3 ways the telephone can make or break your brand
Lately, marketers have been so fixated on social media, they may have overlooked their own Achilles heel when it comes to follow-through. After all, a company can Facebook, Tweet or Email to their hearts content, but at some point customers want a “live” interaction with a company. When they dial your number, who is there to answer their call?
Too often health and nutrition companies drop the ball on telephone etiquette. Many won’t even list a phone number on their website and insist on communicating by email. While this may be a cost effective solution in the short-term, having a solid telephone strategy will protect your reputation and allow you to market in ways you may not have thought of. Whether your health and nutrition company is startup or a large corporation, here are a few ways that the telephone can be your most important marketing tool:
Ever called a “legitimate” company only to be greeted by an answering machine? How much faith did you have that they would address your issue? Nine times out of ten, if a customer contacts you by phone they need to resolve an issue asap or they are putting off a purchase until they can get more answers. Either way, reaching a machine instead of a live person is a sure sign the company is either too small to provide customer support or simply does not value its customers.
Imagine that you’ve spent the last 6 months crafting the perfect, multi-channel loyalty campaign. You’ve targeted customers you want to participate. You’ve sent out loyalty cards that guarantee a discount or benefit of some sort. You’ve tried to be clear about the rules and restrictions. Unfortunately, you haven’t educated your call center. Suddenly the frontline of your marketing effort is flooded with questions and complaints, your telephone reps are clueless, and your customers are furious. This is a marketing nightmare that happens time and time again. Automated email responses and FAQ’s on your website aren’t enough. If you aren’t there to support your campaign by phone, expect a huge backlash.
Mining for Information
If your telephones are ringing, your marketing is working. You now have the opportunity to build relationships and gather contact information. If you’re talking to a current customer, you can update or verify addresses, phone numbers and email addresses in your database. If they are considering a purchase, you can close the deal or at least get contact info for future marketing efforts. And even if a customer is calling with a complaint, you have the chance to win them over and learn how your company can do better. Every phone call is a priceless marketing opportunity, so make the most of them.
Social media, direct mail and incentive programs are all great marketing tools, yet none can be successful without one thing: being there when your customer calls. If you haven’t thought about your telephone presence in a while, it’s time to re-evaluate. You’ll be glad you did.
Read more about traditional marketing tactics for your health nutrition brand:
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/splorp/64027565/”>splorp</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>
Jessica is a competitive athlete and the President of Energize HNM, a health and nutrition marketing agency. Jessica is committed to supporting health brands of every size by helping them define their missions and connect with their customers on a deeper, more meaningful level.