B2B companies will continue to rely on quality content in varied forms to differentiate themselves and their products during 2012. The website is still home base for most companies, but social media and branded content are augmenting their online presence. Marketing budgets are increasing in these areas.
Outstanding customer service is something that many companies make claim to, but how do you convince prospects that your business will go above and beyond? How do you make your website an extension of the outstanding customer service you deliver in person? We looked to four customer service leaders for inspiration.
Tell the “Wow” Stories
Ritz-Carlton’s customer service has been widely recognized. In each hotel every day, every department meets to share stories about customers who have been wowed by their services. We find a selection of these stories on their website. Stories That Stay With You: Unique and Memorable Moments from the Ladies and Gentlemen of The Ritz-Carlton, makes customer service interesting and compelling to the website visitor.
Build a Customer Service Page
Wegman’s is a grocer that consistently ranks high in customer service. On a a recent Bloomberg Businessweek survey, 60% of respondents would recommend the brand. Visit Wegman’s website and the Customer Service page is a convenient one-stop shop for any and all info a consumer might need. From frequently asked questions, to actual phone numbers, and a store locator, Wegman’s anticipates customer needs well and neatly compacts the info in one convenient place. A website that does this well can effectively reduce customer wait times and free up staff for other assignments.
Automaker Lexus (Ranked 7th on the same survey) uses its website to build in convenience for busy customers. Once enrolled in My Lexus, an owner can conveniently schedule service appointments online, access their complete service history, or download ownership manuals. Imagine, no more digging out a paper invoice out of a file cabinet to see when the last time you had new tires installe
Home of “the Helpful Hardware Man,”Ace Hardware extends customer service online through the Projects and Solutions area of its site. Expertise is shared through interactive project videos, step-by-step how-to’s, and the Helpful Hardware Man’s Corner. Customers know where they can find assistance with their projects. Are you doing the same for your “DIY” B2B customers? “Projects sell products,” we used to say when I worked at a home center publication years ago. Similarly in foodservice, recipes and menu ideas sell ingredients.
What these service leaders demonstrate is that website content can not only sell customer service to a prospect, but also extend customer service by helping customers find the information they need online. While face-to-face customer service is highly valued, these companies recognize that buyers increasingly go online to interact with the brand. Smart marketers will maximize the customer experience in both places.
Are you ready to think differently about how you approach your website content? As professional content strategists and contest writers we can help you determine the content that will best support and sell all aspects of your brand, including service. We can help you find and tell your customer service stories; organize and write an effective customer service page; enhance customer convenience, and share your know-how.
Give us a call, or send us an email. We’ll respond right away, either way.
Marketers spend countless hours coming up with strategies to engage customers and prospects through content marketing. Yet, too often, when customers are trying to engage with a company, such as when they have a question or problem, we make it difficult. We relegate the answers to an 800 number, when we could be providing the information online. Here’s why 800 numbers are a turn-off:
1) The automated voice mail. If there’s a better way to make your customers feel like they are not important, let me know. When is the last time you heard a message that was engaging on an 800 line. “Listen carefully, we have changed our selections” is typically followed by an endless array of options, not one of which involves a human being. Companies may as well just scream, “We don’t want to talk to you!”
2) The wait is too long. I recently spent 10 or 15 minutes waiting to ask a question of GoDaddy.com. Another interaction with Lenovo took more than 30 minutes to resolve. And while you wait, you have to listen to annoying music, or sales messages.
3) People who can’t solve their problems. When you finally do reach a human, it never seems to be the person who can solve your problem. By the time you have been transferred to the right person, you have explained the problem at least three different times to three different people.
4) There’s usually no record of your conversation. Unless you count the confirmation number you scribbled on a scrap of paper. After a phone transaction, I am often left wondering if anything really will be accomplished.
Is it any wonder that your customers would look online for the answers to their problems? Studies show an increasing preference for online interaction.
Does your website content address your customer’s questions? Do you have an area for frequently asked questions? Can a customer chat with an operator online? Can they access a customer portal to see their account information?
Many b-to-b marketers fail to answer common questions online because they want people to call them. But will they?
What’s your strategy?