Customers are crucial when it comes to a business’ success – without them all you’d essentially have is a product/service and a group of employees with nothing to do! Since customers are so important, we should be doing all that we can do to maintain a positive relationship; but how? Here are a few tips for improving customer service through the many interactions your business may have with  customers. 

Phone – The informal way we talk on the phone in our personal lives doesn’t always work in the workplace. A customer may call your office for a number of reasons. From the moment the phone is answered, the customer expects a pleasant interaction, especially if they are taking the time to show interest in your products or services. Say a customer calls and you, or a staff member, answer in a tone of voice that is not friendly or in a manner that seems like you’re being inconvenienced. It can be off-putting to the customer. Your initial greeting can set the tone for a conversation and shouldn’t be taken lightly just because the interaction isn’t face-to- face. When talking to customers on the phone, everyone on your team should be upbeat (yes, we all have bad days but it shouldn’t affect your attitude in the workplace) and welcoming. You want to make sure the customer feels as if you genuinely want to help them with any questions or concerns they may have. You never want to make them feel like they are an annoyance. We will warn that some phone conversations could involve a disgruntled customer who may not be that polite themselves. The worst thing you can do is to return the sassy attitude and risk upsetting the customer further. Keep your composure and listen to the customer to help work towards a positive resolution. They may not leave a positive review for good phone etiquette, but they certainly may share an unpleasant experience online that could be damaging to your business’ reputation. Surprisingly enough, phone etiquette isn’t always common knowledge. We recommend going over your office policy for phone procedures with the staff to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Email – Email correspondence is extremely common these days. As people are spending more time on mobile devices and have greater access to information thanks to the web, emails cut out actual personal interactions.  When corresponding with customers through email (this includes potential, current and previous customers), take a similar professional approach as you would with a phone conversation. Emails can be tricky as the tone of any email is implied and left to the interpretation of the person receiving the message (unless you’re typing in emails – which we don’t recommend either), so pay attention to the word choices you use. Address the customer by name (make sure it’s spelled correctly) and specifically respond in a way that shows you’ve taken the time to read their request/complaint/inquiry. Responding in a timely manner is important. Waiting several weeks or months is not a good look and can imply to a customer that you’re, for instance, not concerned with responding or simply not checking emails frequently. If they can’t get the answers or resolve they are looking for, they can easily take their business elsewhere, to a place that can help them quicker. A word to the wise: reread your email before you hit send because once you do, it can’t be taken back (don’t forget to ensure you have the correct email address (es) as well).

Customer Reviews – This is quite possibly one of the most sensitive components of online reputation management. Thanks to peer review sites, customers who have bones to pick can share their woes with millions of online users. For the bad reviews, it’s a case-by-case situation and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Of course some reviews can very likely be fake or inaccurate, but the same premise remains: how to respond in a way that keeps your company’s integrity intact? First, show everyone reading that you’re paying attention. What we mean is, stay on top of the review sites that share your company’s profile and read the reviews that are left. For positive reviews, thank customers for their kind words, express your appreciation for their continued service, etc. (personalize the response and tailor it off any key points they share instead of a generic, “hey, thanks!” kind of response). For negative reviews, always take the high road. Never point a finger at a customer or share information that can seem malicious towards the reviewer. Instead, acknowledge their concerns and offer a resolution. Whether the resolution is a discount or replacement item, or simply welcoming further discussion behind closed doors, it shows others reading your reviews that actions are taken to rectify a complaint. Often times, companies can appear to only be interested in making a profit and this can leave a lasting, negative impression on the customer. Show them you’re listening; show them you care.


Content – Driven Marketing

Content-Marketing (1)Since the rise of digital, social and mobile, various businesses and brands have now attempted to get closer and be more human with their customers. This fosters loyalty and trust with them, ensuring the growth of their business.Content marketing is quickly becoming a game changer in the field of marketing because it establishes your brand as an authority.

All content marketing begins with content. It’s in the name after all. But most of us only focus on creating content that drives brand awareness.

So, finally, it’s time we talk about Content –Driven Marketing. Trust me, it’s not a tactic it’s a strategy. Content marketing provides traffic for your website, when you are constantly putting out knowledgeable content, your website visitors will take notice and this is awesome for your marketing potential. This means you should be thoughtful about the content you write as well as how frequent you come out with new content. Remember, more is not always better… better is better. If you have competitors, your expertise can make you look far more professional than someone else who puts out lackluster content.

Content –Driven Marketing is a commitment to using content to reach and engage with the audiences that are important to your business, including customers, prospects, employees, investors, and more. It’s a commitment to give first, before you get. It’s a commitment to educate before you sell. It represents an understanding that consumers are intelligent, discerning people who are going to choose your product or service only if it’s the best option, and not because you had the most money to spend on a fancy advertising package. The goal of content marketing is to keep your business top of mind with your target audience, provide them with helpful information they care about that relates to your brand, and to give them consistent opportunities to become customers, remain customers, and enlist others to become customers-all without pushing them to buy.

One of the most important keys to a successful content marketing strategy is to identify the niche your business occupies. Many companies make the mistake of trying to fill several niches, believing that a broader appeal will bring them more customers. This type of general thinking dilutes your marketing message and makes your business less appealing to your target customers, with little if any advantage to winning over non-target customers.

The best way to define a profitable niche for your business is to look for an area with an unmet or underserved need, and then fill that need with your products or services. You may have specialty products or services that already appeal to a specific audience, or you might find that your business can be better at a certain aspect of the customer experience than any other business in your industry or area.

An in-depth understanding of your target market can help you create and deliver highly effective content. With your business niche and USP in hand, you can develop a profile or profiles of the perfect customer for your business-and you’ll understand not only who would buy your products or services, but why they would buy them.

At the heart of content marketing is the idea that it’s all about the content-not the marketing. In order to be effective, content marketing must be passive.

Effective content marketing delivers value to the reader or viewer. Each piece of content you offer should provide something your audience can use or appreciate.

The final piece of your content marketing foundation involves deciding on the style and the frequency of your content. Generating a constant flow of fresh content is important for success, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to create new content every day.

Content marketing is a powerful form of advertising for any business. Rather than pressuring your audience into buying, content marketing allows you to establish a strong connection with your target market, and build relationships that lead to long-term business growth and profitability.

With content marketing, you can dramatically increase your online visibility, expand your audience, reach new customers and generate fresh leads, and develop a loyal following who will go on to market your business for you.Build a strong foundation for content marketing, and focus on generating quality content that will engage your audience and keep them coming back for more.