Author: Aimee Mnich, Content Strategist at Semgeeks Digital Agency
Did you know that one of your best marketing tools is right underneath your nose – customer service! Your customer service efforts can make or break your relationships with people. Roughly one-third of Americans say they would stop doing business with a company after one bad experience. So, we can safely say that keeping your customers happy is one of the best marketing strategies you have.
Let’s get back to the basics and discuss the many ways that you can use customer service as a marketing tool. While technology has made it easier to do business, you don’t want to overlook this essential channel.
Monitor Your Online Reputation
When you keep tabs on what people are saying about you online, you can see what you’re doing right and the areas you have to work on. Good reviews are obviously great for marketing, but even negative reviews give you a chance to come out on top.
First off, mediocre or poor reviews let people see that your feedback is honest and genuine. This can help them make better decisions. In some cases, what one person sees as a disadvantage may be an advantage to someone else.
Second, negative feedback gives you a chance to show customers how you handle problems. Find a way to make things right with the customer by acknowledging the review, apologizing for the mistake, and offering a solution.
Respond Quickly to Customers
Whether a customer has a question or concern, you should be there to respond within an hour or less. To help with this, send an automated reply that lets the customer know you’ve received their email or online message and will contact them shortly.
An even better solution to serving your customers quickly is with live chat software. According to customer surveys, 79 percent of consumers prefer live chat because it provides instant responses; not to mention, it also has the highest satisfaction rate at 92 percent.
Chatbots are another option, as these provide automated responses to frequently asked questions. Using this software, you can reduce the burden on your internal teams without sacrificing customer service; however, more complex problems can be turned over to a real person.
No matter how you choose to respond to customer questions and concerns, make sure you do so quickly. The longer you leave people waiting, the less likely they are to turn into customers.
Create Engaging Content
Successful content creators know how important it is to create relevant, engaging content. That said, coming up with a steady flow of topics can prove to be difficult. Even the most experienced content writers have trouble coming up with ideas. Fortunately, by communicating with your audience, you can learn a lot about their problems, interests, and needs.
As you gain insight into your audience, you’ll have an untapped goldmine of content ideas. Not only will this help you write interesting, shareable content, but it will also separate you from your competitors. You’ll have new ideas that other businesses haven’t covered yet, making you a thought leader in your field.
Build Buyer Personas
Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers. You can use the information you gather from customers to build better personas. The more accurate your personas are, the more effective your marketing campaigns will be.
Another great thing about talking to customers is that you can ask them questions. You’ll already have their attention, as well as an open dialogue, so you can ask them to take surveys/polls, share their ideas, or rate you on your service. All of this info will help you build effective personas that want to hear from you.
Underpromise and Overdeliver
A common trap that businesses sometimes fall into is talking up a product or service and then underdelivering on it. Make sure that you know what you’re promising to customers and that you can deliver it every time. But even then, we encourage you to go a step further – underpromise and overdeliver.
For example, if shipping times are around 5 days, you can overestimate and say within 10 days. If you’re able to send out the product sooner, the customer will take note and leave you positive feedback. Or, you can add a special “thank you” gift or handwritten note with each purchase. This surprise will delight customers and make your brand memorable.
It’s easy to use customer service as a marketing tool. It’s something that’s already available, and you can use the information you gather from customers to improve your products and services. At the end of the day, your customers are your lifeline, so treat them with respect and not as problems you need to manage!
Aimee Mnich is a Content Strategist at Semgeeks Digital Agency with a degree in Communications from Penn State University. Curating rich and engaging storytelling, she is able to guide customer journeys with a consistent voice and message.
Author: Cassandra Boyce