Conversations between customer service advisors and customers are becoming an increasingly important part of content marketing. John Drinkwater explains why excelling in local customer service should be a key part of marketing activity for growing brand.
Take a moment to recall a customer service experience that started with confusion or frustration for you, and ended with you feeling better about the brand. What did you do? Did you tell someone else about it? Did you tell the company by perhaps responding to a survey? Next think about a negative experience. What did you do? Did you write negative reviews online? Did you tell friends and family and sometimes work colleagues?
I don’t normally write positive reviews as I imagine that mine won’t really matter that much, but if something goes wrong or the experience is bad, I will sometimes post a review with the hope that I might save someone else from the same annoyance. Have you done the same? In the UK, positive reviews are rare, but negative ones are becoming increasingly common.
A recent survey from Brightlocal shows that over 50% of UK consumers are now reading reviews on a regular basis (vs. 33% in 2015) and only 9% don’t read online reviews at all. That is why it is even more important in 2017 to provide great local customer service as part of your content marketing strategy.
The growing effect of social media on brands
84% of UK consumers now trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, and 90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business. So, the comments and reviews that your customers are posting about your service are critical to your brand strength – it’s a trend that new brands cannot ignore.
A widely cited survey from 1st Financial Training Services showed that 96 per cent of dissatisfied customers will never complain to the company, and 91 per cent of will simply leave and never return. So waiting for customers to give feedback and the opportunity to improve is not the answer. Though these customers are not talking to you, they will certainly be telling others about their dissatisfaction.
Yelp and Google reviews have shown that the likelihood of unhappy customers posting about their upset has grown rapidly, (study conducted by Consumer Care Measurement and Consulting in conjunction with the W. P. Carey School of Business and Arizona State University).
Local Customer Support as part of Content Marketing Strategy
Of course, it is preferable to deal with customers’ problems before they post a negative comment or review online, so rapid availability of local culturally aware and sensitive support is vital. This is why customer service is such an important part of your overall content marketing success.
However, once a dissatisfied customer has posted a comment on social media, it is critical to maintaining a positive online reputation that the company makes contact as soon as possible, to provide information and support.
The third benefit of local social media customer support is that listening to customers is a great way to find out what type of content they are looking for. Are they having problems with installation? Do they need more information on a certain subject? Is about confusion about product types and price? All of these needs could be addressed with content marketing, with information in the website or social presence.
Managing Social Media Content
Is your company an active user of social media? How is your presence on Facebook or Twitter? Are you responding to all comments — both the good and the bad — in a sensitive and timely manner? If not, you still have work to do.
If your Facebook and Twitter pages are full of unhappy customers and no good response from the company, potential customers will think that you don’t care, you are uninterested in your customers, and that they should probably look elsewhere. However, if there are only happy posts, then it looks unnatural and suspicious. A few unhappy reviews (properly responded to and resolved) amongst more happy ones gives the message that although perfection is not achieved, your brand tries hard to provide great service and deserves trust.
Great local customer service with a sensitive knowledge of language and cultural norms is key to your content marketing success. More people are finding out about you from websites that you don’t control, often looking at social media, review websites, and many other places before seeing your website. What does your brand look like on those other sites?
By providing great service, listening to your customers and responding to them quickly and sensitively, you can help your overall content marketing and brand building success.