Living Stone blog 3

 

 

All Posts

How to keep the ball rolling on your Customer Reference Program

You did everything right when you launched your customer reference program – you ensured that you had buy-in from sales, you held a high-profile launch event and you developed a clear, comprehensive process to manage all related project flow.

So now it’s time to sit back, relax, and watch the reference cases roll in – isn’t it? Well, not really. The truth is that even with all the right elements in place at the start of your program, you still need significant hands-on management to make sure your program stays up-and-running and organized after the initial customer reference launch.  

Without a strong hand to guide it, it’s easy for a customer reference program to lose momentum. Sales, your most important source for customer leads, has plenty of other priorities. If you’re not promoting the benefits of the program to sales on an ongoing basis, it will fall to the end of the task list. And it’s easy to get bogged down by the challenges of following up with customers in all the countries where your organization is active, as well as finding local writers and photographers. 

But there are lots of ways that you can keep the ball rolling on your customer reference program, and continue to strengthen the program infrastructure so that your program remains active for the long term.

Consider these five ideas to keep the momentum going on your customer reference program post-launch:

 

  1. Right after you launch, take a moment to refine the strategy of your program. Prepare a strategic document with the marketing messaging and the profiles of the people to interview, and share it internally. This will ensure there is a consensus about the program within your organization

 

  1. Figure out how you’re going to involve and reward your sales force. They are the users, but also your most important source of customer reference stories. You need to get initial buy-in and also find ways to keep them involved.

 

  1. Prepare writing guidelines for a standardized approach with external collaborators and translators. Make sure the international photographers get strict photography and video guidelines.

 

  1. Create an online workflow hub for the use of everyone involved in generating customer references. This will give you an instant overview of the status of all cases, and will minimize excessive e-mails and streamline the workflow.

 

  1. Consider working with a partner to manage your customer reference program. There are marketing agencies that specialize in managing customer reference programs for their customers, and have the expertise, knowledge and processes already in place that will ensure success for your program.

 

Do you like to learn more about keeping the ball rolling on your customer reference program?
Download our white paper, ‘Guidelines for a winning customer reference program,’ here.  This white paper outlines:

  • how to start a reference program
  • how to build and keep momentum
  • how to measure the results
  • and lots more...

 

whitepaper winning customer reference program

Maarten Van Erdeghem
Maarten Van Erdeghem
Digital specialist at Living Stone

Related Posts

Sustainability reporting – how to get started

Whether you’ve decided to start with sustainability reporting because your company is required to, or because you simply want to share your sustainability story, a good first step is to make sure you understand the regulations that apply to your company, and how they are currently being addressed.

Create sales enablement tools that sales want to use

In many organizations, sales tools are like an iceberg. There’s the 10% that are above the waterline – the tools that everybody knows and uses - and then there’s the 90% that, for whatever reason, never see the light of day. Whether people simply can’t find these tools, or they don’t like them, the end result is the same – it’s expensive and frustrating to create a library of tools that sales just doesn’t use.

Aligning sales and marketing for better results

Just as the old model of news dissemination has been shattered – a few dominant outlets now replaced by a cacophony of voices - so has the traditional approach to healthcare marketing. Your healthcare B2B customers are turning into B2C right before your eyes, side-stepping your funnel and doing research and evaluation on their own, without seeking a contact with your sales team. According to a 2017 study by research company Forrester, 68% of B2B customers said they preferred to do their own research, rather than interact with a sales rep. This is a big change over 2015, when this figure was only 40%.