“Can I help you?” is one of the most ubiquitous phrases in the script used by a customer service representative. It is also one of the most valuable tools for data collection that a business can use to help create powerful online marketing content. What secrets do customers reveal that can help you build a winning content marketing plan?
The response that your sales team receives when asking: “Can I help you?” creates the framework for your revised, and more impactful, marketing campaign.
The answers can be grouped in several readily identifiable ways:
- “I’m just looking.”
- “I’m here to return my purchase.”
- “Can I get it customized?”
- “Do you offer discount coupons?”
- “I tried what the directions said to try, and it didn’t work for me.”
There are certainly endless variations for the answers to the open-ended question about customer service, but these five are relatively common and illustrative as to how to use the outcome to develop an effective marketing strategy.
When a customer states the just looking response, the business owner needs to tread lightly. In the online world, this could mean managing the number and frequency of pop-up advertisements included on your corporate online presence. Nothing is more annoying to a potential customer than being attacked by ninja advertising during a search for a product question.
The best way to address marketing content to the just looking response is to help the customer narrow the search. One concise way is through the use of marketing personas. Amazon is a pioneer in this approach with their customers, offering other products with comments from customers with similar tastes who also purchased these additional items. This approach justifies the customer’s need to look around, offers information about other people just like him/her, and guides the looker down a path of common, relatable choices. From the seller’s perspective, this approach also has the potential to up-sell a customer.
The flip side of the open-ended needs during a purchase is the customer who has bought and regretted the selection. The data from customer services as to how a client is treated during a return/exchange can reveal whether the client is reinstated as a customer or lost forever. Content marketing should always describe what happens if a purchase needs to be returned.
It cannot be emphasized enough that the return/exchange policies for your products and services should be simple and respectful of the client’s time. The goal of marketing to this particular client is to address the need for a guarantee of quality and satisfaction. Winning a dissatisfied customer back builds loyalty and referrals. Poor handling of returns will lose this client for good and likely will spill over into a poor rating on social media.
Even if a customer does not return an item, they may need it customized to suit their particular uses. When it comes to content marketing, this request is a goldmine. Information shared with potential customers about how your product or service is adaptable for various needs, builds a social network of users. If you include stories of how other clients are using your products, you develop a two-way dialogue that may attract super-users to your business and build on their collective wisdom to gain sales.
You can even use the request for discounts as a means to build your content marketing. The discounts can be offered on a new product or a popular one. The most prevalent way discounts or free offers are used is to gain access to customers by having them opt-in to future marketing information. The wariness of gaining this access is to NOT overextend your welcome, or you risk being unsubscribed to by the new customer. If your connection through the opt-in is too frequent or lacking value, you will turn off customers and likely their circle of friends as well. Using request for discounts to develop a relationship should be built on trust between both sides.
Alternatively, some of the best content marketing is based on helping the customer to use your products correctly. Using the struggles the customer has had following the directions for use opens up your marketing to include illustrations; photos and how-to videos that can increase your visibility and make your business stand out among the competition.
You can take your customer service question: “Can I help you?” and expand it into a reality-based and practical campaign if you truly listen before your leap into content marketing.