Why the human factor is so important in the automated customer service process.
For all of the resources that companies are pouring into automating the customer’s journey, many are falling woefully behind in training their frontline personnel in the automated customer service process.
Automating back office customer service functions is nothing new. Companies are obsessed with efficiency, implementing automated customer service systems, and reducing head count as a way to increase efficiency and reduce cost.
Employee actions mirror your brand’s values and beliefs
This year, we have witnessed several prominent brands take a public media hit due to action of their employees. For all the time, treasure, and talent that’s invested in creating a trusted brand, it only takes one careless action to reveal a corporate culture that has lost its way.
Airlines are experimenting with mobile marketing strategies to engage and connect with their customer base.
The State of Airline Marketing 2014 report published by SimpliFlying and airlinetrends.com identifies seven trends that airlines are exploring to increase brand preference and customer engagement. It’s not surprising that the tactical execution of these trends rely heavily on the connectivity of mobile marketing using social media networks and mobile devices (smart phones & tablets) combined with promotion. Some of the trends mentioned have merit. Others could be considered annoying in a confined space. One thing for sure is that airlines are beginning to understand the connected traveler and are looking for innovative ways to create brand loyalty.
Do customers want brand engagement or a moral cause to support?
Social marketing tactics are designed to engage the customer on different levels and extend the relationship. However some argue that engagement is not that important and that brand loyalty can be achieved by supporting causes or organizations that make the world a better place.
Social marketing is changing the way customers interact with your brand
My theory on why the aviation industry has been slow to adopt and implement social marketing is because aviation manufacturers are stuck in the mindset of business-to-business instead of people-to-people marketing.
The business-to-business (B2B) mindset is based on selling products and services to accounts. Contrast that mindset with people-to-people (P2P) where the emphasis is focused on improving the customer experience. Customers no longer measure brands based on message, but on interactions they have with them.
Aviation marketers that have successfully adopted social marketing understand that delivering on the brand promise can be done effectively on social platforms. Take a look at Jet Blue, Southwest, or Virgin America Airlines. Each one has been able to get tangible results through social marketing about how well they deliver on their brand promise.
Aviation marketers that choose to ignore the power of social marketing run the risk of becoming a second tier brand by not being able to monitor the customer experience in an unadulterated environment.
8 behaviors required to enhance the customer experience:
Good customer relation management (CRM) starts with good traditional CRM. You cannot expect to improve CRM by adding a social component if the legacy CRM platform was not good to begin with.
Customers expect more. Resolution of problems is a given. Now, customers expect a brand to be proactive within the community of users.
Build customer empathy at all levels of interaction. This should be the golden rule for sales, marketing and customer service – Treat customers as you would like to be treated yourself.
Everyone is a representative of the brand. It only takes one bad experience to drive a customer to a competitor.
Talk with the customer, not at the customer. Customers can tell when the conversation is scripted. Authentic conversation starts with empathy for the customer’s situation and offer of a resolution based on a thorough understanding of the product and service offering.
Don’t leave customers waiting. We live the era of real time engagement. Responding to a customer service issue in 24 hours is not acceptable.
Use social media platforms for problem solving. Enabling self-help through social platforms spreads knowledge and customer feedback across the community of users.
Change the way you measure customer satisfaction. Backward looking measurements that tell you what happened are no longer as effective. Consider a forward looking measurement like a net promoter score that tells you how satisfied your customer is with your service or product offering.
People-to-people marketing is the measure of brand engagement. Creating trust through conversation and helping customers solve problems builds brand loyalty.
I’m interested in hearing from my fellow aviation marketers. What have been your greatest challenges in implementing social marketing? Please share your experiences in the comment section below.
Technology can enhance and solidify the emotional connection to the brand.
Digital technology is affecting the 4 marketing P’s – Product, Price, Placement, and Promotion – by extending brand engagement. Adept aviation marketers are adding value to their brand by providing digital services that complement the user’s life style and the core product offering.
Differentiating your brand starts with making personal connections
Those involved with aviation services and product manufacturing pride themselves on providing flawless products that perform to the highest of specifications. In their eyes, the functionality and reliability of their products define their brand story. However, looking through the perspective of the purchaser reveals a different picture.
Insights are not shiny objects. Many times insights are buried in the customer’s emotional connection to the brand.
Good marketers believe that customer insights form the foundation for brand strategy. Being able to identify insights about product functionality, user preferences, and emotional connection to the brand help to formulate the brand promise and gives the brand its “reason for existence.”
Point-of-view marketing through social media can very effective when supported with proper brand positioning.
Successful aviation brands at their core hold a philosophy about how they will conduct their business, treat their employees and customers, and contribute to the betterment of the aviation industry. In social media terms, this is the brand’s point-of-view.