How to make customer micro-moments work for your business

Matt Geary in Growth hacking on 14th of Dec 2018
Google Micro moments

Google Micro moments

Micro-moments are brief, yet important parts of the customer journey that are focused on the intent of your customers at specific points in time. These moments are heavily influenced by the rise of mobile-first customer behavior where searches now revolve around intent-based shopping and personalized questions.

Search engines like Google have conducted vast amounts of research into micro-moments, which has left companies questioning how they impact the marketing space. For example, you might find yourself asking: ‘How can micro-moments be applied beyond just search, and how do they fit into the customer journey?’

As a brand, these questions are important. Analyzing the customer journey in terms of micro-moments will give you more opportunities to influence your audience at the perfect time and place.

What is a micro-moment?

Google coined the term micro-moment, so I’ll repeat their definition here: “An intent-rich moment when a person turns to a device to act on a need — to know, go, do or buy.” It’s a critical time where a customer has a need, and are searching for ways to fill it. It’s your job to be ready before they even start their research.

Savvy marketers are thinking about these moments and ensuring they have systems in place to capitalize on the chance to interact with their audiences. They’re also thinking across every touchpoint in the customer journey as an opportunity to shape decision-making processes that are crucial to driving sales.

There are three critical methods to ensuring every customer is addressed in each micro-moment. You need to:

1. Be there

2. Be useful

3. Be quick

Here’s a breakdown of each method:

Be there: read the signs and know when they help

Your customers aren’t loyal to you by default. Loyalty is earned and if your customer can’t find the information they need at a specific moment, they’re likely to become frustrated. Your customer support team needs to harness the tools that enables them to be there for your customers before they become frustrated.

When customers are given the information they need, they’re happier. But even when you’ve mapped out a comprehensive support and resource center, things can still go wrong.

Unforeseeable problems are especially tricky since they’re… well, unforeseeable. So it’s likely there isn’t an entry in the help center or FAQ. To work around this and address customer concerns ahead of time, try a proactive support journey like the one below.

In this journey, customers who are searching the knowledge base are automatically contacted to ensure they’ve found what they were looking for. Customers with unique problems can be connected with the support team for one-on-one help, alleviating concerns ahead of time and identifying gaps in the knowledge base. It’s a great way to avoid turning a micro-moment into a macro-problem.

Be useful: provide the answers that they’re looking for

  • Do more for your customers than just show up. Instead, be useful to them in their (micro) moment of need. You can build the journey to answering their questions in more ways than one:
    • Predictively: guide your customers through a premade onboarding journey that guides them through using your product or service. This way you can answer questions about your product before they’re even asked.
    • Reflexively: keep tabs on behavior on your website through software like Heap, Google Analytics, and Segment. When customers are seeking knowledge, use these integrations to see exactly how they’re interacting with your app or website. For example, are your customers visiting your pricing page repeatedly? If so, set up a journey to get sales to answer their questions. Or, maybe usage rates are dropping If they are, prevent churn by automatically reaching out with a solution.
    • Through data enrichment: 81% of consumers want brands to understand them better (Accenture). By keeping your data up-to-date, you can provide more personalized experiences to your customers, and in turn, more accurate information. The journey below is a great email-based path to enriching your database.

Be quick: act fast and keep them engaged

Speed is a huge factor in keeping your customers engaged in every moment. Keep an eye on industry trends to ensure you’re implementing the best and fastest solutions. Some of the most current and effective solutions that cater to speed include:

  • One-click checkout options
  • Live chat for customer support
  • Progressive web apps
  • Content and UI that’s clear and easy to navigate
  • Short, dynamic forms

A good rule of thumb is to reduce the path to solution. That solution could be anything: a piece of content on your website, a conversion, a click-through, anything. Just ensure you reduce every barrier possible to help your customers reach their destination fast. They’re deciding in the moment, and that moment won’t last long.

LiveChat is a particularly effective (and easily implemented) solution for quick and effective engagement. For customers, it’s faster and more highly preferred than any other communication channel. For brands, it’s an avenue that can be used for qualifying leads in the moment.

The Autopilot LiveChat integration takes advantage of a tagging system to take customers to where they want to be, fast. If a customer is in LiveChat and wants to talk to sales, all the customer representative has to do is tag the chat with a label. Autopilot takes over and immediately pushes the request through to sales.

No lag time, no fuss. You can see it in action in the template below.

A micro-moment use case

Successful startup Seedsheet deliver ready-to-go seed pods that can be easily grown at a home. And when it comes to meeting customer needs in the moment, Seedsheet has things on lock.

The startup makes the most of a smart, SMS based real-time notification system that delivers tips, tutorials, recipes, and reminders at exactly the right moments.

Be there: when customers sign up to Seedsheet, they are placed on a tailored onboarding journey. An automated SMS asks them if they’re ready to plant — splitting them into two groups — “yes” and “no.” Customers who want help are given it, and customers who reply “no” are sent a text letting them know Seedsheet is there when they’re ready to start.

Be useful: customers who reply “yes” are sent useful information via text: how to plant, when to water, how to fertilize, and how to harvest their food — all sent at the right moments. “No” customers can start their journey at any time by texting “PLANT” to Seedsheet.

Be quick: based on when a customer declares they have planted their seeds, Seedsheet knows exactly when to send SMS messages to them. This times up perfectly with the growth of the plant, resulting in messaging that’s perceived as quick and timely.

With Autopilot’s Twilio integration as the central driver, Seedsheet touches on micro-moments in just the right way. In fact, 25% of Seedsheets customers reorder when they’re triggered on this onboarding journey:

Learn more about how Seedsheet has sold over $1.5 million in products and hit a compound annual growth rate of 250%.

How to start identifying your micro-moments

If you haven’t yet created a customer journey map yet, that’s the first place to start to identify micro-moments.

It will help you illustrate each moment your customers have interacting with your brand.  Discover what your customers are looking for, the content they’re consuming, and listen to their feedback. Paint a clear picture of who your customers are so you can reach out to them using with accurate messaging and enjoyable experiences.

Identifying micro-moments can be challenging, but with tools like Autopilot it becomes easier to action your customer journey and analyze the results.

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