Inbound marketing attracts and delights consumers by offering relevant and engaging content to prospective customers. While inbound is often seen as a means to market products and services and bring in sales, inbound is also essential to quality customer service.
Read on to learn how inbound marketing can improve customer service and promote customer satisfaction.
5 Inbound Elements to Improve Customer Service
Even in 2022, email is still one of the most popular and successful means of communicating with customers and prospects.
Keeping a line of communication open between your business and your audience is key to building a quality customer service program. With email marketing, you have a chance to communicate with customers daily- about 99% of people check their email every day!
Email is your best bet for continuing the conversation even after viewers have left your site. When sending out blasts, you know you are connecting with people who have already shown interest in your brand, and regular email contact will keep your brand fresh in the minds of your targets.
Creating email lists and segmenting your contact list will bring your email marketing campaign to the next level; customize emails to fit the interests and needs of particular groups of viewers to convey a more personal and targeted message. By keeping track of the different contacts you have, you can send out emails with personalized messaging to encourage specific actions.
Email blasts are also an opportunity for your customers to contact you with questions or concerns. Including contact info in every email is important to show customers that you care about their needs and are happy to help.
We often tout content as one of the most powerful tools in your inbound toolbox. With its diversity, room for creativity, and complete customization, content creation is one of the most customizable forms of marketing.
To ensure your content is working in your favor to support your customer service strategy, you want to focus content on the interests and needs of your target audience. Keeping your audience in mind when creating content will ensure that you are offering valuable and relevant information to your readers.
Although content is a great opportunity to advertise products and services and can be used in such ways, you want to create content that signals to your target audience that you are a reliable and valuable source of information.
By understanding the core values of your customer base, you can tailor content to show your audience that you share those values. Because they were interested in your brand, you presumably hold similar core values, and showing an authentic dedication to those values will communicate to your audience that your brand cares about more than closing a sale.
With all this high-quality content, you need somewhere to share it! While content like blogs can be posted to your website, using social media to share different types of content will engage your audience and bring in new viewers.
Regularly updating your social platforms shows consumers that you are active online and encourages them to return to your profile. Sharing valuable, informative content tells customers that your social accounts are more than just an ad for your brand.
When posting to social media, you are opening a direct path of communication between you and your followers. While some customers might enjoy calling or emailing, sending a quick DM or commenting on a post is much more convenient for many consumers today. Instead of having to go out of their way to contact you, any customer can quickly and easily type out a message while getting their daily dose of social.
Convenience is a huge factor in customer service, so offering any and every form of communication to customers will encourage them to reach out if they need to and also show that you prioritize customer satisfaction.
Feedback and Surveys
The best way to get to know what someone is thinking? Just ask! Direct, unfiltered feedback from customers is one of the best ways to get to know what your customers think of your brand and customer service program.
Asking the right questions can give you vital feedback on all aspects of your brand. Demographics, product usage, satisfaction, and more can be found just by simply asking those who are engaged with your business.
Although your customer service strategy should ideally be proactive, you also want to review what you have done in the past and judge whether it helped or hindered your marketing and sales, then make appropriate changes.
Surveys, questionnaires, and other forms of collecting feedback can be shared in a variety of ways. Emailing a survey after a customer takes a certain action (makes a purchase, just received a service, etc.) will catch your customer at the right moment and give you timely and relevant feedback. You can also share surveys or questionnaires online via social media or your site to attract a larger source of feedback.
The only issue with getting feedback is that you are asking your customer to do something solely for your benefit; although the information they provide will help you better serve customers in the future, you might want to offer something additional to customers who complete the survey. Some brands may offer a small discount, a product, or an entry into a contest as thanks for providing feedback, which makes customers much more likely to take the time to complete the survey.
Now that you have all these open channels of communication, you have to remember to respond! Timely responses are one of the most telling aspects of a business’ customer service strategy.
The only way to truly utilize the information provided in customer feedback is by staying on top of all your sources for feedback. Whether on social platforms, review sites, or your own website, it’s important to keep track to ensure no response goes unread.
Customer contact, good or bad, deserves a response every time. Whenever a customer has gone out of their way to give feedback about your business, you want to acknowledge what they have done for you – over 53% of consumers now expect a response within a week after writing a review!
Of course, negative reviews should be dealt with immediately to address whatever issues customers have with your brand. Doing so in a timely manner means you are more likely to please the customer and resolve the issue quickly. It also signals to other readers that you value customer satisfaction and take responsibility for failing to delight consumers.
Every review should be responded to specifically and personally. Include the reviewer’s name and address specific parts of the review to show that you genuinely care about and process customer feedback.
Even comments on social media posts deserve a response. Any time a viewer reaches out, you want to show that you care about each customer by responding to any contact. Good, neutral, or ugly, customer feedback is key to quality customer service.
Gone are the days of painful and inconvenient customer service. No longer do consumers have to deal with waiting on hold for hours or emailing and never getting a response. The internet, social media in particular, has given consumers and businesses the opportunity to connect in a variety of ways. Tailoring your inbound marketing strategy to your specific audience will help you connect with and provide for your valued customers.
Thanks for reading,
Editor’s note: This blog was originally published in July 2019 and has been edited and updated in January 2022.