observe. Now, Medallia LivingLens allows them to dig so much deeper, and provide a level of care that they’ve never been able to before. And it will only contribute to increased satisfaction and loyalty.

 

“Patients that know and believe you have their best interest in mind will more willingly partner and trust healthcare providers long term,” says Chelsey.

 

But will this technology – and telehealth appointments – still persist as the pandemic chapter comes to a close? You can count on it.

 

“Many patients who have become comfortable with telehealth will still prefer this type of appointment in a post-COVID world,” predicts Chelsey. “More doctors are experiencing the benefits of taking these types of appointments as well. In the future, it is feasible that telehealth will not lose its demand.”

 

That doesn’t mean all telehealth challenges are resolved. In fact, there’s one outstanding problem that we’re currently helping clients solve for: The need for increased education to help onboard older generations.

 

“It is a unique challenge because those who would greatly benefit from telehealth appointments due to age, physical limitation or challenges finding transportation to appointments, tend to have the most difficult time utilizing the technology,” Chelsey says. “Without the proper introduction and training for this technology, a large demographic of potential users will not be able to benefit from telehealth appointments. Putting walkthroughs or training within the technology itself will not meet the needs of those who must learn how to utilize this type of technology and the devices they would use it on.”

 

So, once you know how to connect with your practitioners via the internet, you can bet that computer or mobile phone lens is allowing them to peer right into your soul.

Microsoft’s Healthcare Bot Migrates to the Azure Platform

 

If you haven’t noticed, you’re surrounded by robots.

 

Internet bots, that is (think chatbots, Alex, Siri – you get it). And if healthcare organizations weren’t using them before, you can bet they’ll be embedding them into their customer experiences soon.

 

Microsoft announced their plans to migrate their Healthcare Bot to the Azure platform, enabling healthcare developers to customize bots for both clinical and/or operational uses and build new conversational tools. Additionally, organizations will be able to use the new Azure Health Bot as virtual health assistants, ensure compliance requirements related to privacy and security mechanisms, and merge electronic medical records into touchpoints to drive more personalized, holistic experiences.

 

“It’s really great to see healthcare companies leveraging and investing in technology to remove barriers and friction from the customer experience,” says our Senior Product Designer Alyssa Hayes. “Healthcare on its own can be notoriously complicated and stressful. Even the routine stuff, especially when you toss in some unexpected illnesses or accidents, can be a burden to navigate. Using technology to naturally provide personalized care – while delivering an experience that’s more approachable and predictable – will help put patients at ease and enable them to understand what they need to do to achieve better health. It gives them one less thing to worry about.”

 

That’s something everyone could use a little more of, these days.

 

Also read: Real People Tell Us What They Want From Healthcare In 2021

"This type of bot technology is providing great opportunities for healthcare practitioners and organizations to build trust and provide care that is truly valuable."

“There’s nothing more personal than your own health,” says Alyssa. “This type of bot technology is providing great opportunities for healthcare practitioners and organizations to build trust and provide care that is truly valuable.”

 

Our Chief Operations Office Ed Borromeo is also on the bot train. “It’s great to see this technology advance,” he says. “It provides so many opportunities to improve experiences within the healthcare space, overall – for both patient and healthcare workers.”

 

And the benefits aren’t exclusive to the healthcare industry. “We see increasing use of this class of innovation in a lot of other verticals: Banking, travel, even HR. Bots have a lot of utility and, frankly, they’re super cool. Beyond efficiencies, those who can seamlessly transition a bot user experience to, say, a human-to-human user experience with no clunkiness will be winners in the CX space.”

 

Note for all businesses out there: If your customers already explain their problems to bots, don’t make them repeat it when connected to human representatives. Make the changeover from robot to representative as smooth as a cut from a scalpel.

Walgreens Taps Microsoft & Adobe to Drive New Personalized Experiences For Shoppers

Walgreens is doing big things.

 

On the heels of an 18 month partnership with Microsoft, in which the two companies worked together to modernize technology and move their health-related operations to the cloud, Walgreens announced a second phase this past week – one that brings Adobe into the powerful fold to help craft next-level experiences and improve engagement with the store’s customers, both in-store and online.

 

By partnering Walgreen’s global customer data with Microsoft’s cloud-based data platforms and Adobe’s Customer Experience Management solutions, the trio will design holistic CX strategies that connect pharmacy, immunization, and retail interactions.

"Having a personalized experience like this can help customers feel like their time and business matters.”

One example of this is what they’re calling “individually tailored” prescription experiences: Today, customers are contacted numerous ways – by text message, email, phone call – when prescription refills are ready. In the near future, instead of being bombarded through multiple channels, none of which drive a valuable experience, they’ll receive an email that not only reminds them about the refill, but provides a “landing page” filled with information that encomapsses dosage, prices and other educational resources.

 

And since so much of a great customer experience is saving customers time, shoppers will also receive alerts that refills are available when inside Walgreen stores, so they don’t have to make a second trip later.

 

“Customers want to have your undivided attention,” says Alejandra Guillen, a Tallwave Content Specialist. “They want to feel like they matter and like businesses actually care about them. Having a personalized experience like this can help customers feel like their time and business matters.”

 

And Walgreens’ goal to connect their in-store and online experiences are key to sustaining customer affinity and loyalty.

 

“Before, in-store purchases were the gold standard,” explains Alejandra. “Now, especially with the pandemic, online shopping is becoming crucial. While people will always make in-store purchases, online shopping will continue to thrive even after the pandemic for convenience.”

One brand doing this well? According to Alejandra, Target.

 

“The Target app remembers your in-store purchases and combines them with your in-app purchases to deliver personalized deals and reminders to buy goods you have purchased in the past. This method is great for both an excellent customer experience and boosting a company’s profits.”

 

And last, but certainly not least, Walgreens’ new strategy to educate shoppers when reminding them about prescriptions will increase the bond and attachments customers have with them.

 

“Customers want to know what they’re buying and what they’re putting in their bodies. When it comes to prescriptions, no one is reading the long pamphlets that come with medications,” says Alejandra. “Formatting this crucial information into easy-to-understand landing page content will help customers build and establish longtime trust with Walgreens.”

 

Anyone else switching their regular pharmacy to Walgreens?