We often talk about the online side of things: your website, your ranking, your traffic… -But there’s more to business than your online presence, even if your business is only online, which is why we’re talking today about first point of contact marketing.
They say that initial impressions are everything. Right or wrong, people judge your business by the quality of their first interaction. If it’s a positive experience, they’re more likely to buy from you again or at least learn more about your products and services.
You’re not just a business owner. You’ve also been on the other side of the equation at many points in your life. You know how it feels to contact a company and get shuffled from department to department or wait in vain for a response.
That’s not the kind of experience you want for your customers.
You want to produce high levels of customer satisfaction. Whether they’re a new lead or a long-time customer, you want each and every interaction to produce positive results. Their first point of contact should set expectations for future interactions no matter where it happens along the path to customer fulfillment.
That first point of contact is where the magic – and the marketing – begins.
What is First Point of Contact Marketing?
No matter if you market to other businesses or individuals, customers don’t have time for a runaround. They want information, support, or resolution, and they want it now.
Each point of contact within your organization should have the information they need to immediately satisfy customer queries. Never should someone contacting customer support or placing an order hear the words “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure.”
Whether it’s at the initial inquiry, help desk, or in the customer service department, that point of contact is a brand ambassador. In fact, they may be the only point of contact between your company and that customer.
Point of contact is less a marketing strategy than it is a corporate mindset. Knowledgeable, efficient company representatives, whether they are individuals or teams, build trust, demonstrate your authority, and ensure timely resolution regardless of the nature or complexity of the issue.
When it’s done right, you’ll save time, money, and frustration while reducing customer churn. You’ll also avoid misunderstandings and demonstrate your knowledge through clear communications and transparency.
Point of Contact Marketing: Making Customer Satisfaction a Priority
When it comes to customer satisfaction, patience and a pleasant manner aren’t enough. Your team also needs the tools, training, and authority to ensure positive resolutions.
The steps to lasting customer loyalty begin with positive, personalized communications, a confident approach, and timeliness that’s bolstered by the right technology. It should be an enterprise-wide, unified team effort. Here’s how it’s done.
1. Prioritize timely, efficient customer care.
You want to provide your customers with the best possible service you can. But, you also need to be mindful that there are other customers waiting for service.
Be fast, efficient, and handle customer care with confidence by steering the conversation to keep it on topic, maintaining clear, information-based communications, and relaying that information in a manner that addresses customer pain points.
2. Provide personalized service.
Efficiency doesn’t mean being formal, impersonal, or robotic. Finding the right balance between friendly and professional will help your customer feel that they are getting personalized service from a company that cares about their satisfaction.
Make sure that customers know the name of the person they’re dealing with, clarify how they prefer to be addressed, and end by asking if you can provide further assistance. If the situation will require further interactions, agree on means and times of future contacts, and repeat everything to ensure that each point discussed is understood.
3. Maintain clarity.
Clarity begins with knowledge. Company representatives should be prepared to address any enquiry in clear, easily understood terms and without a lot of jargon that can lead to confusion. If you’re selling a product, the unique selling points should be highlighted and the qualities expressed in relation to how they add value. When it’s a matter of after-care support of tech assistance, focus on providing solutions at the POC.
4. Deploy the right tools.
Automation is a boon to customer service. Calls can be evaluated and routed to ensure that the customer reaches the right department or representative on the first try. Information can be gathered or accessed in real time to provide immediate answers. Automated email or follow up calls can be scheduled to ensure that any issues are settled in a satisfactory manner.
5. Begin and end on a positive note.
Be mindful of the tone and language used during customer interactions. Representatives should not only demonstrate s great deal of patience in the face of adversity, they should also couch their responses in positive language.
Never say that you’re unable to fulfill a customer request or order. Tell them how you will work with them to find satisfaction. For example, don’t say that you can’t deliver a product. If there will be a delay, try to put a time on it and offer an incentive for continuing the customer relationship, such as offering a discount or free shipping on a future order.
The main goal of your company should be to create a positive customer experience from the first point of contact. That means making sure that every employee is trained and empowered to provide answers and solutions right out of the gate. You’ll instill confidence in your company and demonstrate your commitment to providing superior customer care.
That’s the essence of first point of contact marketing.
Does your marketing strategy need some work? Talk to a marketing consultant at Level343 today to learn more about how to leverage your positive attributes and transform team into a marketing powerhouse.