The internet has transformed the way that companies communicate with their customers, presenting businesses with new challenges as well as fresh opportunities for growth. Since potential customers have hundreds of pages of information at their fingertips when they are browsing the web, businesses should expect them to research, compare and communicate with each other during many of their buying decisions. Conventional tactics centered on simple name recognition are no longer enough. Modern companies must create a complete customer experience and manage their relationships with consumers in a broad variety of digital environments.
Accessible Customer Service
Even though most potential customers have reliable access to a phone, they won’t necessarily be inclined to call a customer service or support line. However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t want to talk to company representatives about their questions or concerns. Many companies take the first step towards making a connection by adding a dynamic chat functionality to their site or mobile app. This allows visitors to initiate a text conversation with a company representative whenever they need with no pressure or obligation. Essentially, marketers must be willing to connect with their audience in any way possible wherever they are.
An interactive chat feature may not be suitable for all businesses, but companies of all sizes must find ways to engage customers. Many people prefer sending an email or using an app instead of making a phone call or using on-site chat features, so it’s important to offer these options as well. Contact information should be prominently displayed across the site to ensure visitors can find it quickly and easily. Creating a positive customer experience also means building a solid customer service department with a budget and oversight appropriate for its importance.
Gathering Accurate Feedback
No company is perfect, so chances are high that at least some of your customers are not completely satisfied with their experience. While this does not necessarily indicate that the company is doing something wrong, it does mean that there’s something they could change to broaden their appeal to consumers. Every business should seek feedback from their customers so they can turn their marketing efforts into a science. For many, the challenge is getting accurate and reliable reviews.
One of the most amazing of recent marketing marvels is the ability to track and verify individuals to ensure their feedback is legitimate. Businesses can use third-party services, like OpenTell, that match receipts to customers when they submit a review of the company. This can greatly improve the quality of feedback, which is essential for actually using it to achieve meaningful results. Even if reading critical remarks is a little painful, it can be an immensely powerful tool for fueling growth and retaining customers.
Marketing Automation and Software Solutions
Customer relationship management (CRM) has become cannon for many modern marketers thanks to software solutions that offer extensive information management capabilities. CRM software tracks and sorts comprehensive databases that include details regarding individual customers, including all of their prior communications with representatives, purchases and interests. This allows both customer service and marketing personnel to do their jobs more efficiently and accurately.
Adopting a CRM tool may feel like a big step, but many of them are actually designed to be user-friendly and intuitive. The platforms can be accessed by people at different authority levels and departments throughout the company, creating a central hub for information that is constantly kept up to date. Some software tools also allow users to automate certain aspects of their marketing efforts, like email reminders or follow-ups, with room for customization when desired.
Technological development may be a disruptive force, but it is also one that spurs change and improvement. Businesses that learn how to change with the times and harness the potential of digital marketing tools have much to gain from their efforts. Connecting with customers, understanding the challenges they face and finding ways to help them address concerns is still a top priority. The key is to use technology to improve the customer experience and deliver better, faster and more satisfying service.