“The single most important thing to remember about any enterprise is that there are no results inside its walls. The result of a business is a satisfied customer.”
Peter Drucker, better known as the father of management thinking, once gave us this beautiful gem of a quote.
We have come a long way since the first industrial revolution and are now bursting with new products and services in crowded markets regularly. Owing to the choice overload, a business is always at risk of losing its customers for some reason or the other.
As a majority of the organizations are becoming quite adept at managing their price points and product features, one of the factors that can drag a company down is customer experience.
More and more companies are finding systematic ways to invest resources for better customer service, and this will continue to happen.
Let’s check out a few important customer experience statistics as they foreshadow the future of customer service. These statistics help you comprehend how you can increase revenue by delivering excellent customer service.
According to Forbes, companies have lost $75 billion in 2018 owing to poor customer service, and this number has risen by $13 billion since 2016. (Forbes)
The last thing any company would want is lost customers and the resultant loss in revenue. The root cause is the habit of underrating customer service in comparison to sales or advertising. Customers today are smarter than ever and they choose their own parameters to judge a product or service.
For consumers, customer experience will become more important than price or product by 2020. (Walker)
For the longest time, companies have strived to place their product prices in a competitive range or to give novel features and create USPs. But an often neglected area is how the organization makes the customer feel. If he does not feel good and he is turning to your competitor, chances are better pricing and features don’t even matter to the customer.
89% of companies compete primarily on the basis of customer experience (Gartner)
Owing to a growing understanding of the significance of CX, more and more companies are looking at customer service as a proper investment that leads to increased profits. This is done in the form of analysis tools, third-party surveying agencies, etc.
34% of companies are implementing “customer journey mapping” into their customer service. (Huffpost)
Monitoring customer experience is no more about vague discussions in boardrooms. Employing complex methods and tools, customer journey maps help understand the journey of a customer from their first ever engagement with the company till the time they reach the point of loyalty. As time passes, more and more organizations adopt such techniques.
Acquiring a new customer is about 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one (Harvard Business Review)
It naturally implies that companies will choose to invest in retaining existing customers rather than spending five times more in bringing in new customers.
Globally, 54% of all consumers say they have higher customer service expectations than they did just one year ago. (Microsoft)
Although more and more companies are focusing their attention towards customer service and experience, over half of the customers still feel something lacking. Companies, therefore, have to work hard to achieve that bar by employing more and newer resources, dedicated analysts, tools, etc.
33% of customers abandoned a business relationship last year because of the lack of personalization. (Accenture)
As the data related to customer inclination and preferences is ever-increasing, businesses who provide personalized attention to customers are much more likely to retain brand loyalty. This can be done in a number of ways such as personalized chatbots or providing ready-made grocery shopping lists based on customer history, and so on. This is why a lot of customer service predictions include personalization tools as essential for the future.
One in three people (30%) say the most important aspect of customer service is speaking to a knowledgeable and friendly agent. (Microsoft)
This may be stating the obvious, but the quality of customer service representatives can be a deciding factor for whether customers remain loyal or not. Customers have developed greater self-esteem and will not consider switching to a rival for the sole reason of poor communication by company representatives. Yet the proper technical, as well as non-technical training of service executives, becomes a key factor for the future of customer service.
12% of Americans rate their number one frustration with customer service as the “lack of speed”. (Statista)
This is a warning sign for companies whose service mechanism still has auto answered, difficult to navigate, and long lasting calls (among other things). We are living in a world of speed and no customer is willing to wait for hours to get their problem solved. Companies are increasingly moving towards a customer-support oriented future fuelled by artificial intelligence to solve the problem of speed.
One in two millennials has complained about a brand on social media. (Microsoft)
The world is heading more and more towards an internet-enabled paradigm, where social media is ruling the way people communicate with each other. Social media can act as a double-edged sword with its massive reach. It is a great tool to reach masses with negligible costs, but it is a nightmare when customers post negative reviews. Remembering this, tools like social media sentiment analysis and monitoring have become more and more crucial to companies. Following image shows some important numbers related to social media and customer experience.
Dwayne Charrington is a technical writer currently associated with ProProfs Help Desk. He possesses hands-on experience in writing for the customer service industry. Dwayne is insightful when it comes to industrial challenges, emerging customer service trends, and how businesses overcome related challenges. Dwayne likes drawing connections between different industries and entities while designing his blogs.
Many online stores struggle with attracting new customers and growing their revenue, and that mostly has to do with the fact that their entire e-commerce business model isn’t optimized to achieve growth and satisfy the increasing demand of their target audience.
But what can be done?
Well, in this article, we’ll explore a few actionable ways that can help you to increase e-commerce sales and gain an advantage over your competitors.
Revamp Your Email Marketing Strategy
Making a sale on your first interaction with a prospective client is challenging – even if someone is actively looking for the products that you’re selling, there’s no guarantee that they’ll come back to your site after the initial visit and won’t just buy from the competition.
That’s where an effective email marketing strategy can be so powerful.
It allows you to capture your site’s visitors onto an email list and engage with them multiple times, dramatically increasing your chances of converting them into customers.
But although most e-commerce business owners understand the potential benefits of email marketing, few of them actually know how to use it effectively and get the most of what it has to offer.
Email marketing can account for as much as 23% of your sales and provides the best ROI, but many online sellers focus on generating more traffic to their site, which doesn’t produce nearly the same results.
But how can you improve your sales using email marketing?
Well, the first step is having a way to capture leads at a better rate.
You need to create a compelling opt-in form, incentivizing people to join your list with exclusive deals, special bonuses, or valuable information that can improve their experience with your product.
If you want, you could even consider creating separate landing pages or pop-up opt-in forms that get seen by all of your visitors so that you can convert a higher percentage of your visitors.
Some e-commerce sellers have even found success by using YouTube end screen templates to create call-to-actions, asking people to subscribe or to join a list.
Next, you must look at the emails themselves and plan them out in a way that engages your subscribers at the right time.
For instance, sending abandoned cart emails has been proven to be extremely effective in helping you drive your sales up – many people get distracted and aren’t able to complete their purchase even though they intended to buy.
Another thing you must figure out how to reward your subscribers for joining your list.
An easy and effective approach is to offer them exclusive deals, but if you want to take it to another level, you should provide personalized deals based on their shopping habits and past behaviors – this will not only make your list more valuable to them but will also help you improve your email open rate and achieve better conversion numbers.
Optimize Your Checkout Process
Having a smooth and simple checkout process is one of the quickest ways to give a boost to your conversion numbers and overall sales.
You’d be surprised at how many people will decide that buying from you is not worth the hassle if they have to jump through hoops to make the purchase.
A simple yet very effective way to simplify your checkout is to remove the need for the buyer to register.
Sure, it would be nice to have every buyer sign up, but the truth is, it isn’t at all necessary, and many potential buyers may not be willing to put in the effort to fill out all of the forms.
Instead, you should offer an option to “Buy as Guest” alongside the option to register – while a lot of the information that they input, such as their personal data or address, will be similar, they won’t have to confirm any emails, which removes steps from the process.
Another crucial aspect is having a range of payment methods and including those that are the most popular with your audience.
Having the option to pay by card is a given, but you should also look for e-commerce solutions that allow adding PayPal, Stripe, Payoneer, and any other of the more popular options that you think your target audience would prefer.
Finally, try to make the process as simple as possible by reducing the number of steps and only requiring the essential information, since, as we already discussed, it’s better to make a sale with less information than to lose that customer forever.
If you ever shopped on their site, you probably noticed how well they place similar offers, related products, and potential upgrades that you may want to consider for all of the items that they have on sale.
And the truth is, these suggestions are usually quite helpful – whether it’s an electronics item that improves the use of the main product, or a related book that helps to expand on a subject, these suggestions aren’t just a sales tool, they actually provide the visitor with a better shopping experience.
Today, there are numerous product recommendation solutions for e-commerce that can help you group products according to their categories and types, but you should make sure that you think through the strategy that you’ll be using and keep analyzing your audience to see what they respond to best.
Taking a more proactive approach is also necessary – you could even consider including exclusive bundle deals for buying a few products at once, or a special discount if a person decides to upgrade.
No matter how smooth your shipping fulfillment process or how well-optimized your website, bad customer experiences are bound to happen, and the way that you are able to deal with them will define how successful your online business can become.
Unfortunately, customer support is where a lot of online stores fall short – they feel like it requires too much resources and opt for the lazy approach of dealing with complaints via email and taking days to respond to issues.
The good news for you is that if you can develop a customer support system that can match or exceed your audience’s expectations, you can develop a reputation in your marketplace and start attracting customers straight from your competition.
But how to make your customer support the best in your niche?
Well, you might be surprised to learn that if you implement a few key aspects, the entire process doesn’t have to be complicated nor expensive.
First off, you will need a dedicated staff or person to handle customer complaints, depending on the number of daily orders that you receive. Trying to do it on your own or putting the responsibility on someone who has other tasks as well is guaranteed to result in poor experiences for your customers, as providing excellent support requires a full commitment from the person managing it.
Next, you must ensure that you are available on more than one platform – people may reach out to you not only on your site, but also through social media, or even on review sites, so you need to monitor activity and respond promptly if you don’t want to receive an avalanche of negative reviews.
Finally, when dealing with customers, you need to be able to actually help them – this means that whoever is responsible for solving issues must have a good understanding of how to quickly address various situations and have the resources to look up or share with the customer.
You should consider using knowledge base software for establishing a resource base for all of the most common issues and questions so that your support staff can reference it or even share a link with the person that they are helping.
A business can be nothing without its customers. Whether they are high-end clients, repeat staples or one-off transactions, customers are customers, and all should be treated with the respect and benefit to your business that they deserve.
Quite simply, poor customer service will eventually spell the end of an organization – according to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, customers who are the victims of an unhappy experience will tell 9 to 15 people about it. No business can survive with that type of negative outcome, so instead here are some great customer service ideas that can contribute to effective growth in your business.
Have the right tools in place
Customer service starts with the means by which customers can contact you. In a physical location, no one likes to be told that there is no manager on duty. Similarly, in the digital world, having no chat option, for example, can exasperate customers from the beginning. It may be difficult to retrieve the situation from there, so ensure the right tools are in place to deal with customer queries and complaints.
Don’t pass the problem on
Another common issue is locating the person who can actually resolve an issue. It’s the old scenario of being on the phone to your bank and being passed on from agent to agent, frequently having to repeat the same information. Ensure that the first point of contact takes ownership of the issue. Even if they cannot resolve the issue themselves, make sure they stay with the customer for as long as possible in the resolution process.
Engage on social media
Social media can create all manner of problems for customers in that negative comments can be spread like never before. Do not ignore what is said about you on social media, but instead try to engage with customers in a meaningful way. For example, if a customer complains on an open forum, respond as quickly as possible on that forum, offering to take the resolution process to a more private place. Respond timely and respectfully, always remembering that there is more at stake than the opinion of one solitary customer (who is still important).
In order to improve, continuous development processes must be in place. And in order to improve, real customer experiences need to analyzed, so engage in the collection of as much feedback as is possible to enact the necessary changes.
Automate, but not to the detriment of other avenues
Automation of CRM systems can resolve many of the issues that arise in the field of customer services, but at the same time, appreciate that people may also want to engage directly with other people too. The problem with technology is that when it is overdone, it can seem impersonal and disconnected. “Use a blend of efficient automation systems and real-life interventions to offer the best level of customer service, knowing when to use one and when to use the other,” recommends Stephen Collins, a support team operator at Australia 2 write.
Keep communication simple
So many customer service approaches fall down because the communication levels utilized are overcomplicated, jargon-filled, or just plain weak.
If something cannot be explained simply, then the customer service agent gives the appearance of not understanding it themselves, which is a poor look for a company.
Keep all communication practices concise, simple, and always polite. And never ever give someone a solution that you know to be unworkable. “If the solution requires time and further expertise, this is the message that must be communicated as early as is possible,” explains Faye Daltrey, a project manager at Brit student.
Customers need to be rewarded. Don’t be unprepared to give a little extra from time to time to show appreciation. This is a model that works in the long run. Short-termism never wins the day.
Invest in customer services
This is a simple piece of advice, yet one that so many businesses fail to heed. If you do not invest in this vital practice, then you cannot hope to deliver the level of service that customers expect and demand.
Katrina Hatchett is a business and marketing blogger at PhD Kingdom and Next Coursework with a particular interesting in the art of communication.
When Microsoft did some research on the average person’s attention span, they discovered that it has significantly shortened since the year 2000. It now just lasts about 8 seconds — that’s even shorter than that of a goldfish!
Speaking of attention span, users nowadays spend about a split-second scanning through their emails. As a business owner, you need to ensure that you not only capture their attention but also sustain their interest.
is still one of the most successful ways to convert readers, nurture leads, and raise revenue for your business. It also helps increase brand awareness for your company while providing you with the tools to monitor the performance of your campaigns, such as click-through rates, brand mentions, and profile visits.
Here are 4 strategies to boost your website’s email marketing:
Study your audience.
Knowing your audience is an important step in optimizing your marketing emails before sending it out to your subscribers. You can get a clear idea of who they are by creating target personas. Identify the age, gender, address, occupation, and income of your ideal customer or target audience. By having a clear target persona, it’s easier for you to plan out the content of the email you’re going to send.
Another key to successful email marketing is to keep your messages short and simple. If you cram a ton of information into a single newsletter, your recipients might feel overwhelmed and confused. As a result, it’s difficult for them to determine your message or retain any information from your email.
By keeping your message concise yet relevant, your readers will have a better idea of what you’re really trying to say. If they’re interested in knowing more about your business, they’ll click-through to visit your website.
Bear in mind that most users check their emails from their smartphones, mainly due to the portability and convenience it provides. Just be sure to measure the right amount of content, determine how many CTAs you’ll include, and customize your image format. These steps help prevent mobile devices from truncating much of your content. Bottom line — optimize your email for mobile devices.
Make it personal.
Now that you’ve created a concise message, it’s time to check how you address your readers. Avoid sending a generic marketing email with a “Dear Customer” greeting. It will only give them the impression that they got the same email that everyone else did.
But, when your emails have a personal approach, your readers will feel that you sincerely want to provide the best solution that’s personalized for them. Think about it — would you rather be called by your first name or by “miss” or “mister”? Calling subscribers by their first name makes your email sound friendlier.
Always include a CTA.
Lastly, always include a Call-to-Action in your marketing emails. Encourage them to subscribe to your newsletter or explore your website to discover what else your business has to offer.
With attention spans becoming shorter and competition getting tighter, knowing the fundamental principles behind email marketing gives you the edge to stay at the top of your industry.
About the Author
Ralph Wunsch is working as a web publishing consultant for Writebrain, a blog analytics tool. He is currently based in South Africa. He has amassed a wealth of knowledge in online publishing and blogging from his experience in online media management. His other interests include business, media, and pop culture.
Professionals in the customer service industry know how complicated people can get—some are delightful, some are moody, some are grumpy, and so on. This is where knowledge of psychology principles comes in handy. At their core, business and psychology both explore a better understanding of people’s behavior, wants, and needs.
Of course, customer service ties both fields together, as providing a top-notch customer service experience is the key to acquiring and retaining new and existing customers. Here are a few ways you can leverage psychology to deliver the best customer support.
Man’s Hierarchy of Needs
Let’s start with the fundamentals. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is as follows (from the bottom to top): physiological, safety and security, love or belongingness, self-esteem, and self-actualization. This motivational theory in psychology shows that human beings must fulfill their bottom-tier needs before they can attend to higher-tier needs.
The same theory can be translated to customer service, as demonstrated by Julien Rio’s Customer Care Hierarchy of needs:
While empathy, kindness, and politeness are key to providing excellent customer support, your customers will not be able to appreciate it without you first resolving their tangible issues. As such, customer service representatives must first address all basic problems before advancing to more complex issues and ultimately making the customer happy.
Freud’s Pleasure Principle
Freud was right about the pleasure principle—humans are hardwired to seek instant gratification for their urges and wants. If things don’t turn out the way they want it to, they would feel down.
As customer service professionals, you want to keep your customers from feeling that way. You can help your existing and potential customers reach out to you fast and easy with instant chat features or social media. This not only makes your customers feel grateful for the immediate attention, but it also keeps the customer on your site longer (which can generate leads).
The Halo Effect
People are most likely to remember the first and last thing they hear. The halo effect is a cognitive bias where the brain allows positive traits to influence one’s assessment of a brand and its entirety. It’s your goal to create a positive experience for your customers to have a remarkably positive impression of your company.
When a client reaches out to customer service for the first time, their initial opinion will shape their entire perception of your brand. Ultimately, this perception will influence whether they’ll stay loyal to your brand, refer your products and services to other people, or choose your competitor instead of you.
The Norm of Reciprocity
It’s human nature for people to give back when they receive something they like. Reciprocity is a common yet underestimated concept in the customer service field. This has two types: trumpeted reciprocity, when the receiver knows and expects to receive something; and surprise reciprocity when you give them something they didn’t expect.
Customers expect brands to resolve issues they may have with the products and services they paid for. It’s common sense. But, when you give them more than they’re expecting and they feel like you extended your services to ensure their satisfaction, then they will deem it a favor they must return, whether that’s in the form of positive testimonials, reviews, or client referrals.
Summing it up
As a customer support staff, dealing with all kinds of people with different backgrounds, mindsets, and problems comes with the job. Whatever behavioral peculiarities or emotional state they’re in, it’s your responsibility to do the best you can to understand them—look at every angle possible so you can provide the best solution for them.
Content marketing is not merely effective today. Its efficiency is growing with every passing year, according to statistics. People today devour massive amounts of content daily, so providing them with the top-quality stuff is the way to set yourself apart from the competition.
In 2019, you will need to focus on complex long-form content, experiment with formats, and pay more attention to your distribution channels and commitment.
You need to step out of your ‘comfort zone’ as an ecommerce brand and become a source of valuable and helpful content, not only product catalogs.
Top 4 Tips to Boost Your Ecommerce Content Marketing Strategy in 2019
1. Make long-form content your priority
You need to create different types of content in different formats to make your strategy most efficient. However, as data from BuzzSumo says, long-form content generates a better response from the audience. This means that it usually gets more shares and it more often pops up on the first pages of Google Search.
Usually, posts with 2,000 words or more are considered long-form. It’s imperative that you make these pieces valuable to your readers as this will not only increase the social impact of the post. Detailed and informative articles will help you establish yourself as an authority in your niche.
You can also repurpose this content more easily, which will enhance your marketing strategy overall. This is most important for small businesses as such an approach is more cost-efficient.
2. Make your emails better but fewer
According to HubSpot, 78% of consumers unsubscribe from ecommerce emails because brands send them out too often.
However, this doesn’t change the fact that email marketing has one of the highest ROI.
Therefore, in 2019 you need to develop a strategy that will work for a modern buyer, who is busy, easily annoyed, and highly demanding. If you don’t have a well-defined strategic plan already, read this beginner’s email marketing guide for Ecommerce brands. Then focus on creating a list of content types that will be most valuable to your customers. Those must include:
Articles/videos/graphics that help customers derive more value from their purchases.
Special discounts and unique offers available to email subscribers only (be sure to highlight that notification and add it to the email subject line).
Short surveys about products, customer satisfaction, and wishes of your loyal customers.
Emails have the best click-through rate when they have an attention-grabbing subject line and arrive between 10 and 11 in the morning. Design and schedule yours accordingly. And remember to stick to no more than 3 emails a week.
3. Go omnichannel
According to research, businesses that use an omnichannel marketing strategy have a 91% better customer retention rate. This is an advantage an ecommerce business cannot afford to miss. Therefore, you need to plan your next year’s strategy in the same way.
The goal is to deliver equally high-quality service as well as cohesive design through all your channels. You should use a variety of marketing automation solutions to make omnichannel maintenance possible. However, don’t forget that you also need to adapt your content to fit each individual channel.
4. Develop more multimedia content
While well-written informative articles still rock, now is the time of videos and podcasts. These are the formats you should invest more in for 2019. To maximize the efficiency of your content, pair up multimedia with a text, as this will allow you to also get better SEO.
Note that this type of content must be of high quality, so you’ll need to use professional tools for its development. However, as live streaming is on the rise today as well, you should use this format to help your buyers develop an emotional connection to your brand. This will enhance their loyalty.
What are your content plans fo the coming year? Let us know in the comments below.
About the Author:
Tim Gordon – My interests range from business management to traditional folk culture and adventurous traveling. I always stay open to new ideas and expertise to make my writings handy and captivating for you.
Marketing has always been one of the most important business drivers, but it evolved in the last couple of decades just to grow bigger and more complex. The result is that now you can hardly win over new customers using generic messages, so it’s crucial to tailor offers and personalize content.
By definition, personalization is a marketing strategy by which companies leverage data analysis and digital technology to deliver individualized messages and product offerings to current or prospective customers. The strategy is extremely important since over 60% of consumers expect companies to send personalized offers or discounts based on items they’ve already purchased.
What makes this marketing concept so powerful? It brings businesses a lot of benefits, including these:
Relationship building: Personalized content allows you to get closer to the consumers and strengthen the bonds between them and your brand.
Improved customer experience: Tailored offers make customers feel appreciated and satisfied.
Lead generation: Marketers who customize content can expect to generate more leads than their less agile counterparts.
Higher conversion rate: The same goes for sales results – personalized offers drive more conversions.
Customer retention: The last benefit is critical since personalization improves customer loyalty and turns consumers into brand advocates.
Now that you know the basics of personalization in marketing, it is time to see the most effective ways to apply it to your strategy. Here is the list of seven simple tactics:
1. Collect and Analyze Data
If you want to provide consumers with personalized content, you have to collect and analyze customer-related data. It’s the first step you need to take in order to acquire valuable feedback and design a proper strategy. Most marketers do this in three different ways:
Website analytics reveals user behavior
Tracking comments coming from social media followers and email subscribers
Conducting customer surveys and opinion polls
2. Audience Segmentation
Once you get enough material to work with, you can easily segment the audience based on various indicators. This will serve you as the cornerstone for future content creation activities. Our suggestion is to focus on these parameters:
Age and gender: It’s not the same whether you target teenagers or middle-aged consumers
Location: You can’t apply the same tactic to local, regional, and global markets
Education and annual income: Well-educated individuals analyze offers thoroughly and make data-driven decisions
Online shopping habits: These reflect personal interests of your prospects
3. Segment the Content
Now that you know everything about the target audience, you need to design the corresponding content creation strategy. Vivian Walker, a blogger at Brillassignment.co.uk, says you need to divide content so as to fit the three stages of the sales funnel.
Here’s how she explains it: “Generic content and paid ads are good for users at the top of the sales funnel because they help you to raise awareness. However, the middle part and the bottom of the funnel demand a more customized approach, with tailored content, personalized offers, and free trials.”
4. Personalize Emails
Although being one of the oldest channels of digital marketing, email campaigns still play a major role in contemporary business. According to the reports, personalized emails deliver six times higher transaction rates. For this reason, you also need to personalize emails to make the most of your marketing strategy.
5. Engage on Social Media
Another way to use personalization is to engage on social media and establish regular communication with your followers. The goal is to humanize the business by using the same style and tone of voice, letting the world know there are some real people working behind the curtain. It will help you to make the audience feel acknowledged and to strengthen relationships with the regular commentators.
6. Improve Customer Service
Every business must try to improve customer service and allow consumers to express opinions or send inquiries around the clock. What makes this process so important? First of all, high-quality customer service proves the credibility of your organization.
Besides that, you can use the history of customer interaction to personalize communication with your clients and anticipate their future needs. Luckily enough, there are all sorts of customer relationship management tools that can assist you in this process, so you can utilize these platforms to automate most of the work.
7. Measure Results
Customer personalization can only get you so far if you don’t measure the results of your marketing strategy. Therefore, you must keep an eye on all activities to detect both the good sides and pain points. Doing so, you will be able to improve or eliminate weak spots from your strategy and put an emphasis on content that already proved to be successful.
Personalization in marketing is not only an option anymore but rather a full-time necessity. Gone are the days when you could just make “one size fits all” content and expect people to show interest in your products or services. On the contrary, everything you do needs to be tailored so as to fit the need of the target group.
This post described seven simple tactics for customer personalization to boost your marketing strategy. We encourage you to spend some time testing these hacks and find options that perfectly suit your business requirements – it will bring you tons of new leads and drive conversions in the long run.
About the Author:
Scott Matthews is a professional content writer in such topics as a business relationship, SEO and digital marketing. Scott`s the biggest passion is blogging and traveling. He regularly takes part in different career growth conferences and contributes his posts to different websites. Contact him on Facebook and Twitter.
Telegrams first gave way to the telephone which were then made obsolete by smartphones.
Everything around us is evolving and so is customer service.
Most businesses today have three or four channels of communication that allows customers to reach to them via phone, email, live chat and so on.
But instead of waiting for problems to appear and then go about solving them, why not anticipate customer demands in advance?
Here are a few ways to help your company transform to that way of thinking.
1. Look for problems to solve rather than products to sell
The product you have is relevant as long as the problem exists. When Alexander Graham Bell, the founder of telephone, approached Western Union the leading telegram company back then they couldn’t fathom the use of the device and rejected the offer. A few years later, the telegram wasn’t relevant anymore as everyone switched to the telephone. The new technology had made the old irrelevant and obsolete.
Graham didn’t wait for customer feedback to arrive at a revolution. He fixed the problem of inconvenience that plagued traditional modes of communication.
And that’s something you can do no matter how small or big your business is.
When Carmine Gallo stayed at the five-star rated hotel Grand Del Mer it wasn’t the beds and bath that made him pay attention. It was the customer service.
From placing water bottles in their cars for a hot day to arranging toys for his kids to play with to arranging courtesy cars all without being asked to the hotel staff won his heart over.
The staff was trained to look for cues and signals that meant the guest needed something. And through practice they nailed it.
2. Pay attention and mine the future demand from the next needs of current customers.
When Amazon first began life in a lackluster one-room office, it was an online bookstore that shipped books to one or two customers in the entire nation. As success began to snowball, the bookstore added many more things to their shelves including dog food, fishing supplies, and home products. Recently, the e-commerce giant crossed 1 trillion in market cap and the founder is the richest person in the world.
The mantra is simple. Once you’re successful with your existing line of products, you expand to more customers, more product lines. Somewhere during shipping books, Bezos realized his customer base would also love other things being shipped to them.
Innovate ways to include other products and solutions in the catalog. You might want to hone into what your customers are doing and find a niche where you might serve new customers.
3. Offer interactive options
Know what separates Sephora, a company retailing facial products for women from the rest? They have an interactive makeup assistant that lets customers zero in on one make-up shade. It’s virtually applying makeup that’s as close to the real deal as one can get.
Sometimes customers want to try on things before purchase. How can you let customers do this?
4. Give customers an easy way to share their ideas
Your customers are your greatest source of inspiration. By listening to them you’re holding the key to alleviating their pain points and holding the key to solving problems.
When you create open communication channels you’re opening up ways to capture their thoughts.
Take to forums where your customers hang out and read their comments on blog posts.
Talk to front facing customer support agents and dive into excerpts from phone and chat conversations.
By capturing the customer’s voice you’ll be able to offer better services and offer a new range of products that are better suited to rising demands.
Getting quality content marketing on to your website is just half the battle. Once you’re convinced you’ve got your messages just right then it’s time to take a long, hard look at just how effective your content actually is and if it’s working exactly how it should.
With just a little exploration into your metrics, you can give your content a clean bill of health or decide which content is making the rest of you site unfit for service.
See The Bigger Picture
There are several ways to measure the effectiveness of content marketing, the most obvious being through data analysis such as Google Analytics. But this yardstick alone does little to reveal the deeper issues of your content.
To probe deeper you’ll need to use a more well-rounded set of metrics to measure how many people are viewing, sharing, returning and engaging with your website. You should consider which pages are visited most frequently and the average length of time visits last.
Brian Delafonte, a Marketing Manager at Writemyx, said: “If you just look at website traffic you’ll be missing out on some crucial data. You want to know which content works and which isn’t going anywhere near achieving your goals. Once you have a wider picture, it becomes much easier to make some good decisions around your content marketing strategy”.
Measure More Than Just Visits
You need to measure more than just traffic and another metric to bear in mind is how your list of subscribers has grown. If you spot a spike in the number of visitors signing up to your email list then check back and see if you made any changes to your content or advertising strategy during that time. Use that information to define further engagement on social media or elsewhere.
Make sure that as well as the numbers, you have a clear idea of where these new subscribers have come from and flag the more successful sign-up locations.
Be sure to compare the number of subscribers you have gained with the number who have unsubscribed to get a bigger picture.
Quality Not Quantity
While it may be satisfying to see lots more visits to your website, if they’re not staying to read, then your content marketing is missing the mark. Set time aside to figure out how many minutes, on average, visitors stay on your pages and which pages have the longest and shortest read rates.
According to Laura Hubbard, a Content Writer at 1day2write and Originwritings: “You need to consider why some pages are attracting longer visits, for example, are visitors staying to watch your video clip or skipping it? This will help you choose what’s helpful and what’s not”.
Sharing Is Key
If you have a solid social media strategy you’ll know that, like website hits, volume isn’t everything. Measuring social media interactions is another worthwhile metric and gives you a direct link to the audience you’re trying to engage with.
Don’t just measure how many people liked your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram post but also how many shares and retweets it attracted. Were there any direct messages or comments to consider, how and why did people engage with your posts and tweets?
Consider the response to your posts as feedback. It’s a useful tool for hearing back from customers directly as to what they think about your content.
If you think more feedback would be useful, then direct mail, surveys and social media posts are a great way to hear directly from your site visitors and potential new customers.
Seeing the bigger picture is a crucial part of measuring response and engagement with your content marketing.
While it is tempting to simply measure the metric that makes you look the most popular or gives you the greatest number of visits, this alone won’t show you what’s really going on page-by-page.
Don’t make analytics a part of your evaluation that only crops up once in a while on an ad hoc basis. Instead, make time monthly to schedule a series of metric tests and make sure you’re getting the best from your content marketing.
About the Author:
Margaret Riehle works at Academic Brits as a recruiting analyst. She enjoys spotting business trends and blogging about all areas of business.
As a business owner, you’re likely familiar with tools and resources for online integration. However, despite a number of options at your fingertips, many of these online tools have limitations.
Some online self-service options provide FAQ resources and allow customers to conduct searches, but then take them to external sites to uncover the answers. Others allow customers to ask questions or request information, only to have to wait several days or weeks for a response.
Enter the cloud call center and all-in-one online integration services, which can provide unmatched satisfaction to customers looking to get answers to some of their burning questions in order to enjoy your product and/or service.
Here are several benefits of adopting self-service options in your business.
Why Utilize the Cloud?
The cloud is a centralized hub where your business can integrate several self-service tools for customers. These options include call center and chatbot tools, which help provide:
Quick and accurate responses to customers
Up-to-date, personalized call center integration based on your company’s niche
Text and chatbot replies via desktop and mobile apps
Escalation to call center agents for immediate answers
The beauty of relying on cloud integration tools is that your company is always online. Even if you don’t have live agents waiting to answers questions 24/7, online tools allow your customers to get answers to questions instantly.
Live chat and chatbots, as well as other similar tools, provide instant gratification to customers. Indeed, these options give customers the information they need when they need it. With this technology in place, there’s no need to sit on hold for 45 minutes, only to get sent back to the original customer service agent. Online chat helps customers find what they’re looking for, by providing answers to commonly asked questions that they may otherwise not have the means to receive.
Incident Ticket System
The adoption of online, self-service tools also allows companies to escalate up the proverbial food chain. Integration of ITS, or incident ticket systems, enables customers to raise a complaint or question that reaches the right department. With such technology in place, customers can come to appreciate the fact that issues aren’t lingering for days at a time. Ultimately, such integrative systems allow businesses to reply to issues in a more timely fashion.
Tech Support and Knowledge-Based Tools
Tech support is yet another self-service tool customers appreciate. These tools allow customers to see common answers to online FAQs without having to contact a customer service agent via phone. Knowledge bases are centralized libraries that provide customers answers to common-knowledge questions/information.
Customers can also utilize the tech support feature to send questions to the appropriate agent. Emails are typically replied to in 24-48-hours, depending on team availability. These tools provide customers another alternative to have their questions answered and learn information about a complex product/service offered by various online companies.
Why Integration Matters
Today, everything revolves around getting things done quickly — and online, if possible. Customers want instant gratification, and with the all-in-one, online integration tools, companies can seize this opportunity. It’s essential, however, to utilize proper self-service tools. If customers keep getting tossed around to different departments in a roundabout manner, it can make matters worse for companies. Therefore, adequate integration, implementation, and planning are crucial to choosing the right self-service tools.
Integrating the right platforms can do wonders for a company’s reputation and ROI. Moreover, the proper self-service tools will keep your customers happy, without creating a floodgate or delays in responding to customer inquiries.