The Gist

  • Cross-functional collaboration. Share insights and data across departments to improve customer experience.
  • Alleviating friction. Proactively provide relevant content for self-service, reducing customer service outreach.
  • Data-driven approach. Implement a sound data strategy to foster customer-centricity and enhance satisfaction.

When it comes to marketing and customer experience, the mandate has been consistent: Know your customers and deliver what is relevant to them.

Now in terms of content marketing, it is important to remember that while customer interactions are happening on a growing number of channels and devices, every touchpoint in the customer journey impacts and influences the next step in the journey as well as a customer’s overall perception of your brand. Because of this, it is important that departments are sharing insights and data internally because there are cross-functional lessons that can be learned to improve the customer experience.

That’s why we’re talking about what content marketers can learn from customer service.

CX Friction Often Introduced Early in the Journey

When it comes to customer service, there are lessons learned for content marketers around customer engagement and needs, especially when it comes to data and customer profiles. Often friction is introduced early on in the journey with customer service, and let’s be honest, most customer service interactions stem from the inability of consumers to self-serve or problem-solve on their own, so there is already a fair amount of built-up frustration when someone is reaching out to get help.

We've all been there. After searching on a site for about 10 minutes and not finding an answer to your question, you call a customer service number trying to reach a human being on the other end, and you are greeted with an automated system that has you validate the last four of your social alongside other random bits of information. When the representative picks up, you have to validate the information already given and explain your issue from start to finish, even though you have been trying to solve it on your own (and a lot of times have already spoken to a previous rep). The frustration in this situation isn’t a reflection on customer service, but on an organization’s customer experience on the whole.

Related Article: What Defines World-Class Customer Service Now and How to Get There

An Opportunity to Alleviate Customer Service Pain Points

Now before I continue, I want to say that this is not a knock on customer service, the role it plays or the patient people who serve as customer service reps. Instead, it highlights the opportunities available to organizations of all sizes to ease customer service pain points and reduce pressure by utilizing content marketing effectively.

In content marketing, understanding your customers' needs and interests is crucial for providing proactive, relevant content that addresses their current inquiries rather than past concerns. Being able to get to a point where content and personalization is proactive means that it can help aid in the user journey, remove friction and hopefully reduce the need for people to reach out to customer service.

Learning Opportunities

Related Article: Contact Center Technology and Strategies to Keep Customers Cool

Key Lessons for Content Marketers From Customer Pain Points

Because customer experience satisfaction is the culmination of all interactions across touchpoints, content marketers can take some key lessons from customer service pain points and help round out experiences so that when someone is moving through their journey with your organization, the result is net positive:

  • Provide content that is self-serving: Nine times out of 10, consumers will try to answer a question on their own, so it is important to have content that is informative and transactional to balance out your thought leadership and serve the "job to be done" for your audience types. Helping customers self-serve means a reduction in customer service outreach.
  • Deliver information to accommodate searchers, not business structure: Content strategies are often self-serving, but it is important to remember that your customers' ease of use is a top priority. Creating content should not solely focus on promoting your brand, product, or mission; it should also address consumer questions and be tailored to match the way they search for information.
  • Develop a sound data strategy: Being able to get to a point where content and personalization is proactive can help aid in the journey, remove friction and hopefully reduce the need for people to reach out to customer service. But if/when they eventually do, it is important for customer service to use the data and digital behaviors someone has taken prior to calling to contextualize the conversation.

Marketers ought to see their role as supporting customer service representatives by offering useful content and potential solutions. Consequently, customer service should take into account the visitor's actions prior to the call for a more seamless experience. By integrating self-service content tailored to common search behaviors and requirements, the data shared with customer service representatives before contact becomes increasingly informative and valuable, fostering a more productive conversation between the consumer and the brand.

Elevating Customer Experience With Cohesive Strategies

While content alone cannot resolve all customer experience issues, it is essential to have accessible data that offers context for the conversation when a customer service representative takes the call. Additionally, this data informs an ongoing content strategy that delivers not only utility but also concrete answers to consumers, whenever and wherever they choose to engage.

Between content, customer service and other channels, brands will only get so many chances to get it wrong before being left behind. By connecting insights from content marketing and customer service and implementing a robust data strategy that enables all teams to learn from consumer behaviors collectively, you can foster customer-centricity throughout your organization, ultimately enhancing customer satisfaction across all interactions.

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