By Jay Bourland, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Customer Communications, Pitney Bowes Software
Technology undeniably improves our lives. Whether in your personal or professional life, new innovations in mobile devices and wireless connectivity have made communication faster, more intuitive and just generally more convenient. But technology has become such an enormous presence in our world, especially in business marketing, that we sometimes lose an important element of communication: our unique voice.
As powerful a tool as technology can be, helping us to collect and mine data on what customers want and revealing how best to leverage our business to meet those needs, allowing technology to overwhelm an authentic voice hampers real, long-lasting customer engagement. After all, we’re all human, and we all want to hear that human voice on the other end of the line.
“Satisfied Customers Tell their Friends, Unsatisfied Customers Tell Twitter”
Social media is a powerful influencer for businesses looking to ramp up their marketing, while maintaining authenticity of voice. Whether you’re an SMB or a Fortune 500 company, an engaging and freshly updated social media presence is key to grabbing customer interest and keeping it. But as MarketingProfs Chief Content Officer Ann Handley recently spoke about in our #PowerofPrecisionChat, “Satisfied customers tell their friends, unsatisfied customers tell Twitter.” Social media can be a valuable tool, but it can also backfire on you. If a customer has a negative experience with a company, they’ll happily and readily share that experience with others on social platforms, getting the (bad) word out quicker than you realize.
Connect the Dots Across All Channels
Technology has provided marketers with a myriad of new channels through which they can communicate with customers – social media, infographics, personalized interactive videos – but it’s essential that companies are tying these channels together with an authentic voice and a consistent message behind them, in order to create a unique customer experience.
The best CX strategy is one that emphasizes the value of customer feedback, whether positive or negative. Marketers should be proactive in addressing concerns or complaints and quick to issue resolutions (or set expectations for resolutions) to problems. And of course, never forget to include a “hello” and a “thank you” for each and every interaction – they may not seem like a big deal, but they go a long way.
CX is Your Advantage Against the Competition
The customer experience isn’t just about how you define multi-channel communications, it’s about how you define yourself against the competition. Brands that understand and embody human values – caring, trying, engaging – and speak to the customer, rather than at them, are the ones that win over hearts and minds. During #PowerofPrecisionChat, Handley pointed out how Jet Blue is her favorite airliner, not just because of the flight service or the prices but because when she once left a book on a plane, they found and returned it to her. That’s the kind of customer experience – a genuine human interaction – that people remember.
You won’t be able to please all of your customers all of the time, but if you demonstrate that you truly care about their needs, and provide an authentic voice that shows you are, in fact, trying – rather than giving them a robotic-sounding, automated scripted response to their situations – they’ll forgive your mistakes and stay loyal to your brand.
“PowerofPrecisionChat: Don’t Let Technology Dominate Your Voice in Marketing.” Pitney Bowes. Pitney Bowes. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.