Lesson # 3: Content as Customer Service

Welcome to the third lesson of my exclusive mini course 5 Strategies for Better Marketing in a Digital World!

This lesson is about customer service in a digital world.

Extraordinary customer service can make all the difference in the present-day “Service Economy,” whereby customers judge businesses less on the products and services they sell, and more on how they treat their customers. (It goes without being said that successful businesses must provide a viable product or service, but today, that’s simply the cost of entry.)

After all, it’s no coincidence that Starbucks, which many people will tell you has burnt coffee, does an amazing job of training their employees to remember their customers’ names and orders, and even pushes them to get to know customers outside of the traditional business-customer relationship. (Don’t be surprised when a Starbucks barista asks the customer in front of you, probably a regular, “How’s your dog?”)

The same goes with Zappos, Southwest Airlines and Nordstrom — all companies that have well-documented customer service strategies.

But, for the average business, which doesn’t have pockets nearly as deep as the brands I mentioned above, it’s certainly challenging to provide this level of customer service.

That’s why I’m such a big believer in content as customer service. That is, using content (the backbone of digital marketing) to better serve your customers, for three reasons:

  1. It’ll pleasantly surprise your customers, since most people don’t expect businesses to help them when they’re not buying from the business.
     
  2. Your competitors aren’t taking this approach, which gives you an automatic leg up on them, and
     
  3. It’s totally scalable, and doesn’t require an enormous up-front and ongoing investment.


Here are a few examples of what I mean by content as customer service

My client Westside Tile & Stone helps its customers (home owners) make better interior design decisions, such as holiday design tips and things to consider before hiring an interior designer.

My client Coworker.com helps its customers (people who work from shared office spaces) be more successful in their careers, such as being a better remote worker and a beginner’s guide to advertising.

My client, a wedding dress designer named Liron Meyzan, helps her customers (soon-to-be brides) prepare for their wedding day, such as wedding planning and skin beauty tips.

And finally, my client Alliance Air Freight helps its customers (companies that ship freight) run more effective and efficient warehouses, by sending weekly emails with best practices about productivity, optimization, sustainability, technology and logistics.

However, most businesses will understandably ask themselves, what’s the return on investment for publishing this type of content?

So, let me ask you: What’s the ROI for asking customers about their dog?

Clearly, a whole bunch of burnt coffee.