Customer service is now the center of advertising. Do not believe me? Nowadays consumers rely much more heavily on word-of-mouth recommendations — so much to ensure a great customer experience can become a company’s strongest advertising advantage. To put it differently, getting the whole organisation aligned around the singular objective of creating a consistent, excellent customer experience is an essential part of marketing best practice.
Of course, aligning an entire brand with this goal in your mind is simpler said than done. Nonetheless, there are numerous strategies that may drive exceptional customer care interactions that can be put into place straight away.
Most leading brands today provide customer care–meaning”service, pre-sales and innovation/research”–in stations ranging from email, to talk, to phone, to social. By making certain customers receive consistent, outstanding service regardless of the channel they want, you can expect them to reflect those experiences in their conversations on and offline.
Many brands have really enhanced their customer call centre response times due to clients’ expectations for immediate responses on social stations. That said, businesses shouldn’t be in the mercy of their customers to react to every whim. Brands have the capability to (and should!) Set the expectation for response times. This is especially true for organisations with limited resources to lead to societal customer care.
When satellite TV supplier DISH Network initially launched its social customer care program, its operating hours were weekdays plus Saturday. Since the program proved powerful, they were able to expand these hours and increase their ability to fulfill customers. Like DISH, brands must just set expectations they can live up to: if they could only respond to Twitter during company hours Monday-Friday, they should say so in their Twitter page.
Moving up in sophistication, a few brands are experimenting with’express lanes’ that resemble theme park fast-passes:”Got 5 minutes? Call 1-800-SUPPORT. Got 5 seconds? Pay $1 and jump to the mind of the telephone queue.” This offer makes intuitive sense; you pay more, you receive more. It is a concept that many customers understand and accept, since it’s more or less how the rest of the planet works.
But it’s also an offering that risks a backlash: more than a few companies have tried and abandoned this strategy, mentioning egalitarian concerns. Others like mobile phone service provider EE do it with very good outcomes. The secret is to ensure that customers truly understand these types of innovative service choices and that close tabs are stored in their reaction and acceptance of those.
Communities are vital for brands on the internet, enabling them to create real relationships with their customers. These communities also provide the platform for customers to join — not only with a brand but also with one another.
For companies that have implemented a customer care platform that comes with a peer reviewed component, they ought to connect customers with queries with clients with answers. This is an established best practice for telecom, technology, and similar businesses with a complex product and diverse customer base. In other words, customers scale across clients faster (and more efficiently) than committed brokers.
In the end, turning a consumer into a brand ambassador is determined by the connection an organisation can build and maintain with them. The key for brands is to convert influencers into supporters that take action and play a real part in the company by generating interest in it. Most of all, brands need to frequently show their appreciation by thanking socially influential followers — because honestly, a simple’thank you’ can be the difference between making them feel a part of the brand instead of just another consumer.