How to Use Micro-Moments to Your Advantage

Chris Delany

Partner

Imagine yourself on any given evening when you’re sitting at home on the couch relaxing. You’ve got your mobile phone in one hand, and a few casual goals to complete: replace your broken toaster, sign your kid up for karate and text Mom. Of course, you’ll be doing this while watching TV and catching up with your better half. Multitasking. It’s a beautiful thing.

Now let’s focus on the new toaster you’ll be purchasing. For a company that sells toasters, this is great news. You are a qualified lead because you are in the market to purchase this appliance, and you need it soon. This means that you’ll be making a decision within the next day or two, so the right offer can secure the transaction.

As you browse for new toasters, you see one company gives 10% off to new customers. That’s great! But then your attention is directed elsewhere. Those candies aren’t going to crush themselves after all. And if you don’t like Dad’s political posts on Facebook, who will?

In the blink of an eye, you went from being an engaged lead to someone who’s forgotten all about what they were shopping for.

This is very, very frustrating for today’s brands. But it’s extremely common, almost normal, and so they must find ways to work around these “micro-moments” or small moments in time where they have a person’s attention.

Recognizing Customer Touchpoints

Now let’s shift our focus to the entrepreneur side of things. As a business manager or owner, how do you work around the fragmented journey of the modern customer? Rather than looking at it as a challenge, think of it as many opportunities to reach people at very specific points in the customer journey.

In order to be successful at this, you’ll need to map out the customer journey. And when we say “map it out” we mean track every single step.

Let’s look at an example.

Mary wants to get her teeth straightened so that she can feel better about herself. She’s tired of having misaligned teeth and hiding behind her smile. Mary is living her problem and educating herself about her options at the same time.

Here are some of the touch points that Mary will go through on her journey to getting clear braces.

  • Understand the options available to make her teeth straighter

  • Research cost, procedures, length of wear time, etc.

  • Read reviews from other patients

  • Look at before-and-after pictures

  • Search for dentists online that offer clear braces

  • Call or email the dentists to get more information; compare prices

  • Decide which type of braces will be best

In the end, Mary will get her new braces put on, and she’ll post a picture of herself in them. All of the touch points will be spread out over a matter of weeks or months, and each search that Mary does on her tablet, smartphone and computer are opportunities for brands to connect with her and keep her interest.

So how do you make the most of each opportunity? If you only have a few seconds in between someone checking the weather and messaging their friends on Snapchat, how do you stand out?

Making the Most of Your Micro-Moments

Here are some tips for using micro-moments to your advantage.

Show Your Caring Side

Your customers already know that you are competing against other brands, so boasting about your accomplishments isn’t going to impress anyone. Of course, you need to show why you are better than the rest, so customers expect to hear a bit of bragging. But don’t forget the value in caring. Show your customers that you care about them as individuals.

Delight Users - Especially in Times of Friction

Yes, you’re always trying to delight customers. But have you tried to delight them while they were mad?

Many customer service reps want to run from tension because there is nothing quite as terrifying as a pissed off consumer. If you change your tune, however, you’ll find that you can successfully pick a person up when they’re down.

Use moments of friction as opportunities to delight people. For example, some companies pinpoint people who are complaining about something or using sad/mad emojis and then target them with positive brand messaging. Kleenex did this, sending virtual care packages to people who complained about being sick.

Stand on Your Pillars

The more you understand and value the journey that your customer is traveling, the better you can identify with them and optimize your micro-moments.

For example, the LEGO company is more than just a company that sells toys. They are a brand, and they have done a successful job of establishing themselves as such. LEGO is synonymous with creativity, inspiration and innovation. They encourage their customers to build with one another, share with one another and learn from one another.

Remember the brand pillars that you stand on and seek opportune moments that define you.

Conclusion

It would be nice if you were able to get a person’s attention and keep it there until they converted. But online sales is a far cry from this.

Instead, you’re competing with a hundred other things that people are doing at the time, whether it’s checking their weather app, playing a game, posting a status update or reading an article. When you factor in competition from other brands, it’s amazing that you get noticed at all!

That’s why it’s highly important that you are aware of the various touch points that your customers go through. Making the most of your micro-moments is an effective way to stand out, solidify relationships and keep your brand front and center.

 

About the Author: Chris Delany
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