Customer perception plays a vital role in lead generation. How your audience sees your brand makes all the difference to whether or not they will interact with your business.

This could be indirect ways, such as campaigns that you run online. It could also be direct interactions with your brand, through lead magnets, forms or other initial points of contact. The first glimpse potential leads have of your brand is the one that will leave the biggest impression. With that in mind, you need to make the best possible impression. Once you have made that good impression and gotten your lead into your funnel, you need to make an even better impression to move them along the funnel. Even after leads become customers, you need to continually and consistently work on improving that impression.

Customer Perception and Lead Generation

When customers have a positive perception, they are far more likely to enter your lead funnel and you have a far higher chance of getting through the funnel. This is because they already have a positive view of your brand. When there is a negative perception, it becomes impossible to attract your audience. In this case, negative bias comes into play and your potential leads are primed to avoid your offers based on their negative perception.

There are numerous ways that you can improve customer perception in your lead generation campaigns. Strategies such as loyalty programmes, social media campaigns, influencer campaigns, improved customer experience, personalised offers, exceptional customer services, and anything else that shows you are willing to go over and above to meet the needs of your customers will all help to create a positive perception. In other words, the more you have to offer and the more you value potential customers right from the moment they are introduced to your brand, the more likely you are to create a perception that is geared towards conversion.

Aside from conversion, there are many other benefits that a strong customer perception can offer to your lead generation efforts. These range from an increased level of trust to competitive advantage and numerous other advantages.

The biggest reasons to start putting customer perception top of mind across your entire lead generation campaign include the following:

It creates trust and builds reputation

To build your reputation, you need to create trust. Potential leads need to be assured that you take their needs seriously and that you are a brand worth supporting. This does not mean that you should be over-promising and under-delivering. It does mean that you should be fully transparent and make sure that customers get what they need. This could mean ‘sneak peeks’ of what leads could get when entering your funnel, high-value lead magnets, free educational resources that do not require any type of obligation, sign-up or payment, testimonials, and any other thing that shows customers that you are an industry leader with a strong track record in making customers happy.

It gives you a competitive advantage

When you put customer perception top of mind across your lead generation strategies, you are establishing yourself as a brand that puts customers first. In the highly competitive digital marketing space, staying ahead of competitors is crucial for most industries. Unless you are in a highly specialised micro-industry, you cannot afford to lose leads to competing brands who actively work to increasing positive consumer perception. Instead, you need to work hard at developing a brand that leads start to recognise and trust.

It boosts loyalty and retention

Once your audience begins to associate your brand with trust, outstanding service and a positive customer experience, you will begin to start increasing loyalty. This has a knock-on effect. Loyal customers will keep coming back, supporting your business and bringing in more sales. As a result, you will have a better customer retention rate and a reduced risk of customer churn. It goes hand in hand with reputation, too, further establishing your brand as one that attracts (and retains) quality leads that are more likely to convert.

It increases referrals and reviews

Don’t ever under-estimate the value of word of mouth. Referrals and reviews both play a role in perception. When customers have a positive perception of your brand, they are more likely to recommend your products or services to those in their circles – through social media and various other channels. They are also more likely to leave reviews, which increases your chances of attracting new leads. This works to keep building a strong brand that consistently attracts and retains leads, even before your lead generation campaigns. Along with your multi-channel campaigns, you will start to see a big difference in your results.

It drives more sales and conversion

That brings us to our next point – conversion. This could mean more sales to your business or it could mean increased awareness. Depending on your primary lead generation goals, improved conversion rates are always vital to your growth. Having both new and current leads see your business in a positive light is the most effective way to drive conversion in the short and long-term, making it something you will not want to ignore.

Can Negative Perception Harm Your Lead Generation Efforts?

Needless to say, negative customer perception can do great damage to your lead nurturing efforts. It can take just one poorly planned campaign to make your business look bad. The biggest problem when this happens is that people do not forget hit-and-miss social media posts, badly timed or worded lead nurturing emails or other campaigns that ruin your brand image. It is very difficult to attract leads back into your funnel once they have a negative image of your brand. Bad news travels fast and most consumers are far more likely to leave negative reviews about brands than positive reviews. One or two bad reviews will not cause much damage to your reputation or results but multiple bad reviews will. If potential leads who do not think much about their experience with your brand see other bad reviews, they will go on to leave poor reviews as well, further adding to your negative image.

As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Developing and maintaining a positive perception is essential. It is something that you will need to actively work at maintaining and does not mean simply impressing new audiences before they become leads. Constantly improving and evolving your strategies to find new ways of keeping customers happy is your best chance of growing a strong customer perception that will help your business grow.

Lead Generation and Perception

How customers see your brand is up to you. When you put work into making a strong impression throughout the customer lifecycle, you have a chance of building relationships with your customers that grows from strength to strength. Treating perception as something that only applies to branding is a mistake. Perception applies to all areas of marketing. In the case of lead nurturing, it is especially important as you are nurturing potential customers in a way that takes the customer journey into account.

Keep your customer perception front of mind when planning your lead generation strategies and you will soon see how much value it adds to your business.

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