By Rachel Anderson
These days marketing is heavy with claims like “We are the best”, “use the best ingredients”, “have the best customer care”, etc. People do their research knowing that businesses aren’t always sharing the whole story and seek out customer reviews and or past clients to talk to. With so many avenues for exchange, potential customers are sure to find what they’re looking for, good or bad. Think of the impact it would have if your business were confident enough to be completely transparent and provide this information yourselves? Many businesses have tried this and the result has been better retention and loyalty every time. Here are some ways to do it.
When customers understand how you operate there is much less to question and wonder about. Trust can develop and lead to long-lasting customer relationships. Global shipping companies like FedEx and UPS are great examples of this. They have systems for customers to log on and see exactly where their packages are and when they are expected to arrive. It removes the risk factor and helps customers feel at ease knowing what’s going on with their shipment.
In the customer service world, Authorize.net lets you know how many people are ahead of you and counts down to your turn. This method keeps customers in the loop about what’s going on and increases the feeling of being taken care of and recognized.
One of the most important parts of a business is the feedback your customers give and what you do with it. Most companies have a place on their website for reviews and a customer service line people can call, but what do they do with them? Unfortunately, not much and this is where the listening usually stops. They have a place to funnel feedback but tend to use it only to deal with the refunds etc. unhappy customers demand or to feed their good review page. Domino’s, back in 2009, introduced a “Domino’s Pizza Turnaround” campaign centered on the critical reviews and feelings people had toward them. Some people thought this approach was a little too transparent, Domino’s frankly admitting that their pizza was not up to par or meeting customer standards. Instead of launching a campaign about their great ingredients and service to try to distract or deceive, they included real quotes from reviews in their videos and advertisements and were honest about where they were and where they needed to be. If you look at stock prices back when the turnaround campaign started compared to now, Domino’s success can’t be argued with.
If there were a single reason customers become dissatisfied with service, it would be lack of communication. Depending on the industry, communication will be more or less important but it remains a pillar in good business. Social media has gone a long way to enhance the way companies can communicate with customers. In addition to answering emails, phone calls, and letters, companies and customers can interact over Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and many other social media sites. Stay in touch with what your customers are saying about you and what they expect and be there to reply to their comments. Post things customers can interact with and feel more connected to your brand. By involving customers they have an added interest in the company and will feel more loyalty toward it.
Do you have any ideas on how to improve transparency? Share them in a comment below.
Rachel Anderson is a Pay Per Click Advertising Strategist at Netmark.com. Off the job she enjoys photography, good food, being outside, and spending time with her husband. Share your thoughts with Rachel on Twitter @gladygirl, Google+ or Facebook- she’d love to hear from you!