Does your content light the way, or put out fires? That’s the difference between customer success and customer satisfaction.
A number of businesses focus on strengthening their customer service. Not enough exercise the same focus on customer success. Yes, there is a difference. Customer service is a reactive approach in which you wait until a customer has a problem, and then you try to fix it. Instead, if you could help your customers better understand and best use your products on their own so that they have fewer problems in the first place, you’d be playing for customer success.
[bctt tweet="Content needs to be aimed at helping customers get the maximum value from your product. " username="relevance"]
In 2019, content marketing strategy will take a sharp turn to become more customer-centric and become a tool for higher customer success as opposed to being a tool for customer acquisition as it has primarily been so far. Content must be geared at assisting your customers throughout their product journey from the time they begin shopping and need help choosing the right product, to after the sale when they begin using the product. Content must be designed to help your customers help themselves. It must answer their questions before they feel the need to contact you for answers. Content must facilitate the best utilization of your product so the customers feel they’ve made a great purchase and extracted their money’s worth. As a result of all this, content must reduce customer churn and help customers forge long-term relationships.
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Clearly, your content marketing strategy has its work cut out for it. So today, let’s talk about just how you can make your content a potent tool for customer success.
Self help is one of the most important pillars of customer success. 50% of customers think it’s important to solve product or service issues themselves and 70% expect a company’s website to include a self-service application. The trend is understandable if you notice the kind of impact social friction has on conventional customer service. Trying to get a phone call connected, staying on hold while hoping to be connected with the right person, being able to adequately explain the problem to this person and understanding their suggested solutions, all of this can be a tedious undertaking. The DIY generation of customers today wants to be able to fix problems on their own with minimal social friction.
Creating ample self-help content is your ticket to success with this self-help generation. Develop resources that have answers to frequently asked questions. Develop user guides that explain how to use and troubleshoot problems with your product. Efficiently predict problems your customers could run into and create content to help them avoid those problems or solve them.
Writing exciting blog posts about creative new ways to use the products or explaining innovative product features that the users may not have yet discovered is another way to add value to the customer experience and increase their trust. Selling a DSLR camera? Develop videos to help customers set up their camera, understand the different settings and how to change them, learn more about photography and even opt-in for courses or contests. Selling a SaaS product? Show them what more you can do for your customers other than the primary goal they are using it for. Maybe they are using your messaging service but still sharing documents over another service. Show them how they can have conversations and document sharing in one place with your service.
[bctt tweet="Content must drive revenue and build brand advocacy." username="relevance"]
The point is, customers often don’t have time to explore. They buy your product for one need and stay limited to that one need. If you have more features to offer, develop content to help customers identify and use those features too.
The previous two points rely on the customer visiting your app or website to access the content you created for them. It’s time to get a little more personal than that. You need to send out post-purchase emails providing customers with helpful links, free tips and other zero-marketing-purely-helpful stuff. Proffer information like how to set up, install or otherwise start using your product. Show them how to contact you if need be or where to access all the other content you’ve created for them. Send out emails that are purely for the customer’s benefit and don’t show an ounce of marketing or upselling motives. Doing so makes customers develop a personal bond with you and trust you more.
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You don’t have to wait until there’s a problem to begin working on a solution. Right from the time you began market research and user testing for your product, you’ve observed the possible areas that need special attention. The self-help guides and informative content you create should be able to adequately help your customers steer clear of those problems. But even after you’ve acquired customers and the product is flying off the shelves, continue tracking its performance and identifying any possible problem areas. Use analytics to carefully understand where users are running into problems with your product and if you find something you haven’t already addressed, address it in an email blast.
Closely monitor social media, app store reviews and other forums where your product is being discussed. Do you identify anything that your customers aren’t satisfied with? Fix bugs, issue updates, create cheat-sheets and tutorials, write a blogpost saying that you are indeed working on fixing said problems.
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Content with intent can make your customers keep faith and stick with you even when they are running into an occasional problem with your product. If your blog is updated with helpful information, if you create videos that answer customer questions, if your emails help customers solve their problems, that’s when you have created content for customer success.