Customer service is also marketing

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When you walk into a store, the first and last impression is the one that sticks with the customer the most. And during the visit, the salesperson will pay attention to your questions. In order to get you to make a purchase, he or she will have to act very customer friendly. So there is customer service. This also applies to purchases through a webshop. If you have questions or complaints, the same rules apply. Assuming that you are talking to a person and not an avatar.

In both cases it’s about answering questions, thinking along with the customer, analyzing and solving problems and providing guidance. So it’s more than a sales pitch and on to the next customer. Investing in customers only benefits your image and will ensure more customers and sales. At the same time there is ‘commoditizing’, the market is flooded with products and services, there is an increasing demand for customer-specific product offerings and spirited competition . This puts great pressure on customer service, the distinction between products and services and the distinction between added values.

The decline of mass communication
The time when mass communication reigned supreme is over. Brands could use it to boost their image or brand and then leaned more on word-of-mouth advertising. But with the advent of
social peer-to-peer technologies, customers have more comparison material and can establish a better judgment than before.

Customer service as a marketing tool
When interacting with a customer, the customer must be the focus. For example, the customer wants information about a product or service. This can be the usability, user friendliness, guarantees, but also problem situations. After all, the customer has the opportunity to verify your answer with the knowledge gained through social media or from influencers. Thus, the customer may already have prior knowledge of the product or service.

It is now up to you, through the customer service conversation, to openly inform the customer about all these things. If the customer is put off, he or she will sense this very clearly and it will harm your company’s image, which in turn can lead to a loss of turnover. So what do you need to pay attention to in order to achieve a perfect customer service policy?

  1. Realize, the impact of good customer service on social media many times over can be passed on to customers and prospects. This is free advertising. It is essentially investing time, attention and customer. As customers and prospects promote this among themselves on social media for you, the credibility of the opinions among them will be greater, than if you were to provide it.
  2. Customer service is an excellent opportunity to confirm the value of the product or service, which can remove doubt from a prospect, for example. Put yourself on an equal level with the customer and listen.
  3. The customer has a good sense of whether you are genuinely interested in the customer or whether you are trying to get away from them. If you are sincere to the customer, you cut through the customer’s emotion and that opens doors. The customer feels most comfortable when you are genuinely interested. And when they feel that way, business can be done.
  4. Time is money. The same is true here. A customer service team that spends more time and attention with the customer incurs more costs just because of the time commitment. However, those costs outweigh the increased sales because of good customer service Use the software to make the digital customer conversations known to the customer or prospect in addition to the products or services. Make sure that the customer does not get the impression, that the story is written by you.
  5. Analyze the social business conversations with the customer. Distill the procts or service that score high on customer engagement or that score high on problem solving.
  6. Also analyze for cultural backgrounds. Paying attention to the wide variety of cultures can improve results.
  7. Elaborate and categorize the taxonomy. This could include resolved problems, complaints, expressions, unpleasant conversations, etc. Consider posting those results on social media.
  8. Create mash-ups and post them on the website. Be careful not to make it come across as a “happy talk,” or it will backfire. Credibility is crucial here.
  9. If desired or necessary, contact the customer or prospect. This can be by phone, online via live chat, social media or forums. Most customers and prospects can almost always be reached. Self-recorded contact provides more reliability and understanding. Note with forums, however, that more people can look in. Be alert to this, because people can make and break you.
  10. A negative image does a lot of damage. So treat the customer as a valued reviewer, because ultimately they want the best service available. The customer assumes, that “who pays, decides” and if the customer doesn’t like it, a negative review is written within minutes.
  11. Realize, that you may not be the only one offering a product or service. And, if possible, be accessible as much as possible. 24/7 is a lot to ask, but consider it a minimum.
  12. The customer or prospect compares his possible purchase on the Internet with other providers. The purchase price, speed of delivery, delivery costs and warranty are aspects that are reviewed. Through the evaluations it is possible to gain insights into why people buy from you.
  13. If a prospect places an order online, make sure that the basic information needs to be filled in once. It annoys prospects when they have to do it over and over again.
  14. It is increasingly important that you know what the individual customer wants. Of course, the product or service is the basis for a purchase, but the focus is already shifting more towards the service. The reason for this is that often such a product or service can also be purchased from the competitor. So give optimal attention to customer service. Make sure that the customer becomes your ambassador of your product or service.

Also interesting to read is our blog about PR.