March 7, 2015
- More than half of consumers feel product pricing is less important than customer service.
- 61% of consumers will switch brands based on one poor experience with customer service.
- 73% of consumers go out of their way to support companies with exceptional customer service.
- 75% of consumers seek out and stick with brands that offer personalized customer service.
- 79% of Americans put more trust in brands with exceptional customer services.
When you’re promoting your brand, are you focused on the right areas? Focusing more on sales can be detrimental if you’re forgoing quality interactions. Is your marketing plan doing all you hope? What are the keys to delivering the “wow” factor that your consumers want?
Familiarize Yourself With Your Market
Before you do anything else, you need to familiarize yourself with your target consumers. How do you connect with the different generations if you’re marketing products or services to all ages?
Older consumers may not feel that live chat support is ideal. They may prefer to have toll-free support. Think about how you like to connect with companies. Ask other employees to get a broad sampling across age groups and personality types. An extrovert may enjoy connecting through virtual video conferences, while an introvert doesn’t like to be on camera.
Are you marketing your service or product to the best age group? Suppose you’ve created a line of sunscreen clothing that’s waterproof. You’re planning to sell the clothing to teens and young adults who hang out at the beach.
You’re overlooking middle-aged adults who are experiencing the effects of sun damage, such as suspicious moles and sunspots. They’re looking for sun protection when they’re outside in their gardens, walking the pet dog, or having lunch at an outdoor café. You’re missing a significant market by only focusing on young adults.
Surprise Them With More Than Expected
As you work on marketing your brand, do more than is expected. If you surprise your customers with more, they’ll tell their friends. Those friends tell their friends, and soon the word has spread to thousands of people.
One example of marketing surprises happened at a pop-up restaurant that a frozen vegetable brand created. They invited people to dinner, and when customers went to pay, they learned they could have the meal for free by sharing it on social media. Word spread quickly. Customers were surprised by a free meal, and the company’s reputation gained a lot of positive responses and mentions.
Keep Your Promises
You have to keep your promises. If your brand cannot keep its promises, you need to rethink your message. Scale down your brand’s message to ensure you will deliver more than expected. If you promise a lot and cannot keep those promises, you’ll upset consumers.
One company found a shipment of holiday teas was arriving with fuzzy black patches of what appeared to be mold. While they had the lab test it and were assured it was nothing toxic, shoppers were still concerned. The company offered free replacements of those teas, which was a great solution to the complaints. But, when customers reached out to them for replacements, the customer service team never responded to voicemails, emails, or text messages.
If you make a promise, be sure your team is following through. You don’t want to end up being the company that is flooded with negative reviews and complaints all because your customer support and PR team failed to respond.
Never Delay a Response
Do you have social media accounts? Is there a “contact us” page on your website with an email, phone, or live chat button that consumers can use to reach out to your company? Those are perfect platforms for providing a personalized approach to your brand’s marketing plan.
How often does your staff read every message sent to your company? Are there too many for staff to answer? Do they respond on a timely basis? It shouldn’t take your customer support team weeks to get back to a consumer. If you’re ignoring messages or delaying responses, it’s going to upset some of your consumers.
When you interact with consumers, it needs to be consistent and timely. Don’t have an online contact form if you don’t have employees checking those messages. If you post things on social media and allow comments, make sure someone monitors the comments and posts replies. If you can’t keep up with the remarks, hire more staff or turn off commenting for now.
Personalize the Experience
Have you ever reached out to a customer and gotten an impersonal response that you know is sent to everyone? How did it make you feel about that brand? Think about your favorite brands and consider what they do that engages you. Why do you keep coming back? Companies that personalize the experience often top people’s favorite lists.
Do you remember when Coca-Cola started printing people’s names on cans a few years ago? Customers went out of their way to find their names and buy the product. It was such a minor change, but it had a significant impact. After 11 years of decreasing sales, Coca-Cola found their sales increased.
A personal touch goes a long way to making an impression. Be personal when engaging with consumers through a social media marketing plan. Use customers’ names and reach out to them. If you have a mailing list, send holiday cards and add signatures to show your regular customers that you feel they’re worth your time.
Consider using UI/UX designs where you stop and look at the end-to-end user experience with your product or service. Start from the very beginning and consider what it’s like to be in the consumer’s shoes as they research products, take a closer look at your brand, try your product or service, and continue the journey from there.
Say Thank You Often and Mean It
Once you have consumers who come back often, make sure you regularly thank them. When you do, make sure you mean it! When a marketing plan includes product sampling, take the time to thank people for giving it a try. Ask them for input, good and bad, so that you can use the feedback to fine-tune future products.
When asking for feedback, think beyond simple yes and no questions. Open-ended questions make a big difference. Instead of asking something like “did you find the product useful?”, ask, “What three things did you love or would you change?” A strong PR campaign is helpful here.
With open-ended questions, you’ll get superior feedback that gives you insight into the marketing aspects you need to change and what’s going well. Follow up feedback with a thank you gift, such as a 10% discount on a future purchase. Make sure that consumers’ are thanked for taking the time.
Does your marketing team have the skill needed to deliver the wow factor consumers want? In a small company, this can be challenging as you may not want to pay the salaries and benefits for an entire marketing team. There’s a better way.
Hire experts in all areas of marketing. Factory 360 is an all-in-one marketing agency specializing in experiential and social media marketing, content creation, digital marketing, and more. Call us today to learn more about delivering that desired wow factor.