DIALOGUE IS NOT A ONE-OFF
The A at the end of the traditional funnel might as well stand for Alone (or even Asynchronous). Without Acknowledgment, there is really nothing more than a one-off transactional exchange. To make it through this next stage of the funnel, companies need to understand that dialogue is not a superficial chat that ends when a consumer pays the cashier or ends a phone call with a service center. Instead, customer conversations need to be as fluid as the water in the ocean and as pervasive as the air we breathe. There is no alpha (beginning) and there is no omega (end). There only is.
Conversations don’t necessarily depend on high- versus low-involvement purchases nor are they a function of purchase price or frequency. Your home mortgage, for example, might be something that spans a 30-year time frame between purchases, but that doesn’t mean you won’t refinance at some point or that you won’t purchase another complimentary product or service offered by the same company (and the larger the company, the more the ability to one-stop shop.) And finally, there’s that magical thing called the word-of-mouth recommendation that has the ability to influence family, friends, colleagues, and even complete strangers through advice and recommendations.
Once the flipped funnel widens, people increase the number of contact points between themselves, the company, and like-minded people. For instance, spotting another person on the same flight with a Kindle or nook instantly ...