Article | February 18, 2020
Social media marketing is an aspect of digital marketing that has grown in leaps and bounds over the last few years. More brands are waking up to the benefits of having a strong presence in the circles where more than 70% of the world’s internet users are congregated most of the time.
It is no surprise that spending on social media marketing has continued to grow with each year. In the period between 2014 and 2016, the spending jumped by nearly 100%. Social media allows brands to create stronger relationships with their target audience, ensure better customer service, and increase brand engagement. It is also one of the best platforms to use when you need to spread the word about new products and services or promotions, and more.
Article | February 18, 2020
I’ll never forget the night that everything really changed. It was my wife’s birthday, March 11th. I took her out for dinner at a lovely restaurant in South Minneapolis, and for a couple of blissful hours, over exotic cocktails and delicious food, we unplugged from the loudening noise of a worrisome outside world. After we walked out of that restaurant, there would be no more tuning out.
Article | February 18, 2020
It seems like just yesterday that the customer service industry began transitioning from a multichannel to an omnichannel mindset.
It was a shift backed by data—lots of it. According to Marketing Week, 15 years ago the average consumer used two touchpoints when making a purchase and only 7% regularly used more than four. Today, consumers use an average of almost six touchpoints with nearly 50% regularly using more than four.
But, a mindset shift is only part of the equation. For years, many companies struggled to cobble together the best customer experiences they could. They were sold on the idea of omnichannel engagement, but their operations didn’t back it up — what use are all the channels in the world if your customer’s story and data are kept in silos?
Cut to everyone heralding the premature death of omnichannel. New buzzwords came out like “channel-less” and “harmonized retail” (for real). But these words all pointed to the same thing: the need for a CX solution that puts the customers above the channel, and harnesses technology to give agents the tools and visibility to deliver deeper customer care.
Digital omnichannel is the next word in customer experience. Here’s what it means and how to put it to work.
What is Digital Omnichannel?
At its core, the digital omnichannel promise is simple; it means supporting customers effectively and cohesively across all digital channels. In customer service, digital omnichannel effortlessly blends digital touchpoints to form a unified view of the customer. Agents can view every interaction that a customer has had with the company, no matter the channel of origin, from a single console. This visibility lets them create a cohesive, deeply personalized customer profile that enables higher quality service.
By combining the information gathered from channels like live chat, SMS, social media, and more with pre-existing data found in customer databases or CRM systems, companies can eliminate the blind spots and roadblocks that result from siloed customer service systems and channels for a frictionless and more successful customer journey.
Why Adopt Digital Omnichannel?
In theory, digital omnichannel aligns perfectly with the existing philosophies of many companies, which are to serve customers quickly, efficiently, and effectively. Here are some of the ways that digital omnichannel is helping companies meet their customer service goals and drive operational efficiency:
1. Optimized agent capacity
For agents, digital omnichannel engagement means simpler customer communication and greater ease of use. No more social media queries getting sent to the marketing team, who then emails them to customer service. No more shared inboxes. With a unified view of the customer across all channels, agents can resolve queries more easily, increasing their overall capacity.
2. Increased customer satisfaction
Customers expect agents to have access to their whole story when they reach out for support. According to a survey conducted by UBM, 75% of participants cited having to repeat themselves as their biggest issue when communicating with a brand. With digital omnichannel, agents have both the tools and the context they need to satisfy customers and improve KPIs such as first contact resolution rate (FCR) and average handle time (AHT).
3. Reduced costs
Improving customer satisfaction can indeed increase revenue—but it can also reduce costs. According to McKinsey, brands that improve the customer journey see their revenue increase by 10 to 15% while also lowering costs by 15 to 20%.
4. Increased agent satisfaction
When a channel becomes secondary to the customer experience, it also becomes secondary to the agent experience. According to McKinsey, companies that invest in their customer experience also see an improvement in employee engagement by 20% on average.
How Do You Adopt Digital Omnichannel?
Once you understand digital omnichannel, the next step is to devise a plan to put it into action. There are three practical steps to building your plan:
1. Identify your channels
At this point, chances are you already know which channels your customers want and expect (not sure? Ask them). Here are the top digital channels we recommend:
• Live chat
• Ticketing and email
• Social media
• Knowledge base
These channels cover both your real-time and “anytime” communication bases. They also provide enough self-support cushion to take the pressure off your agents in times of high-volume or after-hours support requests.
2. Create a digital roadmap for your customers’ journey
Once you have selected your channels, it’s time to create your customer experience map. Ask yourself who your customers are, where they are coming from, and what actions you want them to take. Break down your key milestones and consider how you can guide your customers through those milestones using your various digital touchpoints and channels. Consider the role of your website, social channels, live chat, knowledge base, mobile chat, and more, in moving your customer from awareness to loyalty. With digital omnichannel, you will be able to effortlessly watch them move through these stages as you collect data on their engagements.
3. Choose your technology
Like omnichannel before it, digital omnichannel is little more than a nice theory unless your operations back it up. So, how do you make your customer service operations digital omnichannel-friendly?
You don’t want to spend resources trying to cobble it together yourself because that will introduce a technical price that isn’t worth it. The ideal digital omnichannel solution will integrate with your other core business systems, including CRM, and will scale as your company grows and new technologies and channels are introduced. Agent Assist is the perfect tool to optimize agent efficiency and productivity whilst ensuring accuracy every time. Agent Assist monitors your live chats, understands the questions being asked, and suggests the answers from your knowledge base, canned messages and chatbot intents. Within a double-click of the mouse, your agent can choose and send the most relevant answer. Fast, accurate and easy.
The right solution should also have top-notch routing, prioritization, and analytic capacities. Tools such as intelligent routing ensure that your customer’s inquiry gets to the right person at the right time, with the flexibility you need to define your own unique routing procedures. Being able to segment your customers your way—by geography, historical sales, industry, and more—will further help you offer a more specialized and effective customer service program.
On the analytics side, you’ll want to be able to set the right KPIs, keep close tabs on them, and learn from what’s going on so you can tweak and improve how you’re delivering.
A great customer experience isn’t merely about implementing more channels. It’s about making it easier for your customers to contact you when and where they want. It’s about how the stories gathered across those channels are appropriately unified. And it’s about equipping your agents with everything they need to create an ongoing cycle of deeper customer understanding and better service
Take your time to research an effective digital omnichannel solution that matches your needs, and to carefully plan out your digital customer journey. You can’t cut corners when building a great customer experience. Fortunately the rewards of thoughtful and well-implemented digital omnichannel engagement will last for years to come.
Article | February 18, 2020
All business owners know the importance of generating long-term value from company efforts and resources. From marketing campaigns to internal processes, every aspect of operations must work toward providing ongoing benefits for the company.
This same concept applies to your company’s content. However, I have yet to see many companies leveraging this thought process for their content marketing efforts.
How often does your team create astounding content, only for it to be used once and never touched again? Likely far more often than you’d care to admit!
Instead, use or repurpose your company’s content effectively across multiple channels, campaigns, goals, and processes to maximize its value for years to come.
Not sure how to do this? Let me show you eight ways to leverage content effectively throughout your business.
1. Build Brand Awareness
From social media posts to introductory new client emails, content can be used to generate and sustain brand awareness.
Think of this content use as a way to grab the attention of those at the top of your sales funnel. These potential customers are beginning their buying journey and are interested in learning more about your company, products, services, and other related topics.
Pro Tip: Be cognizant that much of this content may not even reside on your website! Content management engines like Vestorly or Curata can sort through third-party content that mentions your brand and create an inventory of original and curated content to build a brand awareness campaign.
Examples of awareness-related content usage can include:
• Social media posts focused on generating engagement
• Blog posts about broad, overarching topics in your industry
• Welcome emails to new subscribers
• Landing pages for pay-per-click campaigns for generic keywords
Look through your company’s library of past content and see which pieces you can leverage to create ongoing brand awareness.
2. Generate Qualified Leads
Marketing content is most often used to drive qualified leads to your sales team.
By creating informative and entertaining content that ranks high on search engines, you’ll attract the attention of potential customers searching for answers online.
Chances are that your company already uses content for this purpose. But, have you considered revamping older pieces to function as lead generation content?
Transform content into lead generation pieces with a few simple tweaks, like:
Adding actionable language and contact forms to blog posts
Including a CTA in social media posts and videos
Allowing subscribers to respond to emails
3. Educate Your Audience
Expertly crafted content is an effective educational tool.
When thinking about creating educational content, start within your organization. Ask yourself what content you can create or what third-party content you can share to:
Improve hiring and training processes
Inform employees on new internal projects, efforts, or initiatives
Help strengthen the internal company culture
Educate employees on company policies, benefits, etc.
Additionally, nonprofit organizations can use content pieces to educate potential donors, volunteers, or advocates about their cause.
Businesses can similarly use content to educate users about their product or service. Creating an education hub that pulls your original content in, along with intelligently curated third-party content, is an excellent method for educating customers. Companies like Vestorly and UberFlip provide an efficient and effective solution for this approach.
4. Position Your Brand as an Authority
Content can also be used to build your brand’s authority effectively throughout the industry.
When it comes to athletic wear and sneakers, brands like Nike and Adidas lead the way. Why? Because consumers think of these brands as the authority on these products.
But that authority didn’t happen overnight. It took years of creative and engaging content designed to convince fans of the brand’s leadership and authority on the topic.
To escalate your company’s brand influence, start developing content on intriguing and even controversial topics within your industry. From thought leadership articles to in-depth how-to videos, your content can be strategically leveraged to position your company as an industry leader. The most important takeaway is for your audience to trust that you know what you're talking about.
Remember, this authority doesn’t appear out of thin air. You have to continuously publish high-level content to break through barriers and become a thought leader.
5. Retain Loyal Customers
No one likes feeling forgotten — especially customers.
Both B2B and B2C companies rely on customer retention strategies to keep customers engaged. But these strategies require far more content than the occasional email and discount code to operate effectively.
Content created exclusively for frequent buyers is an excellent way to retain top-spending customers. Through personalized content, specific blog post topics, fan-only newsletters, and other forms of content, you can work to build a solid relationship with customers who trust your brand.
Another tried-and-true way to retain loyal customers is to provide personalized comments with links to curated content related to your buyer’s interests and needs.
The Harvard Business Review found that offering customers short tutorial content on product features can reduce churn by 6%. And, Bain & Company reported that increasing customer retention by a mere 5% can improve profits by 25% or more.
Plus, through these retention content efforts, you can also leverage your fans to help build your brand authority. Find ways to encourage and incentivize customers to share your brand’s content with others.
6. Communications Tools
No matter if you’re a small business or a multinational corporation, an internal communications strategy is the key to success.
With this in mind, companies can use their content to seamlessly communicate information internally to stakeholders and external partners.
Whether you choose to communicate this information in the form of an interactive blog post or an entertaining video, it’s far more productive than sending an email memo!
7. Analyze Your Industry and Market
Effective content usage isn’t restricted to only your content.
Collect content from your competition or leading industry publications and analyze it to better understand what’s happening in your market. Additionally, take a look at their content strategy. Is there anything you can replicate or do better within your content marketing strategy?
To expedite your content curation efforts, rely on a content engine like Vestorly to filter through relevant results based on keywords, sources, and other criteria.
8. Learn About Your Audience
Similarly, you can curate content to gather business intelligence about your audience.
Take a look at the content written about your target demographic. What does it tell you about your market’s wants, needs, and problems?
Also, comb through content that your audience shares and interacts with. This will provide you with insight into what type of content to create and which topics to focus on.
Learn How To Leverage Your Content Effectively
Your company’s content isn’t reserved for only the marketing team. Instead, it can be used to:
Build lasting brand authority in your industry
Communicate important information to internal teams and external stakeholders
Gather business and audience intelligence
Retain customers and drive up profit
If you’re unsure of how to use content effectively throughout your organization, get in touch and I’ll show you how it’s done.