Back in the day, the only way that businesses ever found out any feedback from their consumers was when someone complimented or complained in store or took the time to write a letter to the head office. Now, there are all sorts of ways to learn about what your customers need, want and feel. From responding to complaint posts on social media in a calm and friendly manner to shaping the narrative through content production, there are lots of ways that you can marshal new technology for your own benefit.
When it comes to dialogue with customers, preventing complaints rather than responding to them is the best way to do it. One way to seize the initiative is to craft stylish and funky videos that impress your customers and give them a focus for their attention. This could include a neat animation for your landing page that explains what your business does and why, or it could contain vox pop testimonials from happy customers. Cost is a factor to think about here – but if you make your own marketing videos, then you won’t have to worry about hiring expensive professionals.
In many customer dialogue situations, however, it’s not always possible to achieve this – and it’s pretty much inevitable that negative outreach from customers is going to arise from time to time. One of the main vehicles for this in the modern age is social media, and many firms are now investing in social media managers who monitor the complaints – and compliments – that roll in on a regular basis. It’s believed, for example, that 85% of Fortune 500 companies were on Facebook in 2017 – with even more on Twitter. Company social media sites can also be used for proactive purposes, and firms regularly run versions of the ad campaigns that they run on their traditional marketing channels (such as TV) on their social profiles to achieve cross-channel cohesion.
As anyone who has used the web more than a few times in recent years will have seen, many customer-facing companies are now installing web chat systems to engage customers in dialogue and resolve customer service issues. These services mimic the personal chat services with which most users are familiar, such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, so they feel natural for a customer to be using. They’re often quite popular with customers because they match the modern desire for instant gratification, and they mean that the customer saves time by not having to pick up the phone or wait for an email response.
There’s no way to avoid creating a dialogue with your customers, so if this isn’t a function that you’ve got set up for your business, then you should consider it right away. From opening up a web chat page on your site to setting up social media accounts that allow customers to air their views and have any grievances addressed, there are plenty of options available.