It can be difficult to make an impression on customers in this day and age. Consumers interact with a slew of brands, in person and online, all day long. Additionally, they are constantly bombarded with promotions and branded content. This constant, always-on shopping mentality makes it increasingly difficult for brands, especially emerging entities. With U.S. consumers now spending 5 hours a day on mobile, their exposure to brands and branded content has risen – subsequently posing more opportunities and challenges for brands.
The problem businesses face today is not in finding new customers but in keeping them. Consumers have more choice than ever before – and more access to emerging organizations and industry disrupters. Through these enhanced levels of accessibility, organizations, no matter how established they think they are, cannot rely on customer loyalty. Today, if customers are dissatisfied they can choose from a bevy of competitors and never look back. As any brand marketer can attest, it is far more costly to continuously acquire new customers than it is to retain a current buyer. But the only way to really retain customers in an increasingly competitive, always-on, oversaturated digital landscape is through top-notch customer service. Here are a few ways digital brands today can enhance their customer service offerings:
Interact with your customers immediately
As a digital-first brand, you don’t have the opportunity to initiate face-to-face contact with customers with they first browse your website. For brands that run bricks-and-mortar business models, they can forge deeper and more personalized customer experiences right off the bat because their sales people can interact 1:1 with each shopper who crosses the store threshold. Because you don’t have the luxury of carrying out customer contact in real life you have a to work harder to ensure that customers feel supported during their shopping experiences. Utilizing an on-site customer service messaging program like Zendesk enables brands to set a service-oriented tone immediately. Many brands implement these programs on their site as a means of proactively reaching out to customers when they first arrive on-site, whereas others primarily rely on these programs to answer individual customer questions in a timely fashion. Either way, giving consumers the option to ask questions without having to send an email or pick up the telephone prompts more engagement and, subsequently, more touchpoints to interact with potential buyers.
People spend close to two hours on social media platforms every day; social media platforms offer them immediate access to inspiring, entertaining, and informative content from both publishers and brands. But consumers aren’t simply interested in watched brands’ Facebook Live videos or browsing their highly curated Instagram feeds – they expect to have two-way conversations with brands on social media. Today, social media plays an integral role in customer service, as many customers recognize that posing a question or concern through social media often elicits a timely response from the brand. In fact, customer service-oriented conversations on Twitter have increased by over 250% over the last two years. Creating a social media system that encourages your team to respond to all customer social inquiries within a specific time period will not only save potential sales, but it will also increase customer good will and advocacy. Consumers want to know that brands are listening and value their comments, and leveraging the expedited power of social media is one of the best ways to make your customers feel heard.
Go the Extra Mile
It’s easy for customers to feel like a number in a sea of online consumers. The brands that go above and beyond to personalize the customer experience are the ones who ingratiate themselves with customers and successfully forge deeper, and longer lasting relations. Sending personalized follow-up emails following a product purchase to check in on a customer’s satisfaction, offering birthday greetings or simply, sending sporadic emails that communicate how you value each individual’s’ interaction with your business not only succeed at putting a smile on customers’ faces, but also distinguish your brand from the vast number of ecommerce companies that treat their customers like sales numbers rather than individual human beings.
Customer service can make or break a brand’s success. The organizations that prioritize the customer experience are the ones that are poised to to survive a dynamic and ever-changing digital landscape for the long haul.