18 Feb 5 Authentic Customer Engagement Strategies
Whether you run a bank or a technology company, providing stellar customer service is critical to your success. If it’s not being enforced at your company, you risk losing customers to your competitors—who may be doing it better.
Understanding who your customers are is key to your success. It’s no longer enough to throw an offer at a segment of your audience and sit back and collect leads; today you have to understand the individual personas that comprise your demo and what makes them tick.
The plot thickens with so many communication channels open to reach you. How do you know how to streamline their operations? It doesn’t have to be difficult. You may just need to learn effective time management and get a few pointers on customer engagement, starting with:
1. RELIABLE CUSTOMER FEEDBACK
Set up a help desk to quarterback customer communications via channels: email, social media, click-to-chat, voice, etc. Depending on your company size and budget, you can appoint a professional coordinator to the task or you can implement the right software to do this.
Social Media: Set up alerts each time you receive a mention or question so there is a real-time response. A recent study found that 32% of customers reaching out via social media for customer service expect a response within 30 minutes and 42% expect a response within 60 minutes.1
Email: Enforce a timeline in which your staff replies to each query. Monitor and track this. Reward and incentivize your staff to make or break deadlines.
Phone: Make callback service available, if you have high call volume. Receiving a call back as soon as a live rep is available to eliminate hold sessions has had a significantly positive effect on customer satisfaction and retention. There has been tremendous success in the hospitality and utilities industries through the leverage of intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs) for this. In fact, Hyatt Hotels has reported an increase in ROI of 125-150% from 2011-2015 as a result of their IVA.2
2. MAKE NOISE
A proper content strategy is crucial. Tell your customers how you will solve their particular problem or launch a campaign that shows them that what you sell provides value they can be confident about.
Distribute content. Network with influencers. Launch PR campaigns to generate awareness on issues that strike a nerve with your clients, like runaway-success and innovative online lender Kabbage did when they partnered up with security tech company ThreatMatrix to send a powerful message on their no-nonsense approach to cybercrime.
“To support our rapid growth, we’ve embraced new ways to fight fraud without compromising the customer experience,” said COO and co-founder Kathyrn Petralia3.
The success of Kabbage skyrocketed as they reinvented the online lending space by providing instant credit decisions based on real-time business data for SMBs. Through this campaign they amplified their message loudly, proactively intercepting one of the biggest rebuttals from SMBs on the fence.
3. BE HUMAN
In all of your communications, be human. Develop your talking points and roleplay in advance, but let your sales team speak from the gut. In order to do this, they should believe in your product or service, since it’s hard to sell something you don’t believe in, so hire accordingly. The same applies to your team members handling social, click-to-chat, and other digital exchanges.
Throw out the script and encourage authentic conversations. Do this with corporate values that inform the brand personality and instill it in your team. In doing so, you should find the human voice in your corporate identity.
Adopt a “your success is our success” motto.
Show your customers you’re in it together. Petralia places emphasis on the shared mutual success inherent in the relationship: “At Kabbage, we talk about the ‘virtuous cycle,’ which is all about helping our customers succeed. We fund our customers so they can buy more inventory or open new lines of business—when they do well, we do well.4”
4. PREDICTIVE BEHAVIORAL TARGETING & PERSONALIZATION
The big thing today is personalization. Each and every person with an interest in your company should be made to feel like they matter and you can do this with the right data analytics tools in place. Part two of this is using the data intelligently.
Segment and target by specs like age, location, income, education, to tweak your messaging to speak their language. This is where marketing analysts as well as the right marketing automation tools can come in handy. The analysts will be able to segment your lists into nurture drip campaigns based on criteria that qualify them as a lead and identify where they are in the buyer’s journey.
Gleaning this type of behavioral data tells you who your customers are and why they do what they do so you can cater your messaging specifically to them through the creation of detailed personas.
There is nothing better than word of mouth from actual real users of your product or service. When done properly and consistently, you can turn your customers into your greatest sales and marketing tools. When their excitement about your product is sincere and they share that, it is infectious and can spread quickly.
With all these interaction tools at your disposal, you should also be culling intelligent data through customer feedback. Listen to existing customers as well as former customers. Although they can be hard to hear, think of complaints as your opportunity to learn from past mistakes on how you can continuously improve your product or service. There is a wealth of valuable information out there ready for you to tap into and make use of.
Need help branding your business? Contact 3degreeZ for help.
- 42 Percent of Consumers Complaining in Social Media Expect 60 Minute Response Time
- Top 10 Customer Engagement Trends for 2016-Part 1
- ThreatMetrix Partners with Kabbage in the Fight Against Lending Fraud
- Growing Small Business: Q&A with Alternative Lender Kabbage