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Customer Service: Your Lead-Generating Secret Weapon

Written by on June 8, 2016

secret

What comes to mind when you think about lead generation?

Landing pages, lead magnets, blogs, forms, pop-up screens?

While all five of these are legitimate channels for lead generation, the one aspect that actually gets you leads is often forgotten in the lead gen context — communication.

No matter what marketing channel you’re using to generate leads for your business, the art of communication is what generates those leads. Communication can be in your:

  1. Company tagline — to engage prospects and reinforce brand awareness
  2. Email subject lines — to increase open rates
  3. Landing page headline — to relay the UVP of your service
  4. CTA copy — to persuade visitors to click the button
  5. And many more

It’s communication you use on your dedicated pages, website, and forms that allows you to describe how you can solve prospects’ problem through your offer. However, this is one-way communication.

You are the one speaking on your website or landing page — using your voice to communicate your offer hoping to convert visitors into potential customers.

But, what about your customer’s voice?

This is where customer service comes in.

While rarely thought of as a way to generate leads, customer service is the secret weapon in your marketing arsenal that you can use —  not only to generate leads, but to nurture those leads and increase customer retention.

How do you that? This is exactly what we’ll be discussing today. Before we begin though, let’s discuss why lead generation and nurturing are important.

The Importance of Lead Generation and Nurturing

Lead generation is the act of getting new customers to enter your sales funnel . You do this by generating excitement for your offers and using forms to collect visitor information on landing pages, website, blogs, and pop-ups. While lead gen gets you the lead, lead nurturing is what allows you to move them down your marketing funnel and closer to a sale.

According to Marketing Sherpa, “ 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales . Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance.”

Collecting visitor information is not enough. To increase your ROI, you must establish and maintain a relationship with your customers and convince them to stick around.

What’s the best way to do this? Through customer service and by using it in the following ways you’ll witness a positive impact on your sales process:

Use Customer Service on Landing Pages to Generate Leads

Landing pages are a great venue to promote your individual offers. These types of dedicated pages allow you to get the visitor to focus on your single offer without having to be distracted by anything else on the page.

The landing page elements are created to answer all your visitor’s questions, persuade them that you are the right choice, convince them to fill out the form, and click the call-to-action button. What happens, though, when they are unsure about something and want to ask a question before they fill out the form?

Does that mean you’ve lost that lead?

Not really, when you have a page similar to Mozu :

mozu

 

The “Get In Touch” option allows visitor to ask any questions they have before scheduling a demo with the service.

Offering visitors phone support lets them know that you are just a phone call away. If they have any questions or concerns about filling out your form and clicking the call to action button, all they have to do is pick up the phone and dial your number.

You can also use recorded messages for lead generation, just make sure your message offers something valuable and doesn’t sell to them too aggressively.

Including live chat on your website or landing page helps with lead gen as well because it offers visitors a chance to voice their questions to a real person while they are in the middle of deciding to buy your product. Plus, this statistic speaks for itself : “44% of online consumers say having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer.”

Use Comments to Generate Blogs for Lead Generation

Visitors who have questions rarely use one channel to ask their questions. For example, we often get comments like this on the Instapage blog :

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Questions similar to this one inspire us to write blog posts such as this one that we know are going to generate leads because they’ll provide answers to questions that our readers have. CoSchedule did something very similar as well by responding to a comment and writing a follow up blog article. That follow up article then included a “how to start a blog” infographic that continues to generates leads for the company.

Not only does customer support help solve the individual reader’s query but it also allows you to get more insight into what your customers want from your service. And chances are, many customers have the same question as the one who asks it — so you’ll be helping more than just a single person.

Social media comments can also be leveraged for lead nurturing, like the following from our Facebook page:

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Keep a vigilant eye on any questions users ask on social media, respond to them in detail (and on time) to show them they can always communicate their concerns to you.

Use Customer Support Emails for Lead Nurturing

Someone clicked your landing page call-to-action button and trusted you with their information. What should you do next? Should you forget about them until your next offer becomes available?

Of course not. You should establish immediate contact with them and provide additional value in an email like this one:

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Another good practice is to use emails from the support team to inform visitors about new product features, announcements, and time sensitive offers.

This is what Instapage does with this follow up email for a new product announcement:

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Mixpanel also uses emails to announce new product features:

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Now granted, a product announcement is not lead gen per se , but it’s part of lead nurturing because you’re educating and and engaging your prospects and customers about what’s new with your product or service.

Use Knowledge Base Articles to Answer All Possible User Questions

A customer whose queries you haven’t answered is an unhappy customer — and probably won’t stay with you for long. To persuade leads to convert into customers you need to have an extensive knowledge base that includes articles that help them use your product in the most efficient way. The Instapage help center features an FAQ section, featured videos, and clear categories.

Lead nurturing is not limited to live chat support and help tickets, but also passively through knowledge base articles. Don’t make the mistake thinking that your audience doesn’t need a knowledge base. As easy and simple as you may think your service is to operate, customers will inevitably struggle with some aspect of it. This is where a centralized help center allows your customers to satisfy their needs on their own at their convenience.

Use Customer Service for Upselling and Cross-Selling

Here’s a fascinating stat when it comes to upselling:

“The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%.”

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Buying something from a company you already have a relationship with is far less scary than trusting someone else with your money. Use customer service to upsell and cross-sell , however, do so at the right time to the right customer. What you don’t want to do is ask someone (who’s already frustrated by a feature) to spend more money buying another feature just to fix the first one.

Put Your Customer Service to Work

Don’t limit your lead generation strategy to just blog posts and subscriber boxes. Use your entire customer service arsenal to generate leads, but also nurture them to increase your annual recurring revenue while decreasing your churn rate.

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