We’ve all been frustrated at times how hard it is to have a direct communication with the company we’re doing or trying to do business with.
This happens despite technology enabling all kinds of communication options.
Still, for many business entities, the question remains: how do you know what your customer really thinks, or wants?
There are many ways to understand customer sentiment, including mining social media activity, assessing inbound website questions, responding to call/contact center interactions, conducting research surveys, and establishing a net promoter score program. The approaches require different levels of commitment, investment and execution.
With so much of today’s customer journey happening during pre-purchase analysis and investigation, having a top-notch website is critical. Sometimes that’s not enough and the customer still has questions and/or needs direct communication. If you are not able to satisfy that information need, you may lose a potential sale or even worse, it may go to a competitor. In addition, the communication need can arise at some point after the purchase has been made.
Consider two action steps, one that is designed for both pre- and post-purchase interaction, and the other for post-purchase customer relationship maximization. Each should not be overly difficult to implement.
- Put contact information in an easy-to-find place on your website, be that a phone number, chat option, email address, contact form or social media account links.
- For post-purchase customer satisfaction, one tactic that impressed me recently was from Anker, the self described “global leader in charging technology.” Anker takes advantage of the product shipping occasion to deliver a simple and unexpected message.
Anker includes a small card with product purchases, with one side marked “Happy?” and the other “Not happy?”
The “happy” section says:
- “We’re just happy that you’re happy. If you don’t know how to express your newfound joy, we’ve got a few suggestions …”
The suggestions are share the news (meaning be a recommender or influencer); write a review on Amazon; and connnect with Anker on social media platforms. Okay, if you think this part of the card comes across as overly playful, remember this: positive word of mouth is one of the most effective sales and marketing actions! There’s no shame encouraging it.
The “not happy” section says this:
- “Our friendly customer service team will work hard to put a smile back on your face. Here’s how we can connect.” There are USA and international phone numbers, an email address, and a website support URL.
By the way, the “Contact Us” section on Anker’s website lists a range of USA and international contact options.
Whatever customer interaction approach you choose, have a ready-to-respond system in place and activated. This can be as simple as designating a member of the team to monitor, directly respond or coordinate a timely response. Otherwise, you may need the “Not happy” cards.
Harvey Chimoff is a customer-focused global business leader who connects marketing across the organization to drive performance and achieve business objectives. His B2B and CPG marketing expertise includes agribusiness, ingredients and food and beverage. Contact him at harveychimoff.com.