Customer service now goes beyond the venue and its loyalty schemes; it extends to building a virtual relationship with the customer through social networking, email marketing and contract publishing. The contract publishing industry came about via the launch of an inflight magazine; these days hotel chains invariable have their own customer magazines too.
Some companies shy away from Twitter and Facebook and the like, but these routes offer invaluable and instant customer feedback. Sadly it’s the nature of the English that unhappy customers are loathe to complain in person, but have no qualms in naming and shaming bad service to their fellow man or through the faceless media of Twitter.
This should prove an opportunity to the savvy marketeer who manages their social media well – provided their responses are swift, friendly and positive. Social media can help nip issues in the bud before they become bigger problems and can build the brand’s personality and deliver corporate messages.
Email marketing is a growth area and, far from being spam, is generally requested by the customer readership. A good website should allow people to subscribe to a regular newsletter. Like this site, it should be designed to be viewed on tablets and smart phones, as well as laptops and desktop PCs. The latest wave of email marketing is called ‘brand journalism’, broader than ‘content marketing’ it identifies the customers interests aside from just those that might relate to the brand itself. Ultimately this delivers a more interesting read to the customer and the brand becomes favoured and trusted.
The value of in-house branded magazines in building customer communications, loyalty and consequently sales is now fully accepted. They offer companies the chance to effectively convey their message, with research showing on average a customer publication is read for 30 minutes. It may be expensive but it’s unlikely that any other form of marketing offers such dedicated and undivided attention to a brand and its activities.
Call Gaynor on 0845 0945 138 or 07956 142214 or email to discuss customer communications.