Customer engagement is not only a way to support and connect with your customer community, but also a way to showcase your brand’s core values. Making efficient use of all the customer touchpoints through which you engage your customers (such as social customer support, moderation, and traditional customer service) provides a golden opportunity to go beyond sharing information about your products and services to convey your values. Therefore, you need a digital engagement strategy that encompasses social media moderation and customer support with a personal touch that expresses who are you as a brand.
Younger generations are leaning toward companies with values that reflect their own belief systems. Being public about those values with strong declarations about what you stand for was shown in a Harvard Business Review study to lead to better financial performance. And consider: If your company’s employees have shared values, you’re nine times more likely to have high customer satisfaction.
Here are four key strategies that will keep your messaging consistent and ensure that your values are effectively conveyed to your customers.
Don’t wait — take action. Effective interaction with your audience is all about being proactive vs. reactive. Think about your brand, its values, and how you want to treat your customers. Take the lead by jumping in early and often and steering your brand’s conversation and personality.
Customer care is not a silo. Engagement execution needs to dovetail with the overall brand/marketing strategy. Be sure that every public touch point reflects the same commitment to quality and your core values.
Deal with issues in open forums. Resist the temptation to resolve all matters via email or bidirectional closed conversations. When appropriate, share your customers’ relevant concerns with the larger audience and allow your community to understand how committed you are to properly resolving those issues.
React well to bad things. Unfortunate incidents occur, so it’s vital to proactively develop strategies to show your best side during problematic times. Whether it’s developing a crisis management plan that’s informed by your core values or simply rising above the trolls and working hard to keep the community conversation elevated, be prepared. As with people, companies are often judged by the character they display during difficult times. While not ideal, a crisis offers a unique opportunity for your brand to shine and rise to the occasion.
Ultimately, the goal is for your brand’s logo to be seen as a trust mark. With proper support, your customer engagement strategy can serve the dual purpose of better serving your audience and building the value and trust they place in your brand. This is done with every customer interaction, from support conversations to social interactions, and even through moderation. Excellent customer engagement should not be purely viewed as a method of brand protection; it provides a mechanism for enhanced, proactive engagement that can help you share your brand’s core values with the world.
Sales Vice President