Originally published by: MediaPost | MarketingTools: CRM on 2012-09-04 09:44:11 by Dan Roche
Advances in technology, particularly mobile, provide companies with expanding platforms to reach their target customers. Smartphones, tablets and desktop computers can extend audience reach, but is the content shared through these vehicles resonating with your intended audience? Is it building and/or maintaining relationships? Does it provide a third-party view of your organization?
According to an About.com survey, 84% of respondents felt that brands need to prove they are trustworthy before they would interact with them. The survey further states that elements like accuracy, expertise and transparency were critical to establishing this trust.
How do you create content that strengthens customer trust and loyalty? Here are a few tips to showcase your company so that customers better connect with your brand:
- Reviews – Client testimonials give insight into the company, from the quality of the product to the level of customer service. The more positive reviews that accumulate, the greater the regard for the brand. Even reviews through social media platforms, such as Facebook likes, are a way for customers to see that companies are revered and engaged with their audience.
- Social – Social media networks are growing just as fast as the number of mobile devices. Businesses need to ensure that the content or customer service support they share through these channels will be interesting and/or helpful to their clients. The same goes for other marketing emails or correspondence with customers. Consider where your clients are in the product/service process (e.g., new client, long-standing customer) and tailor the message accordingly to reach all levels.
- Video – A short, good-quality video can enhance a company’s level of transparency and showcase its expertise in customer service or product demonstrations. Video is the next best thing to face-to-face communication and can leave customers with a real personal connection and feel for the company’s character.
- Recognition – Third-party acknowledgments like awards, memberships or special certificates show a company’s leadership and strength in the field. Who wouldn’t want to work with a business that has been recognized for their exemplary customer service or product development?
- Panels and PR – Speaking engagements and media mentions exhibit your company’s experience and leadership. By providing media commentary, partaking in industry panels or lending expertise to a how-to/best practices webinar, customers become more familiar with your business and are more likely to use your product or service.
Consumers are not only savvier when it comes to technology, but they are also well-equipped to look for background information on companies. They may be wary of businesses without reviews, videos, media coverage or social media pages, so it’s more important than ever to engage customers using these tools. It’s also essential to reward your ingenious clients throughout the customer-relationship building process. Coupon codes and special offers and discounts go a long way when customers are drawing comparisons between various vendors. Wouldn’t you be more likely to choose a quality product or service you could purchase at a reduced rate? Content is definitely still king, but a coupon code certainly never hurts.