Today, it is more important than ever to provide an excellent customer experience journey. Digital marketing should also be used to maintain the customer relationship long-term and not only for attracting and selling.
In today’s oversaturated market, customer experience is more important than ever. This emphasis on customer experience comes as no surprise as consumers’ expectations evolve and competition among brands gets tighter.
The key point is, in fact, that customer experience nowadays must be perceived as a journey – from engaging target audiences online to successfully maintaining the established relationship with each consumer. This single fact – the fact that customer experience is a journey that begins long before conversion and doesn’t stop there – is what’s essentially changing digital marketing nowadays.
Word-of-mouth has always been one of the most powerful marketing tools, but how does this reflect on marketing in the digital era? Quite simply, its importance has multiplied tenfold.
With information rippling through networks and messages easily reaching wide audiences, customer reviews have taken center stage. Naturally, with the plethora of choices ahead of them, customers are less interested in marketing messages, which all inevitably paint the brand in the best possible and slightly unrealistic light. Compared to reviews from real customers, traditional marketing messages appear hollow and superficial. They are essentially insufficient to people trying to make an informed purchasing decision.
What successful businesses large and small have realized is that their strategy needs to focus on influencing customer reviews: ultimately, every touchpoint can encourage positive word-of-mouth. This is where customer service makes a difference more than anything else, and it’s equally important to online merchants as it is to real-life service providers. For example, you’ll find reviews on Amazon where customers write they were initially unsatisfied with the product but the way the merchant handled the problem efficiently entirely changed their view. And let’s not forget, with social media in the game, satisfied customers can become the most fervent advocates.
Social media as a customer support platform
Establishing a strong social media presence has become an inherent part of an integrated digital media strategy, undoubtedly. But what this entails is constantly evolving. The underlying goal of social media marketing is establishing a trusting relationship with the target audience, and this is where enormous potential lies in using social media networks as customer support channels.
In fact, this is becoming the norm, and businesses who take social media customer service seriously are at a significant advantage. Audiences are keen on interacting with brands via social media and perceive it as a straightforward and convenient platform for their inquiries. Moreover, they expect quick responses. The businesses who invest time and effort to meet their expectations exhibit dedication and trustworthiness while simultaneously taking away any possible frustration from the customer experience.
But it doesn’t stop there – addressing customer inquiries efficiently is only a part of the puzzle. Social media is now the place to right wrongs and reassure potential customers of your professionalism. When a business is mentioned in a negative context on a social media post or gets a negative comment, they can take this as an opportunity to show they care for their customers. What seems like the biggest disadvantage of social media – openly negative reviews and comments – is actually its biggest advantage which carries potential both to improve and to provide customer support.
Along with engaging target audiences on different platforms by creating useful content, the top digital marketing companies recommend providing customer support as part of a successful content strategy. This is where digital marketing and customer service intertwine seamlessly to provide a positive and effortless customer experience.
The key point here is that businesses need to know the most common questions regarding their product or service, offering answers before customers even ask them. Ensuring that the answers can be found easily – in a FAQ page on the website and on posts specifically dedicated to the issue at hand – will be important both to potential customers who’re only in the decision-making process and to converted customers seeking support. That being said, creating customer support-oriented content entails:
Digging deep to find customer questions: using customer surveys, chat windows, and monitoring all platforms in order to gather the data. It’s important to not make assumptions here – there might be some questions that are less obvious and rarely asked, but providing the answers to them will also make for valuable content.
Ensuring that content is written in an approachable and human language
Being straightforward and transparent – addressing customer objections and using tangible examples to clear away common doubts about using the product or service
With technology bringing more opportunities for personalizing the customer experience, digital marketing is headed in a new direction. The thing is, consumers are well aware that customization means they have to part with a certain level of their privacy online – and in return, they expect this to pay off well, specifically in regards to customer service.
There are the well-known rules of good customer service, but knowing that brands have access to certain data raises the bar. We’re now not only striving to provide great customer experiences throughout the way, but to tailor them to each individual as much as possible. This is crucial in the process of engaging potential customers as much as it is in maintaining customer loyalty.
When the next best thing is just a click away, businesses need to take it upon themselves to establish trust and take care of their consumers each step of the way. Communication barriers are being broken down and marketing is becoming more straightforward. Ultimately, great customer service is becoming an inherent part of digital marketing. This pattern will continue to evolve as technology enables businesses to cater to wide audiences with absolute dedication.
digital marketing, customer support