When I first started Digital Marketing Australia Pty Ltd in 1994, I was it. I was the sales team, I wrote the advertising copy, organised the voices and even did some VO work myself. It was great fun as I knew every customer personally, and all about their business.
I used to ask every business customer “What sets you apart from your competitors?” The answer was the same – “We give better customer service”.
I had to ask; “Better customer service than whom, better than last year or better than last month? What have you done to improve your level of customer service over the last year?”
I hope we helped many Captivate Connect customers to address this over the last 27 years.
I have written previously about the reduction in the effectiveness of advertising in media, and how the almighty Google and Facebook ads have very little impact upon sales due to the increasingly saturated market.
What will continue to grow is the public ratings of businesses by their users. Trip Advisor is a good example. Travellers use the platform to rate accommodation, destinations, restaurants, etc. The business needs to incentivise the reviewer to take the action as social proof is vital for brand reputation, but the review must be real as the public is too perceptive to be fooled by plastic reviews.
So how do you incentivise the public- and even harder, the B2B customer to take the time to write a review?
In my experience, a room upgrade works. A late checkout is always on my bucket list, as I travel a lot (well, pre-COVID) so being able to change after work en-route to the airport is a dream. It is possible, just ask your customers.
Another way to encourage positive reviews is to provide an experience that the customer does not expect, but is delighted by.
This is what we call the Customer Experience. It would be taking into account and valuing the customer’s thoughts and feelings. This can reduce the wait times at all customer touchpoints. It would be providing exemplary customer service through every channel.
In my business – telephony – we are believers that customer experience makes the sale. Waiting on hold is what we set out to minimise, and we have seen recently that our customers have reduced their call wait times by up to 35% with Captivate Connect.
Giving the Customer a better experience will be memorable and will bring in more positive reviews. But don’t be afraid to ask, just like referrals. Ask and ye shall receive.