Teaching for the semester is in full swing for me. Every time I start a group of Digital Marketing students at Wichita State, I’m reminded that there are those in the world that feel digital marketing has “secrets” to uncover.
Like how social media marketers often talk about “beating” the algorithm. Or SEO professionals talk about tricking Google. Or even website professionals talking about tricks to increase conversions.
Want to know what the actual secret is to all of that?
Focusing on the customer and delivering high quality service – whether that’s through social media, your website, or in your one-on-one interactions.
Taking Care of the Customer is Your Top Focus
This is actually something I teach in my very first lecture of my class, but customer care is marketing.
Actually, customer care should be your number one priority when it comes to your entire marketing plan.
I can tell you that personally, not all of my business is referral based, but a lot of it is. And those that come to me through my own marketing efforts all tell me the same thing after we’ve worked together for just a short time.
My attitude is refreshing. I’m so nice. I never talk down to them. I’m so responsive. I do a great job of explaining what’s going on, etc.
Why does this matter?
Because if your customers have a great experience with you – especially if it’s a far better experience than they had with their last service provider – you’re literally upleveling your business.
Why Customer Care is Important to Your Marketing
Taking care of your customers has always been an important part of business, even going back hundreds of years. But why does it matter especially in today’s digital age?
Because you’re not doing most of your own marketing. Your customer is.
In fact, McKinsey found as far back as 2009 that two thirds of the marketing that drives a buying decision isn’t what we do but is actually driven by our customers.
That means if you’re neglecting your customer, you’re going to be neglecting two thirds of your potential reach and future customers.
Add Value to Your Brand
One important consideration with making customer care your priority?
It adds instant value to your business and your brand!
When you have a reputation for great customer care, you’ll suddenly become more valuable to your clients. And as a service provider, you know that a lot of your value comes down to how your customer perceives what they’re receiving.
Making them happy is just one of the easiest ways to get there.
Plus, 68% of buyers will even pay more for your service if they feel like the customer care is good.
Happy Customers Send Referrals and Leave Good Reviews
I joke all the time to my own clients that the only people that bother to leave reviews are the ones that love you and the ones that hate you.
Want to build up your own reviews?
Provide the best possible service and you’ll be amazed at how quickly your clients start bragging on you.
Not only will they share their positive experiences on social media and review sites, but they’ll be far more likely to send you referrals.
For most of us service providers, referrals are honestly our best marketing tool. Don’t neglect building up that network.
Customers Will Switch if the Care Isn’t Good Enough
The flip side to all of this? If you don’t provide good customer care, your customers will leave you.
Don’t believe me? 53% say they’ll switch if the customer service isn’t good enough. 92% will leave after 3 poor customer support interactions. And 95% say customer care is important for brand loyalty.
When you’re not taking care of your customers, you’re putting your entire business at risk.
How to Set Your Customer Service Apart
You might already have great customer care, but if you’re wanting to take yours up a notch, it doesn’t require a ton of work.
Often, we get in our own heads about everything we have to do to take care of our customers. But in reality, in today’s digital world there’s a lot we can do to make our entire customer experience far better without a ton of work on our end.
Here are three things that I have worked hard to implement in my own business that have paid off (based on customer feedback):
1. Be Personal
Be yourself. Don’t get caught up in being “professional.” Just focus on being authentic to who you actually are. Remember that your client is also a human and has their own worries, concerns, successes, and personal situations.
Treat them like a friendly acquaintance. You’ll be surprised how often your clients become just good friends because you build that relationship on honesty and truth.
2. Be Responsive
This I feel like is more of an issue in the website industr y, but don’t leave customers hanging. I have a personal rule that I try to respond within one business day to all emails.
And that doesn’t have to be an answer either. Often I have to do some research to answer questions, so I simply let them know I got the email and I’m digging into it. I will try to give them a timeframe to expect an answer, too.
I even communicate to clients that I often respond to emails just a couple of times per day unless it’s an emergency.
3. Make it Easy to Work With You
Automations can be your friend here! Making it easy to work with you means that your customer has a really good experience from start to finish.
I use a calendar scheduler so we don’t have to go back and forth; a support ticket system for current clients so my team can jump on tasks; I use auto-payments for recurring projects so they don’t have to mess every month; and of course they all have my email.
We’re improving this all of the time because I know how important making things easy for me and my clients is to my bottom line and their overall experience.
Customer Care is Your Number One Advantage
If you haven’t been focusing on how you take care of your current clients, then it’s time to start.
One of the easiest ways to improve is to sit down and write out your current processes and find the gaps. Think of the questions you’re constantly answering. And if you have some super happy clients, get them on a quick call and ask them why they love working with you.
When you take care of your customers, your customers will take care of you.
Don’t neglect your most powerful marketing tool.