A large proportion of content marketing is designed to bring new customers and grow sales. However, it can also be used as the cornerstone of a company’s customer service offer.
Research suggests that as many as 75 per cent of potential clients have cancelled a purchase because of bad customer service. At the same time, only 4 per cent of customers are likely to actually get in touch with the company about their problems.
This reluctance to pick up the phone or draft an email means that content must be on the ball. Specifically, companies need to strike the right tone, be easy to find and address any problems concisely.
No company wants to draw attention to customer problems by producing content about them. But any potential issues should be noted down and turned into valuable material. The chances are, if someone has got in touch, there are 20 other people in the same situation.
Customer service-oriented content can be used not only to answer questions but also to alert the user to other sources such as blogs. If the information you provide is helpful, you can easily persuade them to sign up for emails. In short, customer service is a potential source of new readers as well as existing clients.
Content concerning customer service brings a unique set of challenges. If someone has gone on to the page, it can be taken for granted that they have a problem. So their question needs to be answered as soon as possible. It is not going to help anybody if the information on how to get a refund is buried in a 1,000-word piece covering payment options.
Customer service copy should be short and to the point. There is still plenty of scope to add links to other pieces of content that might be relevant to that particular customer. Just make sure it answers the question in the first 50 words.
With the growing adoption of technology and social media, customers and consumers are increasingly less afraid to engage directly with companies. In this case, Twitter is probably one of the best known; by limiting enquiries to 140 characters it helps to keep things simple.
Recent research from the network found that as many as 83 per cent of those who made a request for customer service in this way had their problem solved. Twitter says it is essential that companies focus on three areas of customer service: speed personalisation and friendliness.
Ultimately good customer-service content should be about building trust. Although some people get in touch with firms directly, the silent majority just want to go online and expect to find an answer.
It is also about building loyalty. The White House Office of Consumer Affairs found that loyal customers are worth up to 10 times the value of their first purchase. And there is a 60-70 per cent probability of selling to an existing customer compared to the 5-20 per cent chance of converting a new prospect.
All in all, high-quality content marketing should be able to play a strong part in this.
Customer service: an opportunity for great content is part of Content24, the blog for London content marketing agency FirstWord.