Customer support is undoubtedly a crucial aspect of any business, but perhaps doubly so for any online business. Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, is quoted as saying, “If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000.”
Errors made online will reverberate through the web much faster and further than in traditional retail. In addition, online customers tend to be more impatient — 60% prefer to pay more for a guarantee of a better customer experience.
Online, success is not only measured by what service you provide, but how you communicate it to your customers. So, digital marketers are the ones who can take your brand, image and customer experience to the next level.
In a blog on simplymeasured.com titled “6 Ways Digital Marketers Can Help Customers,” Khyati Sehgal, content marketer at Outgrow, identifies the “six commandments of keeping your customers happy.”
Be Easily Reachable
Every digital marketer knows that the key to online experience is ease of access. The simpler the route to the goal, the happier the customer.
But, what is easy? Each of your customers is different and favors a different type of communication. Some prefer to call, while others like to chat or contact you via social media. The good news is, in the digital realm, you can utilize multiple communication channels without outrageous investments.
If you want to encourage all types of clients to contact and engage with your business, you need to meet them halfway. The answer is simple: multi-channel customer support and engagement. Being available on multiple channels (such as social networks, email, phone, live chat, SMS, or WhatsApp) and treating client interactions as real conversations are the roads to customer happiness.
In fact, a study by Aberdeen Group, Inc. found out that businesses with the best multi-channel strategies maintain 89% of their clients, as compared to the 33% retained by companies with weak or no multi-channel presence.
Trust is one of the key ingredients of customer service. Your ability to build trust with customers is based on the way you communicate on your website, social profiles, and/or in person.
This means that your website and social accounts need to be clear and consistent, stating:
>What you do
>How you deliver it
>What clients can expect from you
In the same way, on every digital channel and touchpoint, the more easily accessible information you provide in the form of “self-service,” the higher your credibility score becomes. This will also put less strain on your internal or external customer service organization.
One final note: You must always keep your customers in the loop when it comes to changes, updates, and failings in your products and services. Be methodical in your communication, and deliver a healthy mix of good news, as well as honest information. Customers whose complaints have been resolved to exceed their expectations are likely to become loyal customers and company advocates.
Listen and Be Open to Customer Feedback
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates
No study or research will ever be as useful as the direct input from those who have experienced your service firsthand. Taking out the small percentage of consumer complaints, made by people who are not satisfied (no matter what), most of feedback you receive is quite insightful and an important source of knowledge. It allows you to personalize and fine-tune your services to the specific needs and preferences of your target audience.
You can use the following methods to gather data and make your clients feel valuable:
>Social Media: Complaints and Props
>Communities and Groups
Create Valuable Content
Next on the list is content! When it comes to online businesses, you’ll find several resources out there that recommend having a solid content strategy. How exactly can content make your customer happier?
Valuable, informative content gives you an opportunity to share and display your know-how while helping your clients get answers to their most pressing questions. The best way to think about content is “going the extra mile.” Useful content may not always directly affect your sales or promote your product; it can also be used to build trust, expand communication, create a relationship and, most importantly, provide extra value.
Some of the best examples of creative, valuable content include:
>Useful tools like Hubspot’s Marketing Grader, which analyzes all of your marketing (reviewing 30 different factors) in less than 30 seconds
>Practical, interactive calculators (like the VenturePact’s Mobile App Price calculator), which are the royalty of improved conversion strategies
>Personalized recommendations offered by YouTube, Amazon, or Netflix
>Quizzes that entertain or inform, e.g., “How Much Do You Know about Conversion Rate Optimization?” created by Outgrow, an expert on interactive content
>Social media polls and competitions
>Tutorials and guides
Make It Personal
Another boon of digitization is the ability to personalize. According to Adobe Research, one-third of marketers claim that personalization is the key to online marketing in the future, while 61% cited social media, and the remaining respondents cited mobile. Mobile and social media marketing are essentially tools that drive personalization.
Personalization removes the impersonal aspect of online shopping and interactions. It gives brands and businesses a more human face while making the consumers feel relevant and cared-for. You can personalize everything from your website to your email strategy:
>Social media posts
>Privacy settings, etc.
Always Deliver What You Promised
Nothing can hurt a business’s reputation more than failed promises. It is one of the reasons why transparency and ease of reach play such a significant role in keeping your customers happy.
Experienced digital marketers know how to communicate your business values while managing customer expectations to ensure realistic goals. For example, you cannot always guarantee a process will go smoothly, but you can promise you will attend to and fix the issue at hand promptly.
The key is restraining from overselling or underselling yourself and your business. While bold, confident claims look good on a marketing campaign, if not fulfilled, they often backfire. Similarly, not properly communicating the quality of your service leads to lost opportunities.
Customer expectations grow exponentially with ever-improving technology, and therefore customer service and communication cannot afford to stay behind.
While a reliable customer support team will take you a long way, digital marketers have the skills and know-how to create a holistic customer experience, from the first click to your website through conversion to a stable business relationship.