Nothing beats word-of-mouth recommendation - but is your business returning the sentiment?
A lot about the marketing world has changed in the last few years but perhaps something sounds charmingly old-fashioned yet is still held in high esteem is word-of- mouth recommendation. And the top tier of this is reserved for those occasions when a customer mentions that they love your brand. It really gets the corporate heart a-fluttering, right?
What too many operators fail to realise is that in business as in romance, love is a two-way street. The customer loves you. But do you love them? And to continue with the romantic analogy…if you really do, how do you show it?
Customer experience (CX) expectations have changed significantly in recent times. If you have any social media experience at all with your business, you’ll likely be well aware that frustrated or disappointed customers flock to social media to air their grievances. But now more than ever this behaviour is about more than just venting to their peers. Customers who have issues expect that your business will meet them on social media platforms, respond to their concerns and join in an honest conversation aimed at resolving the problem.
Authenticity is everything in these conversations and so unity of approach and message is vital. CX is only part of the picture, after all. Every business must work carefully to ensure that marketing, advertising and CX are all aligned in their approach. If these teams are sending differing messages or even speaking in different tones, there’s a chance that authenticity will suffer. Customers who are active as part of online communities spot this very quickly.
Thorough research and an honest appraisal of how your business markets itself and generally communicates is absolutely vital. It pays to gather customer feedback at every point of conversation, whether that be over the counter, in the field or online. The good news is that today’s AI and online listening tools make monitoring and responding to multiple social media conversations – once a task that looked a lot like a full time job – much simpler and more time-efficient.
and AI technology Businesses that make the effort to really listen to customers discover very quickly issues such as how clients feel that apologies are being handled, whether transparency is an issue, or perhaps whether people are concerned that you are too eager to upsell. Finding out how customers are feeling is just the first step – everything you learn must then be shared across both CX and marketing teams, and plans put in place to address any concerns. Remember, a united business voice is an authentic voice.
Quick tips to take away
Remember, there’s a lot more to engaging with your customer communities than simply dealing with complaints and politely replying to questions. Listening to what these communities are saying can feed straight back into your business, its products and services, helping fine tune what you do and helping reinforce customer love and loyalty. It really is, after all, a two-way street.
If you’d like to know more about listening to, learning from and engaging with the communities connected to your business, simply contact us today.