The rise of digital media has increased how businesses can connect with their clients. As a marketer, you have to ensure that customers get an awesome brand experience wherever they come into contact with a company.
The Different Points of Contact
Remember, all customer touch points are equally important because each leaves a particular impression in the minds of customers. Touch points can either be:
- Before a purchase – e.g. social media, online ads, reviews, company events, and web content
- During a purchase – e.g. website, sales reps, product catalogues, and product descriptions
- After a purchase – e.g. billing, cross-selling or upselling emails, and thank you notes
With so many customer touch points to deal with, how do you ensure that your marketing efforts draw customers in and keep them there? Let’s look at some of the common customer touch points and how to make the most out of them. Read on!
1. Social Media
Social media is a big platform that you can use to educate customers and increase brand awareness and brand trust. This is, however, not the place to post long and boring content.
Social media consists of people with short attention spans. Think social-friendly formats like:
- Infographics instead of blog posts
- A 1-minute snippet instead of a full 1-hour video
- Short and to-the-point posts on LinkedIn
- GIFs, graphics, and memes to capture attention and encourage engagement for brand awareness
What a good video looks like
Shopify has used its social media channels (Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat) to educate customers via short and catchy videos. Its culture of experimentation has also won them a massive following.
Their 3-minute “how to start a t-shirt business” video on Facebook was part of an experiment to post a video a day on Facebook for 3 months. The video gathered 1 million views, with so many people signing up for free trials.
Sponsored content and ads
Another strategy is to take your content to where your audience is. This was the secret to HubSpot’s success. By placing sponsored ads next to customers’ newsfeeds on LinkedIn, they managed to get 400% more leads.
2. Marketing Content
There are more than 10 types of content you can use to get to customers—White papers, emails and newsletters, podcasts, webinars, case studies and customer reviews, press releases, blog posts, guides, and more.
In all these types of content, however, the underlying concepts are the same:
- Work with specific buyer personas – Find out everything about the ideal customer such as their name, title, industry, salary, age, education, and whether or not they’re a decision-maker.
- Create audience-generated content by knowing customers’ pain points. You can do this through keyword research, checking forums and community discussions, customer commentary online, and surveys.
- Promote that content using the many channels available such as sponsored ads, guest posts, social media, webinars, backlinks, email outreach, podcasts, and press releases.
It’s never that serious
The problem with B2B content is that it can get bland, if you let it.
That’s where CBI Insights, a tech market research company, was at about 7 years ago. Its newsletter readership growth was too slow, thanks to the “seriousness” of it.
Then the company decided to play around with its newsletter content. When CBI Insights incorporated emojis, GIFS, and F-bombs in its newsletters, it hit a goldmine. From having only 51,000 subscribers in 2014, the company is now nearing 1 million email subscribers in July 2021.
3. A Company’s Website
One way or the other, customers will end up on a company’s website, and they better find it in good shape.
An appealing website must:
- Load quickly to reduce bounce rates
- Have a simple home page, not too busy to distract the customer
- Include testimonials and case studies to build trust
- Have ways to gather email addresses
- Go easy on annoying pop-ups
- Offer customer service to solve customer’s problems
Customers also judge a company’s credibility from its website. If a site looks outdated or has no sign of human life (no portraits of owner or employees, or even a glimpse of the company history,) those may be deal-breakers.
4. Check the Sales Reps
Sales reps ease the buyer’s buying journey. They make sense of information for buyers and can foster deep customer relationships.
That’s why proper training, motivation, and equipping of sales reps with the right tools and technologies will help them build better customer connections.
Issues such as timely responses, quick problem resolution, and proper phone and media etiquette are what keep customers coming back.
Other Issues to Consider
Help customers select the right products
Customers love value for money. The struggle to select products that meet their needs is real, especially for high-value B2B customers.
Helping clients select the right products will keep them in a company’s closet, compared to other businesses that are just looking to sell.
Coca Cola vendors, for example, had an issue with whether their purchased vending machines would fit into their space. Coca Cola solved this by use of Augmented Reality (AR) that helped vendors visualize how the machines would fit into their spaces. More vendors then became more confident in buying the machines.
Anticipate what customers need
But it’s not just about getting what customers want, it’s also anticipating what they need even before they ask.
This can take the form of cross-selling, up-selling, or even just improving a company’s products or services. Providing more products that customers need will ensure they don’t go searching for solutions elsewhere.
Remember, Customer Experience is Everything
32% of customers will walk away from a company after just one bad experience—a wake-up call for many companies.
It’s the seemingly small things that will keep customers glued to a brand and motivate them to refer their peers:
- Listening to and acting on their pain points
- Connecting with them emotionally through content
- Speed and convenience throughout the buying journey
Spending time on your customer touch points, will help build and maintain customer connections.