Pull Marketing: 3 Revelations About How Consumers Want to Interact with Companies
Harrison says three proactive methods marketers are using to positively influence brand perception and, therefore, consumer reviews are:
- Creating Google Alerts to find mentions of the brand, while actively participating in social media to quickly "solve issues and rectify complaints" publicly;
- Evolving search campaigns to match user intent and provide relevant answers; and
- Providing incentives to customers who'd like to share positive reviews.
2. So consumers may use the Internet first, but they'll call if there's a problem, such as a website glitch or a product that's too complex to understand without explanation. Be ready for it, Lieber says.
"Companies that have Web sign-ups for products, services or accounts require call and contact center support—including Web chat, if appropriate," he says. "Many of our clients find that there are hiccups with Web-accessed information or ordering. Support becomes a must to preserve revenue in sales situations, and to improve customer experience and satisfaction in service situations. Some companies plan for this, and others discover the need and begin providing ad hoc service. As time passes, they realize the service is more effective if it is formally planned and organized as a call center function."
Some proactive steps Lieber says marketers can take include:
- Training representatives, as well as educating them about the products;
- Having a process in place to deal with situations without immediate answers;
- Optimizing "first call resolution, which is highly correlated with customer satisfaction";
- Staffing appropriately for busy times;
- Realizing that outsourcing doesn't absolve companies of any responsibility in the customer's eyes—a poor customer experience is a poor customer experience; and
- Tracking and testing is a must for improvement.
3. Analytics show what consumers do, reflecting what they want, Witmond says.
Transaction-level data are especially helpful to show consumer desires, he adds. The information shows, for instance, when customers buy from competitors. "The market analysis should show how much market share you have in your category, as well as how much your 'loyal' customers spend with your competitors. Through a rich, transaction-oriented approach, merchants can look at the levels of activity by competitor to understand true market opportunity based on actual transactions—not on samples or surveys."