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How to Create Customer Touch Points in a Virtual Landscape

Let’s not avoid the obvious. Here we are, well into the second half of 2020, facing something we had not planned for: a world-altering pandemic. One amazing note about the human race is the ability to adapt; we learn from disruption. Change allows us to evolve. 

Quarantine has brought to light what is and isn’t important in our daily lives. But what hasn’t changed is the fact that we still value human connection. We’re identifying new ways to get what we need at home. Interacting with friends, family, and colleagues hasn’t gone away, it’s just changed. 

So the question is: How can brands and businesses connect with customers in this (virtual) landscape and still maintain rapport, trust, and satisfaction?

Consider the following:

Redefine the customer experience. Customer satisfaction goes beyond a single touchpoint; it’s an entire journey. Go beyond service; provide an experience. Every interaction counts, from the time a user:

  • Visits an app or site
  • DMs a brand on Facebook or Instagram
  • Places an order online
  • Opens a package
  • Leaves a review

Watch the trends, gather feedback from your audience, and think big picture. What is the customer journey? With the shift in routine and normalcy, look at when and how customers find you and what the spirit of their need is. Who are your current customers, and what are their hot topics and concerns? It’s time to understand the phases of your customer: discovery, need, and desire for product/company interaction. Know what your customers want, what they need, and try to identify the fastest method to build assurance and trust.

Prioritize the human aspect of your customer relationship. Maintaining a personal connection is especially important when the element of face-to-face contact is limited or non-existent. Staying relatable with real conversations is key. In times of crisis, people want and deserve empathy. Stress creates a sensitivity to tone and motive. Generic answers from bots may leave a customer frustrated or feeling unheard, dismissed as unimportant. Understand the needs of your customers and focus on building a human approach to resolution and support.

Developing that human approach with your customers can go beyond customer issues. Consider content with more video, live and pre-recorded, and allow people to see who’s behind the product or service offerings. Nordstrom, for example, does a great job of this. Aside from the presentation of products on their website, the company also features videos with people touching, examining, and talking about the product. A live look is a unique offering and provides a realistic review.

Cultivate online communities. Empower people who are already interested to become brand advocates. Use communities to share exclusive updates and generate conversations. Utilize the power of social media to make an impact — it’s the one place where users can directly connect with you and get a less formal glimpse into a brand.

Here are a few idea starters:

  • Create evergreen video content that allows people to see what your company is up to, with the added benefit of personalization and transparency.
  • Offer Facebook Live events and showcase products, present well-crafted discussions (aim for some level of entertainment), and generate interactive conversations in real time to reach a broader audience and drive more meaningful engagement.
  • Run engaging Instagram Stories campaigns and gather information from your audience utilizing the platform’s fun and interactive tools.
  • Host onlines events (webinars), live Q&As or AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) sessions, or share recordings of previous events.
  • Utilize tools like Messenger, Snapchat, and What’s App with your customer support teams to offer quick personal answers where and when users want it.

Create a welcoming environment that underscores your values. Commit to being a part of a celebratory world, one that reflects your and your customers’ core values. Millennials and Generation Z are our future, and data has shown they support brands and companies that share their beliefs. Ensure that your engagement strategy not only serves your customers but reaffirms the reasons they trust and value your brand.

Every customer interaction is an opportunity to relate to your valued customer community. Following these suggestions will help demonstrate to your followers your level of commitment to them. Do it right and that commitment may well be reciprocated by loyal, passionate brand enthusiasts.

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