Customer communication is a weird one – but one that we like to consider as a potentially potent way to take information from your customers and re-purposing it as content – which could often have a dual purpose – be part of the marketing and content mix, while at the same time improve customer satisfaction. When we say “customer communication” we mean efforts taken to get responses from an existing customer base and record these in a usable format. These could easily form any one of the suggestions below.
Customer feedback is a crossover from testimonials to complaints – however we specifically target here stuff that may not be covered by either. Take for example product enhancement – many customer lead design agencies would use customer feedback or feature requests to build their next iterations. We think that taking customer feedback and presenting it in a friendly way, along with any actions taken from these is a great piece of content.
As that definition states, testimonials and reviews are probably the most important marketing tools you can use today. Yet, a lot of businesses who collect paper testimonials and reviews, do not transcribe them online, while others actively encourage testimonials to be posted on third party sites! (Dear Hotel industry, we are looking at your perverse relationship with Tripadvisor!).
Wherever and however you collect your reviews and testimonials, you ought to be using them, and using them heavily in your content marketing efforts if sales and credibility are your key KPIs.
You would wonder how you can turn customer complaints into good content. There are many ways, from data mining and presenting as charts, or summaries, to building successful responses to most common complaints and presenting those back to your customers. We would like to however introduce you to Dear Customer Relations and Not Always Right.
Their archives are filled with funny complaints, as well as responses to some of these. But that isn’t the interesting thing, as an SEO, I want to know how many links…Quite a few.
What about social traffic?
Now we are not saying that every brand or business should respond in this way. It is, however an option to best deal with complaints and issues by showing humour and being able to laugh at situations, while at the same time dealing with the issue. It is a sensitive balance, but customer complaints are in our opinion a massively underutilised content marketing tool.
We are sure you must have read dozens of posts on how to use surveys and polls to decide on content that your customers would like to read, when they would like to see it, and which distribution channel they prefer it in. This is using surveys to develop a content marketing plan. We are talking about the converse, use existing data from customer polls and surveys to build content.
Most businesses have customer satisfaction surveys, as well as reviews. Unfortunately most businesses limit the use of that data internally for reporting and fixing issues. We would much rather it be evolved into more. Yes, marketers will often use small titbits in their advertising campaigns.
We have in the past created successful info-graphics on customer polls, but that’s still a single view. Most journalists take a single statistic and spin it into a story. We don’t see why brands and businesses cant do the same, supported by their existing customer service surveys, rather than building bespoke brand new ones.