What's in this article?
Typically, we think of lead management and CRMs only as marketing tools and systems to benefit our sales numbers, but is there anything in it for customers?
Of course! Lead management can help you deliver the mythical WOW customer experience they’ve been looking for, and likely haven’t received from our competitors.
When it comes to offering a great customer experience, it’s usually delivering speed and urgency that seals the deal.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to make your customer experience more efficient and pleasant for your customers. The big idea is that they’ll recommend your company to their friends and family to renew the lead generation cycle.
What is customer experience (CX)?
The customer experience (CX) comprises all of the interactions between your customer and your company during their customer journey.
It boils down to the way you made your customers feel.
Most customer experiences involve many steps and points of contact along the customer journey, including:
- The way they heard about your company (online or from word-of-mouth)
- Their interactions with your employees (on the phone, video chat, email)
- The ease of use of navigating your company’s website (on desktop or mobile)
- Their experiences working with your products and services
- Lead nurturing (receiving promotional emails and follow-up calls)
Customer experience is different from customer service
Customer service is not the same as the customer experience, although it is related.
Think of customer experience as the big picture strategy — and customer service as being a smaller tactic that helps achieve that goal.
For instance, if your customers are not satisfied with your products or services, they might call your company to complain. The person responding to your customer will be providing a “customer service” role in order to help improve their “customer experience.”
What makes a good customer experience?
Personally speaking, I think most customer experiences are pretty lackluster these days.
Long wait times, poor or non-existent customer service and questionable products and services all taint the customer experience.
In a lot of ways, the bar has been set quite low, which means if you can provide a great customer experience, word will get around quickly.
Actions that make a good customer experience, include:
- An easy, effortless, and intuitive experience that doesn’t require too much effort or thought
- Receiving timely responses and support from the company when I need it
- Politeness, conscientiousness, and thoughtfulness in the employee’s interactions with me
- Predicting my needs or answering my questions before I can ask them
- Providing a high-quality product or service at a reasonable price
- Receiving a personalized experience
- Feeling respected and appreciated by the company
The importance of providing a good customer experience
Providing a great customer experience isn’t just a nice thing to do—it’s essential to your bottom line. It’s about your potential sales!
If you treat your customers badly, they won’t return and they’ll likely bad mouth you to their friends and family. Not good!
Did your customers and clients feel appreciated, understood, and respected during their customer experience? Or did they feel ignored, frustrated, and disrespected?
According to one study, 72% of customers will share a positive customer experience with six or more of their friends. They can’t wait to share their wonderful experience with people who might appreciate their stories.
On the flip side, about 54% of people will avoid a company for two years if they had a terrible customer experience!
What is lead management and how does it help the customer experience?
Once you’ve collected the leads through a lead generation strategy, you’ll need to find a way to handle the incoming sales leads.
Lead management is a strategy that processes your incoming leads, scores them, ranks them, distributes them, and nurtures them until the leads are ready to close a sale.
Typically, lead management is done using various integrated software platforms such as email marketing tools, CRMs, auto-dialers, text messaging services, phone calls, and physical mail.
Let me ask you a question: How does your company handle its incoming exclusive leads?
Do you have a lead management system that automatically processes your CRM leads?
How about drip campaigns? Have you ever used automatic email series to continually stay in touch with leads?
How lead management improves the customer experience
As a consumer, I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to reach out to a company for help (online or on the phone) and be ignored. Why did I even contact them in the first place?
Never let your leads slip through the cracks. It’s unacceptable, especially if you’ve invested all that time and money into lead generation. It’s like throwing away money!
Ideally, you would be calling, emailing, or texting every lead within five minutes. It’s been shown to improve your success rates by 100!
However, this isn’t always possible, especially if you’re on the phone with another client.
This is why you need to figure out your lead management system that sends automated emails to each lead with a drip campaign sequence.
Additionally, you’ll need to integrate your CRM leads with your website contact forms so that each time a new lead is generated, your CRM enters a new customer contact profile with all of their contact info inputted automatically.
Good customer experiences will also aid your lead generation
Good customer experience management (CEM) will lead to positive online reviews, which help your company stand out in Google searches, giving your more visibility and traffic — both of which are necessary for lead generation.
It’s an upward spiral once you start providing good customer experiences. The customers share reviews and tell their friends and family, and in turn, you’ll get more website traffic, more referrals, and more business!
Depending on your industry, most people will discover your company in a Google search or a Google Maps search. Companies that have the highest reviews and ratings will appear at the top of the list, gaining the lion’s share of traffic from these searches.
Lead management strategies
The first step of lead management is acquiring the lead through a lead generation strategy.
Responsive first contact with a lead
Unfortunately, most consumers have been conditioned to expect little or no response from internet inquiries. This presents an opportunity for your sales team to really wow them with a fast and thoughtful first touchpoint!
According to one study, 30%-50% of sales go to the company or salesperson who responds first!
Lead management can ensure that your sales team is immediately responding to every sales inquiry and lead coming into your company’s website.
This is a very important distinction between your company and every other company your customers may encounter on the internet.
Consistent follow-up with leads
It’s been said it takes around seven or eight touchpoints to close a sale. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t close the sale on the very first conversation!
So why does it take so many touchpoints to close a sale?
Because you need to build trust and a relationship before somebody will sign for a mortgage or take out an expensive health insurance policy. They want to trust you’re legit first, and that takes getting to know them first.
The number one cause of sale losses is giving up on the lead and not following up. Simply not making that second or third call is the difference between winning or losing.
Lead management will allow you to automate the follow-up process and make your customer’s experience feel truly personalized.
Trust-building follow through with leads
Good lead management processes must reinforce your trust-building.
Relationships are built on little promises made and kept along the way. If you told a customer you’d find something else and get back to them, then deliver on your promise!
Also, knowing where you are in a sales cycle and what you told the customer at the last meeting is the key.
Your sales process should have a lock-tight approach to notes. Your customer should not have to contact you to remind you of anything, this is what your CRM is for!
The more proactive you appear the stronger that trust becomes and the more profitable the customer becomes, now and in the future.
After-sale relationships with customers
Your relationship with your customer isn’t over as soon as they closed the deal, especially in our service-driven economy.
You’ll need to find ways to stay involved with your customers and maintain a good relationship to deliver a positive customer experience that will warrant future referrals.
If you want to create an enormously profitable sales practice you need to shake hands with customers after the sale.
Your sales process should have a thank-you after each sale and a regular “How have things been going? What can I do to make you more successful?” type of conversation.
Lead management not only keeps you top of mind with all of your customers but also with their potential referrals too.
Delivering an “on the ball” customer experience management is the core value proposition of a lead management system. Make sure you have one to enjoy a more profitable sales pipeline.
Six lead nurturing tips to find meaningful ways to stay in touch
Not all of your leads will be ready to buy the moment you first contact them. If you’re selling mortgages, expect that many of your leads aren’t physically ready to re-located, but are still in the research and planning phase of their customer journey.
So how do you find meaningful ways to connect with your leads until they’re ready to buy? Here are 6 suggestions.
1. Email marketing and drip campaigns
Previously, we mentioned setting up a drip email sequence.
Essentially, a drip email sequence is a pre-determined series of emails that you’ve designed ahead of time to automatically be sent over a certain period of time.
You might design your drip campaign to send the first introductory email as soon as the lead enters their contact info such as “Thanks for submitting your information to receive a quote! Call me or email me to schedule an appointment where we can discuss your needs.”
Later, the second email might be scheduled to send out two days later with a message saying “I wanted to follow up to see if you had any questions about X. Let me know a good time that works to schedule a quick chat.”
Remember to space these emails out in an appropriate time span—don’t send an email to the person every day or you’ll probably be marked as spam.
After the first two messages, start to wait a few days, or maybe a week in between the automated messages to give the lead some space.
2. Blogging and content marketing
Include links to relevant and helpful blog posts and content marketing pieces in your emails to leads.
This can be done by segmenting your audience in your email marketing platform so different audiences receive different emails tailored to their interests and needs.
For example, if some of your leads are interested in conventional loans, add them to the “conventional loans segment” and include your highest-performing blog posts on conventional loans. If they’re interested, they’ll click on it to be redirected to your website, where they’ll become a warm lead again.
Also, if you’ve created helpful infographics, cheat sheets, or visual guides to help your buyers understand the process better, include those graphics in emails as well.
You never know who will open up your email and forward it to a friend or family member who’s looking for that information.
3. Creating videos
You don’t need a professionally recorded video to connect with your leads, a simple iPhone or Android phone recording is good enough.
Consider shooting a short video and embedding it into your emails, or better yet, shoot a video on one of your social media profiles and embed that video as a link — you might get more followers and expand your social media reach.
Short-form video content is huge right now. Think of TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube Shorts. These videos are usually under a minute and answer your audience’s questions about a particular topic.
Again, you never know who’s going to share your email or your video with a friend to gain another lead or add another touchpoint in your customer’s journey.
4. Social media
Email marketing is great for keeping people engaged with your company, but sometimes social media can be easier and more effective for staying in touch with people.
Social media marketing is a bit more fun and more personal, which can build trust with your audience faster than automated emails.
Social media accounts can also amplify your website’s blog posts and content. Every time you post a new blog on the website, share it on your Facebook or LinkedIn page.
Creating helpful infographics or funny memes about your industry? Share them on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
You never know which post might go viral and receive tons of shares or comments, but that’s the goal!
Once you get the social media algorithm going, your posts will start to be recommended to non-followers to expand your reach and generate leads through social media as well.
5. Using an auto-dialer
Using an auto-dialer is just smart and efficient. You’ll never type a wrong phone number again and you’ll improve your call speeds to cold call/warm call more of your leads in a day.
6. Using a CRM for lead management
Assuming you already use a CRM, but just in case you don’t, you really need a CRM!
As I mentioned before, pick a CRM that can integrate with your website to automatically enter new leads into your system and create a profile for them.
The beauty of CRMs is that you’ll keep them open all day and let them tell you who to reach out to that day.
CRMs also integrate with auto-dialers, appointment-scheduling calendars, and just about every sales tool necessary to keep better track of your leads.
Kaleidico—a lead generation agency
Kaleidico is a lead generation agency and full-service marketing firm that delivers 15+ years of lead gen experience for mortgage lenders, financial technology companies, and real estate companies.
We implement a proven lead generation workflow that begins with strategy and is carried through using SEO, content marketing, PPC, email marketing, analysis, and reporting and monitoring.
Photo by Mikhail Nilov