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Empower Your Customers to Become Your Evangelists16:19 with Aaron Wheeler
You have the power to turn customers into one of your strongest, most cost-effective marketing teams. By creating great experiences for customers during good times and bad, they'll share their successes and demonstrate the value you've given them to a broader audience, much to the delight of your marketing and customer service teams.
[? music ?] MOZCON Aaron Wheeler] [Empower Your Customers to Become Your Evangelists] 0:00 Thank you! Hello! 0:07 It sort of feels like getting up—you know—if you're on a roller coaster ride, you get to the very, very top, 0:10 and now you're all taking the exciting plunge with me. 0:17 Thanks so much for being here. 0:20 I've been managing for about a year and a half. 0:22 I've been at Moz for about a year—for about 3 years, 0:25 and I've learned a lot about customer service while I've been here. 0:28 I've learned a lot about inbound marketing, 0:33 and I think that the two are connected in a way that we don't usually think about. 0:35 Social media is a great example of when we are thinking about it, and I'm going to be talking about social media a lot. 0:40 But I think that ultimately the best customer service is when your customers feel empowered, 0:46 and I think that you guys have a big role to play there. 0:51 So there's 3 themes to fantastic customer service. 0:54 The first is pretty obvious. 0:57 You want to make an emotional connection with customers and make them feel good. 0:58 You want to make everything public so it's very easy for customers to find things and share things. 1:03 You want to make it very easy. 1:07 You want contacting you to be really easy and finding answers to be really easy. 1:08 I love customer service. 1:13 I always have, and I think it's because—it's for a lot of reasons, 1:16 but I think the main reason is it makes me have a sense of belonging and a sense of being valued. 1:20 I think that a lot of people just want to belong somewhere. 1:24 Our marketing team all went to a furry convention earlier this week. 1:27 I think they just wanted to assert their identities, you know? 1:31 They didn't really do that. 1:35 I'm going to give you a quick example of this. 1:37 I heard about this restaurant opening up in Seattle a few months ago. 1:40 It was called Frolic. 1:44 Some of you may have even been there. 1:45 It's a few blocks away, 1:47 and it's just this rooftop bar. 1:48 It has pingpog. 1:50 It's really cool. 1:50 So I tweeted about it. 1:51 Their social media person tweeted back at me and said, "Hey, what kind of food do you like?" 1:54 "We haven't opened yet, so we're still planning." 1:58 I said that I like—I'm vegetarian and vegan, so anything that they have around that would be great. 2:00 So they—you know—they said thank you—thanks for the feedback. 2:07 I didn't hear from them, but I thought it was cool. 2:11 Then a month later, they email me and say, "Hey, you talked to us on Twitter a while ago." 2:13 "How would you like to come down and have free drinks and food and just—like be part of this party that we have?" 2:19 Yeah, of course I want to do that. 2:25 So I did, and it was great. 2:26 Clearly, there is some value to them for me doing this. 2:28 They must think of me as someone who—you know—tweets a lot. 2:32 The joke's on them. 2:34 I don't actually tweet that much. 2:36 But I did talk about my great experience and I think that regardless of what their incentive was to inviting me, I felt valued. 2:37 That was really important to me. 2:46 So customer service is establishing that connection and making people feel good. 2:47 But I think that where marketing comes in is making that public and making that relationship visible—sharing it. 2:51 When customers share their good feelings, when they share their good customer service they've experienced, 2:58 you see increases throughout the marketing funnel. 3:02 You acquire new customers. 3:05 You retain old customers. 3:06 Customers increase the amount of money that they spend, and they aren't as angry when you inevitably screw up. 3:08 Because you're going to screw up. 3:13 That's why there's a customer service team in a lot of places. 3:14 You'll also see that these—you know—these increases will build this virtuous cycle of link building and community building 3:18 and people that care about your brand, which in turn feeds that funnel. 3:26 It's just this great relationship. 3:31 So I'm going to go into those a little bit. 3:32 In terms of acquiring new customers, I'm sure you all know when you're referred to a company you trust it a lot more 3:34 than if you're just finding it on a billboard or if you—like look it up in Google blind. 3:40 There's a couple posts—I'm going to talk about ThinkGeek and MailChimp a couple times. 3:46 They're both here, and I think they're both examples of companies that do customer service so right. 3:50 They're such great companies. 3:54 Readitt apparently thinks so too, and Readitt people aren't that easy to please. 3:56 They post about the great customer support that they received at ThinkGeek and people voted up. 4:01 This thread is just like, "Oh, yeah. I love ThinkGeek. They're the best company ever." 4:06 I did a search for ThinkGeek customer service, and one of the first results that I got, though I do search for customer things a lot, 4:10 was about the great ThinkGeek customer service experience someone had. 4:16 Then these—like links to Doctor Who Sonic Screwdrivers and Tardis. 4:21 So they even got links just through providing great customer service. 4:27 I wear Warby Parker glasses, and I like Warby Parker. 4:32 I think they're a really good company. 4:35 Apparently, so does Carly Allen. 4:37 I looked at Warby Parker's wall, and this person loves their customer service. 4:39 So much so that they have made this person a repeat customer, 4:43 and they post that on their wall. 4:47 The Warby Parker CEO said—you know—we were a bit surprised because already we are the biggest— 4:49 we have the highest loyalty in the eyeglasses industry around. 4:55 There's tons of websites that sell glasses and tons of them that sell them for a lot more and a lot less. 5:00 But there's something about Warby Parker where their customers come back, and they come back again and again. 5:04 I think that's largely because of their customer service. 5:10 Fab is a luxury goods company. 5:14 Some of you probably use them. 5:16 They sell all sorts of—all sorts of really cool stuff. 5:18 They also have the fantastic loyalty program that I even hear about from—like Renea talks to me about it. 5:21 She's our retention marketer. 5:26 Here's this tweet exchange between Nazli and Fab. 5:30 Nazli's just saying—you know—I love you guys. I wish you had this feature. 5:34 They tweet back and then Nazli doesn't say thanks—like you guys listened to me. 5:38 She says, "Thanks. I love you. You're fantastic. I love you." 5:44 Customers spend more if they can rely on your customer service and they can rely on a relationship with that company. 5:48 Finally, this is a blog post by our CTO, Anthony, from last year. 5:54 Karon ? talked about the crawl issues that we were experiencing. 6:00 So this is a blog post addressing those. 6:04 We went in depth about like what was going wrong, and Zeph, who is actually here in the audience today— 6:06 Hey, Zeph—wherever you are. 6:10 He said, "This is really painful. I had to go to my client and talk to them about what was going on." 6:12 "But also, thanks for the explanation, and I really appreciate it. 6:17 I think that you guys are a uniquely forgiving community." 6:23 I love working with you all. 6:26 It really is a pleasure. 6:27 But I also think that you trust us to be forthcoming when we need to, and I think that that trust is worth a lot. 6:29 It's worth a lot to me, and I know it's worth a lot to every one at our company. 6:35 But you're all inbound marketers. 6:38 You don't do customer service. 6:40 How do you make this stuff happen? 6:41 Maybe some of you are in social media, and you are empowered to do this. 6:44 But on a broad level, I think all of you can effect big changes for your customers now. 6:47 The first step is to create great content, and I know you've all been creating great content for a long time. 6:54 You're super-hipster about it. 7:00 But I think you haven't been thinking about making great help content. 7:02 I got to so many websites that don't talk about their products on their site, instead I have to go hunting. 7:07 I think that's—that's really silly. 7:13 It's effective to build help content. 7:15 Here's MailChimp—this pretty basic term—email campaign. 7:18 Their help content is second and fifth here. 7:21 Rdio is an online music app that I use. 7:25 I looked up iPhone offline mode because I wanted to know how it was working on my iPhone, 7:29 and the whole—all the results were all help articles. 7:33 You can also see that stuff is getting linked to as validated in this SERP. 7:37 There's almost a hundred external links, most of them followed, just to help articles. 7:40 So clearly people are getting value out of these. 7:46 I think that the way you can do this is to build a help content strategy, alongside your normal content strategy. 7:49 If you look through your Google Analytics internal site search, 7:55 you can see what terms customers are having problems with. 7:59 Clearly, if people are looking up page authority and domain authority, we need to do a better job explaining what those are right in your face. 8:02 We're working on it. 8:10 You should go to your customer service team and say, "What are the top 10 questions that you get about product X or feature X?" 8:11 Do that across all of your products and your features so that you can create content around it. 8:19 Eventually, you can actually empower the customer service teams themselves to write this content. 8:23 They probably already are. 8:27 If you don't know, we use macros a lot. 8:29 People ask repeat questions all the time. 8:31 You see it with products all the time. 8:33 So we have this content. 8:35 It's just kept in this one-to-one private exchange, which is really silly. 8:36 So create a place for the customer service team to build that content. 8:40 Make a simple text editor. 8:44 Don't make customer service do CSS and formatting of images. 8:46 Just make it simple for them to build it. 8:49 They already have the content and, if you give them that search, 8:51 they can combine that with the frequently asked questions to build out the content even further. 8:54 You should also give them some basic training around SEL. 8:59 That's kind of you guys' thing. 9:02 I think that if you can talk to them about how to format a title and just use keywords appropriately, 9:03 you're going to see this stuff start ranking for long-term but, also, for short tail terms. 9:09 ThinkGeek—again fantastic customer service. 9:16 There's a lot of ways to make sure that customers themselves can write this content. 9:20 ThinkGeek does a great job of it. 9:25 They use a—they use a Facebook widgit that is installed on each product page, 9:26 and customers will say like, "Oh, I love this hat. This is the coolest shirt." 9:31 But they also will say like, "I have this very specific remote control I want to use for this thing. Does it work?" 9:35 Another customer, who is also very specific and geeky will say, "Yes, it works. I've tried it on a hundred systems, and it's perfect." 9:42 So you can see, customers are answering each other right there. 9:50 Those answers are so much more trustworthy than what customers would think of as marketing copy. 9:53 ModCloth is another company that does a great job of this. 10:01 ModCloth sells clothing and people buy the clothes. 10:04 Then they will put a picture of them wearing the clothes with an exact description of their body and their shape—just everything. 10:07 It's very transparent. 10:14 Like you can see—that's crazy, man. 10:16 But they do it, and instead of customers needing to email in a help team and say, "Hey, I'm this size and this height and here's my dimensions." 10:18 "Does this dress fit on me? —which you're not going to get a good answer to. 10:27 Another customer is already writing that answer and giving them the answer. 10:28 If you can create this public place, it's going to be so much more— 10:36 so much more trustworthy for customers to just convert immediately. 10:39 If you don't have comments, you can use something like Get Satisfaction. 10:43 So forums aren't the best if you don't already have something, 10:47 but I do think that they're better than nothing. 10:50 I think that Get Satisfaction and UserVoice and a few other companies do a pretty good job of it. 10:52 This is Mint.Com—a customer asking about a feature and another customer answering it. 10:56 Their customer service wasn't involved at all. 11:00 Another thing that you guys do great is evaluating your performance. 11:04 Do that with help content. 11:08 Make sure that videos are getting watched and that if they're not—if they're too long, cut them down. 11:10 Look through the Google Analytics searches and make sure that those longer tail searches start getting addressed 11:15 so that over time you have this really rich set of content and customers can find answers on their own. 11:21 The second biggest part is to help customers share. 11:27 I think there's 3 reasons that customers want to share and really you have to keep in mind that it's a selfish action. 11:31 They're not doing this for you. 11:38 They're doing it for themselves. 11:39 It's ways to feel good and get a sense of belonging. 11:41 So the 3 reasons include saying thank you. 11:43 We all like saying thank you. 11:46 You guys say thank you to us a lot. 11:47 We really appreciate it. 11:48 It makes us feel really happy. 11:49 We have a bunch of these up on our wall. 11:51 Every time we get one—like a tweet about the help team, we'll take it to the wall. 11:53 It's really nice of you guys. 11:57 We want to assert our identities. 11:59 So I'm a Warby Parker fan, and look I said it and Nick makes fun of me. 12:01 Then Warby Parker says thanks for being part of the club. 12:05 Then, also, we want to share our expertise. 12:12 So this is how Quora and Wikipedia and all these other sites work. 12:14 I mean, people want to share their expertise. 12:19 It's validating, and I think that by becoming a sharing enabler you can make customers feel like it's easy and it's fun. 12:22 Here's some examples of ways to get customers involved really easily. 12:31 On your customer service emails, you probably have signatures. 12:37 In those signatures, this is an email from Jen at Uber. 12:40 I gave some feedback, and I got this back. 12:44 There's a link to the blog post about referrals. 12:45 There is Titter and Facebook—all that's right in there. 12:47 On the customer service team, we have a link at the bottom of our emails that has like a pre-tweet generated. 12:51 It just says, "I got help from the help team." 12:57 People will send it just like that, but they also customize it. 12:58 So make it really easy to tweet. 13:01 If you have a customer service survey, you can add a Twitter button at the end of that. 13:03 That is an emotionally engaging time. 13:09 They're leaving you feedback and not everyone does that—only the people that are passionate. 13:11 So add a Twitter button there and then someone can call out—you know—"I had a great experience," or they can say, "I didn't," 13:15 and you can address them really easily. 13:21 MailChimp is again—fantastic company. 13:23 They sent out these little hats. 13:26 They have adult-sized hats, too. 13:28 But if you have a cat or a dog, you want one a MailChimp hat because these things are adorable. 13:30 People love them. 13:35 They tweet about their cats wearing the hats. 13:36 It's on Instagram. 13:38 It's on Vine— 13:39 all the fancy things. 13:40 It's not just at MailChimp. 13:41 These people are sharing these pictures with their whole audience. 13:44 That's when—things are going well, that's how you can empower customers to share. 13:48 What do you do when things aren't going so well? 13:51 It's inevitable. 13:53 Richard White at UserVoice, who holds this customer service conference—user conf that I really love. 13:55 He said that Twitter is the small claims court of customer support. 14:01 I think it's so true. 14:04 If you think about your good customer service interactions, 14:05 you don't yell at someone on Twitter and then they say, "Oh, I'm sorry. Here, I'm going to help you now." 14:08 You yell on Twitter when Comcast is 7 hours late or 14:12 when a thousand people are having a problem with an app and there's no solution available. 14:19 So what you've got to do there is just own the conversation. 14:22 Make sure that customers have a place where they can vent that's centralized and where you can help. 14:25 I think that 37signals is an example of a company with a fantastic status page where they'll put information about any downtime. 14:31 This is the past week. 14:40 They had 1 minute of downtime, and they specifically call it out and say, "Look, we had this downtime." 14:41 They can tweet that out to all of their followers. 14:46 If anyone complains, they can direct-tweet them there. 14:48 I think the only things it's missing is an area for customers to comment because I do think there's a lot of importance in venting 14:51 and in being able to say, "I'm having a specific problem." 14:59 So we have in the Q & A forum, we have a place where you can post known issues. 15:02 We just do it normally in Q & A, 15:08 and customers will respond right in there and say, "Hey, thanks for the update," or "I"m really angry. This is really frustrating." 15:09 We can reach out to them directly and eventually we'll be able to tell them, "Hey, we have a solution for you." 15:16 It's just a much better place than Twitter. 15:22 With all that said, just keep in mind we're all customers. 15:25 We use thousands of companies every year. 15:29 We want to share. 15:32 Sharing is an inherent part of our humanity. 15:33 We're also very lazy—very lazy and very busy. 15:35 You all seem like very busy people. 15:39 I know I am. 15:41 So you can lead the horse to water, but I think it's going to be an emotional connection and a simplicity of use 15:42 that's going to get them to drink the water, emotionally connect with you—say stuff like "I love you. Your customer service is amazing." 15:50 "I love your company!" 15:57 It's not just that they like the plates that they ordered from Target or Amazon. 15:58 Those are great companies, too. 16:03 But they love Fab. 16:04 They love Fab.com. 16:05 To build that—do these things—I think you'll see phenomenal success, 16:07 and your customers will be the most effective marketing team you ever had. 16:10 Sorry marketers! 16:13 Bye! 16:15 Thank you very much. 16:16
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