Technology and social media are changing the way businesses interact with customers. What your customers say online can now determine the fate of your brand—for better or for worse. And no amount of slick marketing campaigns can stop it from happening.
Here are a few of Nick’s top insights:
1. Empowered customers are a good thing
Customers now have more information than ever at their fingertips. “Your customers are becoming their own intelligence ecosystem,” Nick says. “They’re assembling knowledge about your products and services and giving their opinions in real time.”
Not only are customers more informed, but social media magnifies the effect they can have on your business. “One angry social media post can affect stock price and damage brands.” On the other hand, “One customer can inspire a new product or marketing campaign,” Nick finishes.
Instead of fearing empowered customers, welcome them. Use customer feedback and reviews to improve your products and services. Leverage your customers’ social media pull and turn them into advocates for your business.
2. Get personal with your customers
Randomly barraging your database with surveys is one of the most typical methods for gathering customer information—and it’s also one of the least effective. “In the age of the empowered customer,” Nick says, “surveys are actually pushing customers away.” Why? Because surveys are impersonal and devalue the customer, says Nick.
Instead, create an ongoing, two-way dialogue between your customers and your brand. Online, permission-based “insight communities” enable you to build meaningful relationships with thousands of customers. These interactions give you the information you need, while developing stronger relationships with your customers at the same time.
3. Think about the people who matter most
One of the most important things CMOs need to re-evaluate is the way they view customers. A CMO’s responsibility might be high-level, but their view of customers can’t be so distant. “The only way to truly connect with the customer is to redefine the relationship you have with them,” Nick says. “Think about them as people, not as data points.”
The best way to accomplish this is to engage customers in a regular, ongoing conversation that deepens over time. Build social media policies and processes that emphasize connection over statistics. Focus on interactions, not follows. Build communities, not databases.
This eBook features key insights from forward-thinking CMOs and marketing leaders on:
- The changing role of the CMO
- Delivering an exceptional customer experience
- Cultivating a customer-obsessed company culture
- Increasing customer retention and loyalty
- Enlisting the help of advocates to build your brand and generate revenue