Thiago Gonçalves, General Manager of Pipedrive for LATAM, explains how to create a trusting relationship with the customer before Black Friday to keep them interested once it’s over.
How can you get prospects to choose your company over your competitor’s on a date so focused on sales and prices? And how do you get the person who bought from you for the first time during your Black Friday promotion campaign to return?
The answer to all of this lies in the relationship you create with the consumer and relies on maintaining relevant communication; the kind of communication that understands what the customer is going through at the moment and offers them the content they need.
This is what Thiago Gonçalves, General Manager of Pipedrive for Latin America, explained during a live webinar in the second season of AdyenTalks.
Below are his 6 tips for creating a customer relationship that goes far beyond Black Friday:
1. Take your foot off the brake
Pipedrive is a customer relationship management tool (or CRM) created in Estonia. Today, the company has 95,000 customers in 150 countries.
This global reach gave them an insight into how the pandemic affected companies in different corners of the world.
Entrepreneurs knew that change was coming and wanted to see how the situation developed before deciding their next steps.
After a month of quarantine, the scenario was far from clear, and people began to realize that it was necessary to adapt in order to continue doing business. It was time to digitize operations quickly.
“The good news is that the Brazilian market is already overcoming these initial phases. June was a very positive month, with strong signs of recovery,” says Thiago.
The challenge now is in maintaining relevant communication with your customer.
2. Study your business
Thiago explains that long before thinking about a tool to help the sales process, it is important to understand how a company's processes work.
What does the lead generation process look like? What about sales? How is the client portfolio managed?
It is also worth diving into the sales flow, asking questions like: “Where am I losing customers? When generating demand, closing, or sending proposals? How can I optimize these steps?”
“The problem is that a lot of people see CRMs as a silver bullet to solve performance problems. That’s why it's important to take a moment like this one to start planning and understanding the sales process, identifying the right metrics and scaling the business,” says Thiago.
In addition, it is important to reflect on your audience: what is the profile of the ideal customer? What characteristics do they have? From there, it is possible to rank leads and then decide on who to make contact with.
“Sometimes you spend more money to communicate with the market and attract more people, but many of these people are not a match for your offer. That is why it is important to be more precise,” he says.
“If the sales team is focused on the wrong audience, they won’t perform. And it’s not just because you’re in a period with fewer leads; you don’t need to approach everyone the same way.”
3. Create communication rules
With a structured sales process, you can analyze a buyers’ journey to understand what stage of the funnel they are in.
There are different moments in the buying journey:
- Learning about the topic
- Recognizing the problem
- Considering different solutions
- Deciding on one.
At each of these stages, the conversation with the consumer must be different. After all, if they don’t even know they have a problem, what’s the point of telling them about how you helped other companies overcome the same challenges?
On the other hand, if they are already looking for a solution, they will probably not be interested in an educational article that explains the subject in a general way.
A survey conducted by consultancy firm MindMiners revealed that for 20% of respondents under 30, the main negative point of online shopping is the excessive communication they receive.
So, with Black Friday right around the corner, it’s time to take some time and create a rule that guarantees effective communication.
“The time to start the relationship and build a customer base is now, and this can only be done with a communication rule that will get the message across at the right time,” says Thiago.
“It is worth showing the customer through which channels they can connect with the company, what kind of offers to expect and how the support system works. By doing this, you start building the trust that will make them prefer to buy with you on and after Black Friday.”
4. Solve the customer’s problem
At a time when all companies are focused on digital, and during an event as big as Black Friday, the secret to staying relevant is to put yourself in the shoes of the customer.
“When the pandemic started, it was announced that only ‘essential services’ could continue to operate. This gives some food for thought: in which ways are you essential to the customer?” says Thiago. “Is it the delivery time? Or support agility? What do you need to deliver in order to have that customer by your side?”
The best way to find these answers, according to Thiago, is to empathize with the customer before starting the sales process.
It's not about what you want to sell, it's about what the customer needs to buy, and how you can make it as easy as possible for them.
A customer who made their first eCommerce purchase during Black Friday, for example, will have other specific needs. You can try to understand why they took so long to switch to digital, what the fears were and how you can guarantee an uncomplicated experience.
And the same goes for the recurring buyer. The secret, in this case, is to rely on data.
4. Let the data guide you
With most customer interactions taking place on digital channels, whether through eCommerce, social media or instant messaging apps, there is a clear benefit: everything can be recorded and analyzed to generate insights.
Who is contacting you? What kind of contact is it, and how often does it happen? On average, after how many touches do these leads become customers?
It is also important to monitor all variations in the behavior of those who are already customers, with a focus on adapting the new offer to the new moment they are in. It is worth looking, for example, if there were changes in the time they spent in the app, the frequency with which they access it, or the amount they usually spend.
“Research shows that 49% of respondents will continue to shop at supermarkets online even after quarantine. We saw a change in habit, not a momentary adaptation,” Thiago explains.
“But if the customer is not there in person to see your product, how do you build a relationship with them? How do you know that they are the right person and that the timing for the offer is right?”
The answer: through technology. We are living in an unprecedented time and there is no manual or guide to navigating it. The way, then, is to follow the metrics and data to learn and make the necessary strategic adjustments.
“We cannot say that the market is complicated and that there is no information. There is information, what is lacking is knowledge to be able to explore this data, to be able to organize this information to make decisions.”
6. Remember: Black Friday is just the beginning
Thiago says that one of the first things he learned when working in sales was that the buyer only becomes a customer after the second purchase.
But customer loyalty beyond Black Friday is easier when you have a relationship with them before. So, during the event, make sure you already have a relevant offer and that you build a strong bond to keep it going.
“People have to see Black Friday as a super opportunity to generate leads and make your company known to a lot of people. But remember: the game starts the next day, with the service you are going to deliver.”
The importance of quality after sales becomes even higher at a time when many people are having their first contact with eCommerce.
People who may be unfamiliar with delivery times and costs may be surprised and even resist these steps as they do not exist in the in-person shopping process.
Here, once again, communication is key: it is better to make the different shipping options, with the respective rates and delivery deadlines, very clear, in addition to detailing the price so that the customer understands how much they are paying for the product and the delivery cost.
Another important aspect to understand is what are the appropriate channels to serve that customer: social media, WhatsApp, phone, chatbot… What do they prefer?
Though bots are good tools to scale, it is also important to recognize that the human touch is essential in some cases.
Pipedrive, for example, uses bots in their support, but if the customer asks certain questions, they are automatically redirected to someone from the support team.
“It is very important to build the perfect experience from beginning to end. Until the product reaches the customer's home, the sale is not completed,” says Thiago.
“We have to see Black Friday as a start, not an end.”
This article was originally published in Portuguese by Adyen.