Are You Listening to What Your Customers are Saying?
We are all aware that obtaining customer feedback is critical during every stage of the sales process. An engaged client is likely to spend more money and to remain loyal over a greater period of time. Considering the fact that the digital marketplace is growing in leaps and bounds, it only stands to reason that appreciating what your customers have to say is critical to enjoy success. However, you might be surprised to learn that many organisations are not fully aware of how to speak with their clients and obtain such invaluable feedback. Before we examine a handful of powerful ways to ensure customer satisfaction, let us highlight some rather interesting statistics.
An Evolving Trend in Numbers
Thanks to niche marketing practices and a more discrete client base, companies are being forced to adopt some novel approaches to retain customer loyalty. For instance:
- The majority of firms feel that social media is their most powerful engagement tool.
- Big data is being incorporated into typical sales campaigns.
- Client-centred communication now takes place during every stage of the buying process.
While most marketers will agree with the above observations, a recent study highlighted the fact that well over 50 percent of all companies do not have an active client engagement plan in motion. Now that we are beginning to see the problem, what solutions are at your disposal and how can these be leveraged to your benefit?
Out with the Old
Before we examine what works in today’s business environment, it is just as important to underscore what does not. Generic strategies no longer hold any weight within modern times; particularly when millennials are looking for personalised experiences with businesses. In the same respect, generalised emails and poorly written content can torpedo an otherwise successful client engagement campaign. These strategies are outdated and should be replaced with more novel approaches.
Obtaining Customer Feedback: More Than a One-Off Effort
Traditional models of customer engagement espoused the notion that feedback was important only after the sale had taken place. This would often occur in the form of an impersonal email survey or a brief follow-up call. Such beliefs have gone the way of the digital dinosaur.
Obtaining feedback and opinions should be an ongoing process. It must take place during every stage of the sale. This approach will help you to answer several questions which may otherwise remain unknown. Examples include:
- What was their first impression of the representative?
- Did their perception of the company change during the process?
- What suggestions would they give in order to enhance future experiences?
Of course, these can then be followed up by standard queries such as how likely they are to purchase a product in the future. The main takeaway point is that we need to view the process of customer satisfaction in the very same way as we would imagine a physical conversation between friends. Unless we are receptive during every stage, any exchange of ideas will soon break down.
The Most Important Seven-Letter Word
Content is king and it always has been. It is an unfortunate fact that some blogs tend to gloss over this paramount point. If we think about it for a moment, the chances are high that many of our buying decisions are based on the type of content that a company provides. Poorly written or outdated information detracts from the quality of the product and the company itself.
Statistics have shown that more than 60 per cent of consumers will base their buying decisions directly off of the perceived quality of content. What we need to take into account is that a well-written piece may no longer be enough. This brings us to our next point.
Brand Personality Through Personalisation
We have already mentioned that generic content needs to be replaced with targeted material. Why is this the case and what has changed in recent times? The main reason that personalised content dominates is that the needs of the average consumer have become much more discerning. In other words, they will look elsewhere if a company fails to embrace a personal touch.
To cement this observation, an online marketing survey found that 77 percent of clients will recommend the services of a company if they encountered personalised and targeted content. Another advantage of this individualised approach is that potential customers will be more likely to provide feedback; helping marketers to proactively assess the efficacy of an existing campaign.
Broad Strokes or Fine Details?
This is a common question and there are two separate but related answers. Most marketers wish to reach as broad of an audience as possible. They believe that this will maximise the opportunity to close a sale and increase the ROI through sheer volume. While there is some truth here, niche marketing is gaining more prevalence.
The theory behind niche marketing is that through the proper research, you will be targeting a very specific type of customer. This can refer to an age group, a gender, buying habits or geographic location. Such a demographic is more likely to positively respond to what you may be offering. The end result of this approach is that the efforts of your marketing team will be focused in the right direction. Additionally, it is easier to monitor customer satisfaction levels with a smaller audience.
A word of caution should be mentioned here. Avoid placing all of your efforts into a niche marketing campaign. It is always important to look for new demographics in order to bolster your current client base.
The Technical Side
We have thus far examined the “organic” component of customer satisfaction and targeted marketing solutions. The aforementioned approaches should always be paired with bespoke CRM systems in order to glean valuable insight into what may (or may not) be working. When we further leverage analytical techniques in order to interpret metrics such as click-through rates and purchasing habits, a well-rounded approach can be achieved. Having said all of this, the ultimate barometer of success in such competitive times can be condensed into a singular principle.
Clients enjoy knowing that they are being listened to. Physical handshakes and smiles have now been replaced with digital interactions and customised content. Regardless of the vehicles used, the end result is still the same. Customers who feel that their needs are being addressed will remain loyal over time and recommend your services to others. This type of satisfaction cannot be bought, but it is rather earned by adopting the correct approaches.