Editorial
By -

Healthy Customer Engagement

 

I recently found myself speaking with senior professionals who manufacture or market health supplements. It was interesting to take a deeper dive into what their specific needs are, relative to online and e-mail marketing and customer engagement.

Each of their business models has them selling primarily to end users through retail channels –  outlets such as national retail drugstore/pharmacy chains, health clubs, and other distribution channels.They each have a small e-commerce presence that typically generates between 1% and 7% of their revenues. And they have a small number of employees (less than 10) with larger-than-expected revenue. With a small team and extensive sales opportunities, they have a real need for strategic, effective and efficient marketing processes and campaigns.

As their businesses have gone from startup to today, their needs have changed. They now require a range of solutions to solve various issues that they now face as a result of their growth. This could include customer agent tools, inventory management, account software, e-mail software, CRM, e-commerce and reporting tools. The list goes on and on. As companies like this grow, in order to continue their success, their requirements become more sophisticated.

 

A Lack of Data Can Change to A Wealth of Useful Data

A major challenge that companies like these face is a lack of data on the end user of their products. This is because the products are purchased from a retailer, and this information isn’t available to them. As a result, they tend to spend heavily on more traditional marketing and public relations – which doesn’t provide integrated data that can be used to better engage their target markets. Rather than leaving the data in silos, it is more effective to bring it all under one roof, allowing for greater business insight.

Using the customer data that they do have (even if it’s only an e-mail address) allows for deeper information and it provides the opportunity to use Google Match and the Facebook look-alike features to attract new prospective customers to their website. There should be an identification strategy – either through the use of landing pages or intelligent pop-ups – to capture more contact details from the customers, increasing their database – and its uses. Surveys and feedback forms can also help to create customer stories. This also offers a non-intrusive way to gather information for the database.

 

Empowering Customer Service Agents

Customer service agents can then be empowered with customer knowledge. The ability to collect information quickly when on the phone or via chat tools adds to the data acquisition strategy. The more information you have, the better your customer engagement.

 

Managing Negative Social Comments

Identifying when customers have made negative comments on social media is key in empowering customer service agents to resolve these before they grow into something more. The ability to suppress marketing e-mails when this happens also helps to prevent a poor customer experience. Once the issue is resolved, it is time to reach out again.

 

Secure Web Portal

Another opportunity for retailers and distributors is the ability to access marketing and sales material through a secure web portal. This could involve sensitive sales data, including distributor pricing – elements that you don’t want to be shared publicly.

 

The Next Level of Success

The value of using a platform to achieve all of this cannot be underestimated. Becoming a customer-focused company requires a single source of truth – the data about your customers. This allows the company to interact authentically through the right channel and with customized information that is relevant to the customer. That’s where the next level of success comes from.