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According to Deloitte's 2020 Global Marketing Trends, customer engagement is growing, also thanks to the advent of new digital technologies.
As a result, companies are moving from an approach based on customer insights — a passive strategy that studies the audience — to a customer-as-a-brand tactic, which focuses on co-creation and aims at bringing customers closer to the very heart of the brand.
Customer service has therefore become a critical issue we urgently need to address. Social networking sites play an especially important role: they enable us to engage in an ongoing dialogue with consumers, and are an agile marketing and CRM tool for businesses.
Facebook and Twitter are the two most popular platforms. Nearly 90% of customers talk with a brand through social media, and around a third of clients choose to communicate through social networking sites instead of using traditional channels.
The reason for this success is that such platforms allow global audiences to report issues in a matter of seconds.
However, this goes hand in hand with the risk that problems go viral, damaging the corporate reputation and image. This is why it is vital to reflect on the critical management factors that can disseminate best practices.
The first step to take is implementing people management: this includes building the team and creating guidelines for keeping a consistent “tone of voice” when answering to customers.
The second step is to analyse past experiences and previous issues, to detect weaknesses and audience sentiment. This should be paired with a constant monitoring of online mentions of the company. Next, you need to identify, list and rank the issues. This process helps you choose which services to automate, with tools like bots, and where to keep a human and personal touch. Other strategies may also prove useful: sending potential customers links to additional information, or thanking them and answering their comments to retain your loyal customer base.
In conclusion, it is important to remember that some companies are moving beyond customer service in favour of customer care, which seems to be a more responsive approach. This means not only building a constant interaction and customisation, but also developing self-service support tools. In other words, it means approaching customers before they even make a transaction or a purchase, so as to acquire them and win their loyalty to the brand.
In marketing and digital marketing strategies, the customer experience has become key. It does not involve just the moment of purchase, but the overall interaction and relationship, with particular emphasis on customer care. This strategy has a goal: an ever-evolving customisation, which is now put in place for individual customers and not for “buyer personas”. Thanks to the power of big data and automation tools, it is now possible to achieve a customised experience, enabling us to put the individual back at the centre of the narrative, for a new humanism.