"€œThe purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer"€ - Peter Drucker
With digital marketing in mind, I"€™d add the word "€œinspire"€ to Peter Drucker"€™s quotation. We must create and inspire customers – since inspired customers have a reason to be loyal, to spend more and to talk about your brand, products or services to other potential customers. Customers that feel positively about their experience of interacting with your brand, product or service is paramount to success in a heavily connected digital age – here are a few significant reasons why:
- "€œBirds of a feather flock together"€, and never before has this mantra been so true, your customer are participating within the audience that you wish to connect with
- We"€™ve all understood that prior to the Internet an unhappy customer will spread more messages about you to their friends than a happy one – today an unhappy customer gets to tell a whole network of "€œfriends"€ (connected strangers)
- If happy, your customers are ready and motivated to promote you in their worlds – assuming that it"€™s easy and rewarding for them to do so
- People spreading positive stories about you is way more powerful than bland banner ads or Adwords listings (though the latter certainly has its tactical place)
- And of course, we want those very customers to buy again
With this in mind – delivering an amazing experience beyond the first sale is surely a huge strategic play for marketing and a significant way to differentiate and grow your business – certainly if you"€™re in a stale or commoditised market. In turn, customer service is arguably the biggest and most important component to improve the brand experience that you deliver, and the hardest for competitors to copy.
Joseph Jaffe’s new ten point manifesto
As Joseph Jaffe comments in his Customer Service Manifesto – "€œNever in the history of business and marketing has customer service been as front and center as it is today. So much so that it is being transformed and reborn in front of our very eyes as arguably one of the most mission critical components that can make or break a business."€
I believe that a customer centred approach to digital marketing is common sense, if only because every brand is visible, 24/7 online. And, it"€™s getting more so due to the way we, as consumers, use the Internet to share, vent, search and research. So, how about instead of thinking that web technologies are a tool to "€œtarget"€ customers, how about using technology to add a disproportionate amount of unexpected value to customers – sales will inevitably and (very) measurably come from doing that.
How can you start on this today? Start by creating a more powerful feedback loop with something like User Voice or the other user feedback tools we list here. Use this to prove part of the concept and work with your customer service teams (assuming you have one, if not then it"€™s probably easier to progress) to incorporate something like Get Satisfaction, and if needed Zen Desk, into customer service itself. From here you have the momentum and the evidence to bring the customer voice to the heart of the business and create real change.
Be sure to check out Joseph Jaffe"€™s Customer Service Manifesto – he goes into way more detail and it"€™s well worth reading – and don"€™t forget to add any comments you have to this post.