Cherish your customer: 6 priorities for your organization in 2018
The years that we have social media ‘on the side’ within organizations are far behind us. Social media and social messaging have made huge changes in the world of communication and customer contact and offer opportunities for marketing, reputation management, sales and customer service. Once again, we see trends and challenges that will change customer contact in the coming year.
What should we focus on in the coming year when it comes to social media & excellent service? How can we stand out with our content among all the others? Frans Reichardt, Jarno Duursma and experts from (among others) RTL Nederland, InSocial and Somention share their vision of the future in this article.
1. Reputation management becomes a distinctive factor
In 2018 we live in a world where many real USPs are slowly disappearing. Reputation management is becoming increasingly important for a communications specialist in order to make a difference in the market. The search for a better value proposition for the expansion of that reputation is a universal trend in the market, according to Paul Moers in his book ‘The law of paracetamol’. A lot of attention is paid to short-term decisions while long-term decisions are postponed.
Understanding the value of reputation management reveals how it can transform an organization. The preparation of KPIs for reputation management, the development of a definition and the collection of data will contribute to a sound plan of action. Analysts must be aware at all times of what is being said about the organization in the ‘outside world’. Both online and offline.
In 2018, the switch must be made from monitoring to reputation management. One must not only take the insights for granted, but actually act strategically on what is thought about your vision and mission by stakeholders and consumers. In 2017, we saw that many organizations made this changeover. In 2018, we cannot ignore it any longer. – Kevin Lamers, reputational specialist.
2. Focus on conversation management
Customers want to be seen, heard and understood. In a digital world where customer contact is becoming increasingly scarce, webcare has gained an adult status in recent years.
Customers expect to be able to get in touch with an organization when and where the customer wishes to do so. Customers expect ever better accessibility from organizations. From all channels. Even outside office hours, also via live chat on the website, also via social media and increasingly through social messaging. – Frans Reichardt
Efficiency, speed and relevance are a must to offer good service that meets the wishes of the customer. The coming year we will work less and less through handling individual messages but increasingly focus on conversation management. In webcare, it’s all about real conversations, in which the customer wants to be helped as well as possible with his question or complaint. Here the essence of the conversation can only be found by analyzing and responding from the entire conversation, including history and customer data.
Conversation management therefore offers better service through a good and clear overview of the conversation. It also ensures that webcare employees can work more efficiently. In the era in which customer contact is increasingly shifting to digital channels, we continue to search for opportunities to help our customers as quickly and personally as possible. But service goes beyond that…
3. The next step: 2018 will be the year of the chatbots
Recent years have been dominated by the rise of chatbots. Meanwhile, the developments have reached the next stage and the first success stories have been presented about chatbot use for customer contact. The expectation is that chatbots will become commonplace in the coming year, both for large organizations and organizations within SMEs. Human contact will remain important but often a mix of technology and chatbots is chosen to deal with front-line questions.
By adding chatbots for frontline questions, customer satisfaction increases because a suitable answer can quickly be found by a bot. In addition, employee satisfaction is increased as more complex questions remain for service agents, making the added value of the agents even more important. – Frank Smit, specialist in the field of chatbots and artificial intelligence.
Artificial intelligence will play an increasingly dominant role in customer service in the coming years. Not only will bots take over part of the conversation between companies and customers, but we expect companies to be able to answer the most frequently asked questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week with the help of these new AI agents. An AI system can have an endless number of conversations simultaneously, never gets tired or grumpy and learns new things at lightning speed.
The customer service sector will soon end up in the ‘suggestion era’. Smart AI systems make real-time suggestions for the given answers, solutions or new products that can be offered by the customer service representative. – Jarno Duursma
AI is also used more actively in marketing. For example, systems enriched with artificial intelligence are increasingly able to link data from multiple sources (sales, service and marketing) in order to create an even sharper profile of the customer. Because they get to know their customers better, they can serve them better or automatically offer other products or services based on customer profiles. An AI system can then help to write an even better message. Or it can automatically generate a personalized dynamic landing page for the customer.
Artificial intelligence makes it easier to apply one-on-one marketing and to create personalized contact at every touchpoint. This is because the AI system is fast, accurate and scalable. And with the help of the generated data and insights, even better personalized advertisements can be shown and these can be evaluated and adjusted real-time. The insights can also lead to completely new products or new revenue models.
4. Cherish your customer in 2018: innovation based on customer feedback
Customers increasingly prefer organizations that open up to customers and listen to customers. Customer reviews make the playing field transparent and the customer’s voice is increasingly being used to continuously improve products and services. In 2018 the focus will lie on this.
Customer satisfaction surveys (CSS) are being carried out by more and more organizations. But we often see that the value of CSS goes beyond that. In addition to the traditional CSS at the end of a customer journey, continuous and proactive feedback is requested on individual touch points within the customer journey.
The customer knows better than anyone else what can be done differently or better and the input from customers is actively used to innovate. An example of an organization that actively collaborates with customers is Videoland (RTL). The customer feedback that arrives through the Videoland customer contact channels is not only used to improve customer contact, but is also passed on to the internal business intelligence database, where the marketing and development departments get their information.
In addition to feedback about customer care, feedback is also requested about subscriptions. These touchpoints show the progress of customer satisfaction throughout the customer journey and the results determine Videoland’s innovation roadmap. An example of customer feedback at Videoland: “Since the app era you suddenly see 10 times as many price tags everywhere. I pay for a subscription, but still have to pay separately for some films or series. ”
In response to this, RTL has launched the following solution, in a period of 3 months: ‘All services in one package from July’. This innovation was then fed back to the relevant customers, who therefore noticed that they were actually being listened to. Obviously, a relational NPS is immediately carried out. – Sjors Luiten.
The relational NPS has increased by more than 35 points since questioning feedback via InSocial and actively making use of the given feedback.
Organizations will increasingly develop into ‘listening organizations’ that want to use all customer contacts to improve the customer experience and get customer feedback – not only from the point of view of damage control, but from the deep-rooted wish to come to social conversations with customers and other parties that are interested in the organization- Frans Reichardt.
5. Creative content: how to stand out among all the competitors
In a world where content marketing is becoming increasingly important, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out among all competitors. Posts must therefore stick in the mind of the target group. A number of points are becoming increasingly important. An example is the quality of the content. Quality takes time, but is more striking between all other messages. In addition, a qualitatively good post looks more reliable to your target group. Content must also provoke interaction. Will the target group like the post, post comments or share the post? This will increase the range of the message.
Content in 2018 must therefore be creative, striking and of high quality. Campaigns must be made with a clear goal. As a content creator, you need to keep surprising the target group. Internally, Somention uses the following 3-H model developed by Google to make creative content for their brands. The three H’s stand for Hygiene, Hub and Hero.
- Hygiene content stands for the basic content that comes back, and aims to answer questions and explain things. This content immediately responds to the wishes of the target group.
- Hub content is content which makes the followers return. It is content that the target group recognizes. Headings and online videos are a good guide. With this content, the goal is to create commitment and engage with the target group in order to get to know each other better.
- With hero content, you can go all out and acquire a wide reach. These campaigns cost relatively the most money, but deliver the largest reach. Advertising or large video campaigns are examples of hero content.
6. Once again: video
2018 will be the year of the moving image once again. This year, many companies have invested in creating video content for broadcasting via social media. Things that move attract attention faster than stationary items. In addition, an image says more than 1000 words. 2018 will be the year in which companies can no longer ignore this fact. Beautiful visual material is almost indispensable in creating content.
There have been several developments in the field of image in 2017. You can now use stories, view live streams, make video calls in groups among many other features on every major social media platform. It’s all about direct content sharing and interaction with your followers. Other developments in the field of image that will develop even further are reacting with gifs, cinemagraphs, 360 degree photos and videos, virtual reality and augmented reality.
Instagram remains the best platform to share visual content. Text has become completely unnecessary here, except for a short description below your photo. We went a step further in 2017 but in 2018 Instagram will continue to develop strongly as a platform.
Is your organization future-proof in the digital age? The above topics offer your organization tools to get started in 2018. Where will your focus lie in the coming year?