Many businesses look to what is considered as external marketing to boost the growth of their business. Utilizing the various digital platforms to raise awareness via content marketing. However, many miss a fantastic opportunity for customer driven content. This is where business growth specialists and many marketeers differ, business growth consultants and coaches should be looking at all aspects of your business. Whereas many specialist marketeers will look at specific way to promote your business.
One of the huge difficulties with the later approach, the marketing landscape is always changing. Technology moves fast. However, an outstanding customer care/service strategy moves with your customers.
Research paints an interesting picture of what business owners are concerned about. The constantly changing and super-crowded digital marketing landscape is a definite challenge.
But there is a solution that has been around for decades. It often gets overlooked during the pressures of growing a business.
The Algorithm Problem
Many businesses now heavily really on digital media and in particular social media. One of the biggest threats to those businesses is any algorithm changes. Nearly 2/3 of the respondents of a survey from Bynder and OnBrand magazines cited algorithm shifts as the largest threat to their businesses engagement and growth on social media.
However, the anxiety caused by social media algorithm shifts is not new. Numerous studies since marketers became aware of the importance of algorithms have shown concern for both the lack of true understanding of how it works and the lack of control in what direction it changes. Consider when Google changed theirs to outlaw blackhat techniques such as keyword stuffing, many businesses had websites disappear from the SERP, especially if they built a website and did not maintain current onsite SEO management.
Other Key Issues
For those that have a business development strategy that relies on digital advertising in particular on a platform that has or will offer ad-free streaming. How will they get their message in front of their target audience with the same ROI measurement?
Another issue that is ever increasing is ad and pop-up blockers. The awareness of these are growing beyond just the savvy internet users and Gen Z. People.
PPC is getting beyond the reach of the average small business, when you consider the time and effort that needs to go into a campaign before any adverts are even created and purchased. The foundations are getting harder and more costly to build to support an effective digital paid advertising campaign.
So, how can business owners reach their audiences?
Looking at the big picture, not just in marketing segments.
Look at your biggest resource, your customers. Why do many not consider them as a voice of your brand and an excellent resource in generating and sharing marketing communication?
Excellent customer service has always been a successful strategy for business growth, but the digital world has taken away the focus of the importance of outstanding customer care. Now let us take a moment to understand that excellent service means within your field and measured against similar competition.
However, many independent studies have shown that the opinion of current and past customers has a huge influence the buying behavior of potential customers. Even when marketeers are surveyed, they agree that an excellent customer service strategy is the top-cited method for cutting through the clutter in the digital space.
Social Media Has Changed Everything
It’s no secret, despite many choosing to ignore the facts, that social media has changed our buying behaviors. In 2018, e-commerce was responsible for nearly 12% of all global retail sales. Also, people do more of their shopping online every year.
In addition, according to a report from Hubspot, 71% of consumers rely on social networks to guide their purchasing decisions. People research products and find new ones on social media.
What better way to influence future customer purchasing than to utilize the positive experience of past and present customers?
Like it or not social media has made the consumer-company dynamic extremely public too. It has changed it entirely. Even for those businesses that have a relationship marketing approach, it is easy for the consumer to complain via social media rather than to the enterprise itself. However, a well thought out customer service strategy can negate even the toughest social media troll.
Consumers Want To Interact With You
Social media also enables customers to become advocates. People often show off products that they like on social media. If a brand has a cool image, it is common to see young and old posting about their products online.
Social media can make consumers feel like they are interacting with a person, rather than a company. This opens up marketing to new forms of relationships. Consumers can directly celebrate your brand or criticize it.
As such, customer service is no longer staying in a single department. According to Sprout Social, nearly half of all consumers have used social media to call out brands.
New Ways To Serve Customers
As a result, it only makes sense to put effort into stellar customer service. If your customer service is lacking, you will likely hear about it on social media. This could put a damper on even the most stellar social media campaigns.
Also, unless customers have been involved in business themselves, it is likely that they see your brand and business as a single entity. They will probably not view your company as a number of separate departments.
Your social media presence is the digital face of your brand. So, it makes sense that they would reach out to you on your branded social accounts.
Why You Want To Get It Right
We exist in a web environment of social media callouts and canceling. So, it might be helpful to understand exactly what makes consumers call out brands on social media.
While every case is different, there are overwhelming trends when it comes to what customers dislike. Customer service plays a big role too. It is actually one of the biggest things consumers are likely to criticize a brand for on social media.
The top things which trigger callouts are:
- 60%: Dishonesty
- 59%: Bad customer service
- 58%: Plain rudeness
- 45%: A bad product experience
- 35%: Overcharging
Appealing To The Heart
In cases like this, your customer service and social channel must combine. How you handle negative feedback on social media is so important. It plays a big part in how people think of your business.
If you fail to respond professionally or with sympathy, people will notice. They might even call you out. Some may choose to leave your brand behind too. This is not what you want.
The Engagement Issue
New research suggests that marketers across the board are struggling to engage consumers too. However, more than anything else, a well-known company with a strong professional brand can help to bridge that gap.
Ultimately, branding, customer service, and social media are merging and rightly so. They need to be cohesive to inspire loyalty. You also want to spark positivity in the minds of consumers.
The marketing landscape becomes more and more high tech with every passing day.
However, it is important not to lose sight of what matters.
Ultimately, you want your technological know-how to humanize your brand. Combine personalization and stellar customer service. That way, consumers can truly connect with you.
The rise of social media has created a new environment. Businesses are being put on the front lines of customer service. So, you have to take this shift head-on.
It is easier than ever for consumers to speak out. So, your organization needs to be ready to cope with all that social media throws at you.
You want to make your customers feel valued and heard. You want them to feel connected with your brand on social media too. A big part of this is your overall customer service.
It is interesting how years ago we had the 4P’s of marketing and then the 7P’s but somehow the process (one of the 7P’s) has slipped into oblivion and been overshadowed by social media marketing (only one small part of one of the 7P’s). A excellent customer service strategy will help your business on so many levels, once you have it mastered then you can leverage it for sustained business growth.
As always if you need support with devising or implementing an outstanding customer service strategy, please reach out and connect.
May 26th, 2021