The umbrella term of “marketing” broadens by the year. In the past, it has been a newspaper ad, a Yellow Page listing, or a postcard dropped in the mail. Marketing trends have moved more toward the customer experience, rather than the delivery of an in-your-face advertisement.
When we were kids, the year 2020 was the stereotypical “future”. Our childish imaginations pictured flying robots and groceries that got delivered to your door (okay, some parts turned out real). Now that the “future” is the present, and 2020 has arrived - it’s time to take a look at how to market your business in the here and now.
As a business owner, take a minute to think about your own experiences or poll your friends and family. Ask them how they find a product or service. You’ll likely get a lot of the same answers.
To find what they need, most people ask around, research online and read reviews. All of the information they find, whether it be Uncle Ted’s favorite place he raved about on the phone or the hundreds of reviews they found on Google - all stem from one thing: The customer service experience.
Having a great, friendly experience when a customer is purchasing your product or service is what leads to positive reviews and the spreading of your name through word of mouth and social media.
But let’s be real. No business is perfect. Things can and do go wrong and fluke incidents happen - and that’s okay. No matter how great your product or service is, there’s bound to be a not-so-perfect customer experience.
Here’s where that customer service comes in, yet again. How you react to this, and the lengths you take to rectify the situation and turn the experience positive are what people remember, and what impacts your future business. It’s what they write about in reviews, and it’s in the stories they tell to their peers. If you fixed their issue in a pleasant and accommodating way, they don’t often continue to have anything bad to say.
In this day and age, customers are all about immediate answers. They don’t want to sit on the phone or wait to hear back from an email.
With the rising popularity of live chat and the demand for this type of interaction, many companies are eager to get on board. But in their haste, they’re going about it the wrong way, utilizing bots that frustrate the user or outsourcing their representatives to a mass-production telecommunications facility where oftentimes, the language barrier prevents the customer from getting a clear answer.
What does your customer do if they stumble upon no chat, or worse, chat that sends them in circles? They leave and go to another company’s site - likely your competitor.
The worst kinds of customer service chats are where the agent is simply clicking a button to send back a canned response. Your customers don’t want that - and they can see through it.
The best thing you can do for your website’s live chat (besides actually having it) is to either have the chats answered internally or hire a reputable marketing agency to do this for you, where the people responding are live humans, one-on-one and understanding of your customer’s needs.
Yes, you knew this was going to come up. No, it’s still not going away. In fact, the importance of your social media presence is still growing. But here’s the twist: It’s becoming less about getting lots of likes and followers. Yes, you heard that correctly. In fact, 96% of people talking about companies and brands on social media aren’t actively following those brands. (Lyfe Marketing, 2018). And Instagram? They’re playing around with not even displaying how many people have liked a post.
So what is important then? Again - it’s the customer. Social media has become another customer service outlet. It’s a way for people to interact with your business and feel that connection they need. Being able to find you on social media and see your posts, browse your reviews, or send you a direct message - are all ways that humanize your business. And seeing how you respond to other people on your social media is a huge factor in deciding whether they want to do business with you.
This circles right back to: be sure you have someone in-house managing your social media, or you hire a reputable marketing agency to handle it for you using the best practices.
Last but certainly not least. The monster of it all. Content. The year 2020 will see content remaining an important lead generation tool for your business. The way in which consumers decide what to purchase is becoming more and more weighted on their (and their friends and family’s) experience with your company and not your 30-second TV commercial.
Having content on your website and social media that is useful and relevant to what they’re looking for leads them to want more interaction with you. Blogging is increasing in popularity for this reason, as it allows you to offer your knowledge on certain subjects they may be researching, bringing them to your virtual storefront. Once you’ve given information people are looking for, you become viewed as a trusted, reliable resource.
I know what you must be thinking. Who has time for all this? Or who has the funds to hire someone to do all of these things that keep my company soaring?
Captevrix is a full-service marketing and growth agency that costs less than hiring just one employee to dedicate to your brand. With years of knowledge and experience and constant trend research, we always know the most effective ways to grow your business and put best practices into action. For a free business evaluation, contact us today!