I’ve managed multiple social media and search engine optimization campaigns and the goal is always the same: to get more people to the website and increase leads. Seems simple enough, but there are always variations of this goal and when you work with a number of different types of clients, this can be easier said than done.
As an online marketer, my goal is to listen to the client and respond to their needs with the most efficient strategic pathway to completing their online goals. But the goal shouldn’t end at the lead. If we brought thousands of visitors to your store that only had one salesman with no experience and a negative attitude, all of your valuable advertising dollars would be wasted. The ROI, strictly speaking to leads, would look great on paper, but the sales would fail to complete without a solid internal process of selling and delivering.
It seems I am finding this happens more often than not. Customer service is slowly slipping to the sidelines instead of becoming the star player. In any sort of online advertising, it is important to see the process through all the way to the sale. These processes should be checked and audited regularly and, most importantly, you should hire employees that have strong customer service skills. I know this seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many times I’ve seen very strong salesmen end up ruining the online reputation of a business because they were more worried about making the sale than treating the customer with respect.
For example, I was involved in a mystery shopping project a while back for an automotive client where I went through the entire process of research and inquiry about a vehicle. I received minimal to no contact from the salesmen through a one week duration, which we counted as a lost sale. If this were an actual situation, the visitor most likely would have arrived at the site through our pay-per-click advertising or search engine optimization efforts and, because of a faulty process, the store lost the sale. The client was paying for both services and they weren’t able to deliver to the customer when it mattered.
Online advertising can be one of your most valuable assets, but you have to invest time and resources in your internal processes and customer service to ensure that you are getting the most from your leads. Don’t let the most valuable part of your business get away. You need customer service just as much as the customer does.