User-generated content and customer testimonials can be an effective part of your content marketing strategy. Here’s how great customer service can help.
Not long ago, I attended a conference where a marketing director in a notoriously difficult industry talked about his team’s approach for gathering customer testimonials. The telecommunication space is rife with horror stories and angry customers who are happy to take to the internet to air their grievances. As a result, this company had been doubling down on delivering top-notch customer service—and this marketing director had put together best practices for capitalizing on those efforts to support better customer feedback.
It all starts with the customer service: The biggest takeaway for brands is that in order to get great customer feedback, you need happy customers. If you are currently struggling with this issue, it’s important to start by going back to the basics. How well do you know your customers? How well do you understand what they really want? How is your organization doing at delivering on those desires? If you’re falling short, what are the issues? The more concrete your commitment to excellent customer service, the more likely you will be able to turn this into a competitive advantage.
Create feedback loops: Companies are digging deeper to gather customer feedback. Whether you are engaging on social media, implementing one-step surveys after customer service contacts, or doing in-depth market research, it is important to find out how your business is performing. A consistent feedback loop can help you identify which customers are truly happy with your services, and then feed them into a process to gather more information.
Match data to happy customers: Another aspect of this process is using your existing customer data to better understand the profile of your happy customers. For example, do these customers represent priority accounts? Or have they purchased a specific product or service that you’re anxious to promote? While any positive testimonial can have value, the reality is that marketing time and resources are limited. Use data to help you map the intersection between your happiest customers and your most valuable customer segments.
Develop a variety of ways for them to give feedback: Let’s say that a customer has rated you 10 out of 10 for customer satisfaction after a service interaction. Your data identifies them as a decision maker at a top company account, and all other indicators suggest a high level of satisfaction. Develop a variety of ways for them to share their feedback with your audience. Would they consider being the subject of a case study? Would they be willing to create a written or video testimonial? Would they share their latest experience on social media or write a review that you could post on your website? When you have different formats available—and can use them as a call to action—you’re more likely to convert a happy customer into a tangible piece of social proof that will help improve your marketing.
Gathering user-generated content, case studies, and customer testimonials can be challenging. By following these best practices, you are more likely to have success at turning happy customers into a key piece of your content marketing strategy.