5 Tips; Better Your Customer's Journey With These Easy Content Solutions
This is so amazing because it's not only making their journey better, it also shortens it, betters your company's image, makes customers your salespersons and better yet - it reduces expenses! So much for so little! Wow, shut up and take my money.
Unfortunately, content has always been kicked aside as a nice-to-have part of the marketing team. In practical terms, it means that content positions were usually low-pay positions with a "just do what I tell you" attitude. Only recently has content started to gain more power as a game changer, as consumers are getting more and more fed up by the usual sales and marketing tactics thrown at them day by day.
If you're raising your eyebrows and telling me that content has always been important in your company, hold it. I don't mean advertising or amazing super bowl spots, or "buy one get one free" promotions. I mean content! Real value-adding content. Stuff that people actually take into consideration and remember, and sometimes even use that content themselves.
It's the added value dummy!
There is a huge difference between "Thanks for buying our product" and "Thanks for buying our product, and here's what you can do with it". Added value is the difference. When we pay money for a product but get more (the feeling of more), we are happy. When we get the product and start using it with no added hassle, we are happy. When we find out that we can do more than we planned with the product, we are happy.
There are many times where consumers should be happy but are not. If it's not understanding the product or service, when it's getting someone to help us, when we are simply uninformed about the product or service, and much much more.
Usually, it comes down to missing information.
Information is king and costs money, true. But there is soooo much information out there, that you need to control the flow of it, thus making it cheap and cost-effective. How? By spreading it like powdered sugar along the customer's journey.
How many calls or online questions do you get about your product that are very simple to answer? How many potential customers have you missed out on, while answering these "stupid questions"?
Make your content work for you
Let's take Tic Tac. Did you know that the box itself has a built-in way of getting just one TicTac out every time? (It's not the issues here, so if you didn't know that, look it up on Google.) But the thing is that there is so much information out there that could add value to your product.
Another example is Leatherman multi-tools. Their best selling tool is called Wave. Many do not know that it has a hidden lanyard ring so you could secure your Wave with a piece of rope or to a keychain (It's not really a hidden feature, but it's tucked inside so deep that you really have to know about it to use it). Yes, it could be written on the box in small print, but who reads that? The small print is so legal and formal and such a party-pooper. Oh, you've added some really important information in the same text size? No thank you.
Every company has tons of lost information just lying on the floor and waiting to be picked up and used. And so much of it is so easy and cheap to distribute to your customers or potential customers.
5 things you NEED to do to help your customers and your business
Start with the basics - wherever you can - make your contact information easy to find and readable - and when online - linkable/usable (links to maps or phone calls etc.). When you give out your contact info, it makes people secure. They feel that, when the time comes, they will have someone to talk to, even when most won't ever contact you. So share as many means of contacting you as possible - and make sure it is easily found - on your social media pages, website, emails, receipts, user manuals, packaging, on the product itself if possible and find any other contact point your company has with humans.
Make it a habit of visiting your customer service department. When there, collect all the reasons people contacted your company. May it be complaints or positive suggestions. See what sticks out - often times it's a simple question of opening hours, or "how to's" about your product or service, that consumes much-needed time from your customer service team. Think about the common "disconnect the cable, count to 10, connect the cable" type of calls. If this was written somewhere visible and easy to find on the product, and a "Do this before you call us" sticker - think how many service calls and wasted time would have been saved! So find a way to communicate what you find in your customer service dep. to all customers - especially to those who have not yet asked and to new/potential customers. How? Websites, social media, emails, user-friendly manuals, packaging info, easy to read Ikea-style printables... whatever. Take another step forward and create a 'How To' page on your site and communicate it to your customers. You'll find that your customer service employees start dealing with "regular" customer service issues, have more time for each customer (and maybe you could make that department smaller?) and all in all, improve your company's image and customer services.
Sharable Q&A page. If you don't have a Q&A page - have one made for your company. Now comb the web for mentions about your product/company/competitors and see why you were mentioned. Now - answer them - and reference your Q&A page when you can. That will serve several goals - You show that you care + they get an answer + you send them to your website. Create the Q&A page a bit more appealing - like a landing page. Give the page some thought.
Reduce text - increase visuals. People do not read the small print, so make it easier for them - make the most important "small print" into big icons with headlines only, for example: DOES NOT FIT THESE COFFEE MACHINES: BLA BLA BLA. If you let your customer find out a 'small print' issue at home - AFTER he paid for the service or product - you have lost him forever and gained another angry customer on your customer service line. This course of action will also reduce the amount of customer service calls (the ones that you always tell your coworkers 'why didn't they look it up on Google?!'). For example - a digital wristwatch. Have the watch features easily displayed on the box/printable and at the store itself as a small A5 pamphlet - How deep can I dive with it? Can I mute it? How to update the DST? And many other questions people have AFTER they throw away the fat and tiny user manual no one ever reads anyway. Find out the most common questions and display them on a small printed Ikea-style manual.
Hands-on. Every now and then talk to one or two customers that have received help from your company. Find out what made the customer call, why and - what did he do? What does he think could have helped? What does he think could have prevented him from calling? Did he share his frustration online? If so - why? Was he approached by a customer service rep. or did he wait? How long did he wait etc. And also try to find out how each step made him feel. That's key. Now find a happy customer and do the same with him. Find your company's weak points and treat them.
Bonus: take the journey yourself. Be a customer, but choose a different persona - be the most annoying customer you have ever met. And with his persona - start the journey. You might find that you can ease or shorten another process.