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Instilling Social Customer Experience In Your Marketing Strategy

Featuring Insights From Digital Marketing Guru And Bestselling Author - Dan Gingiss

Matt Wujciak

Dan Gingiss

“Remarkable CX can be your biggest Marketing differentiator,” bestselling author and keynote speaker, Dan Gingiss, recently told us. 

And anyone who has met Dan will tell you that he genuinely believes this.

Bridging the gap between CX and Marketing

You may be thinking that this a bold statement. But if I was to ask you, what do Chick-fil-A, Amazon, Apple, Zappos and Trader Joe’s have in common? 

Your response would probably entail something along the lines of “good customer service.” This is the case because each of these brands are industry leaders in their respective markets in this particular category. And to a degree, most consumers are aware of it.

When I personally think of Chick-fil-A I think of strangely well-mannered employees and viral social media videos. When I think of Amazon, I think of same-day shipping, low prices, product testimonials, and frictionless return policies. When I think of Apple, I think of the countless number of times my family has visited the genius bar or bargained for product discounts... and won.

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This is in essence, their biggest marketing differentiator.

The vast majority of consumers have similar feelings about these brands because these thoughts and feelings encompass the experience a customer has with a business, cultivating the businesses’ “brand.” 

A brand is created and enhanced or diminished through the digital age of reputations and social customer care - bridging the gap between the traditionally mundane stigma of “customer service,” with the consumer-engaging community of digital marketing. 

These are the ideas and philosophies that Dan Gingiss has devoted his 20-year career to. 

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of introducing Dan during his seminar at CCW Nashville. And like everyone else in the audience, I left the session pondering the behavioral shift in the way consumers correlate their perceived customer experience with the value of digital brand reputation and marketability… specifically social media. 

Dan’s career leading social media and customer experience teams (at Discover, Humana, and McDonald’s) exemplifies the synergistic benefit between today’s CX and marketing crossover. 

Speed, personification, and frictionless solutions

Here’s one prime illustration Dan shared with Social Media Today:

“At Discover, we had one of my favorite examples. A guy tweeted at us and was complaining that he was getting too much junk mail from us. And he basically said “hey, I've gotten three applications for the same card. Are you guys persistent or just uncoordinated?” And our agent responded back and said “wow we must really want you as a customer,” and then gave him instructions on how to get off of the list. And I loved that response, because it’s just a tiny bit snarky, but it’s not rude. It’s just got a little friendliness but a little snark. So this guy writes back, and he says ‘okay, I’ll bite, just because of your answer #greatcustomerservice.’ This guy went from hating on the company because he was getting too much junk mail to applying for the card!”

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As Chris Vetrano (Lyft Social Media Lead and CX Program Manager) recently told me, “There are over 65 social channels and applications…[and] I think it’s about 71 percent of people who anticipate their question being answered within an hour [preferably with a desirable response].”

If you can personify your brand through different social media platforms (such as Twitter, being the most commonly used for customer service), deliver a simple solution when a mistake is made, and respond in a timely fashion, consumers will leave interactions with exceeded expectations, simultaneously generating higher customer retention and positive brand imagery (as seen in the above example).

According to a Boston Digital survey, the top two reasons consumers follow brands on social media is “Helpful information related to one of my hobbies” and “Product information,” expressing the importance of social customer care in relation to Marketing efforts. 

“No such thing as an offline experience”

As seen in a recent CCW Digital market study, roughly 70% of businesses say social media will become even more important to the customer experience process over the next 5 years.

In other words, the use of digital engagement platforms (as a means of accomplishing the above objectives) are growing at a rapid rate. Emphasizing (creative) social customer care in these channels can be a strategic advantage, but the same channels (whether it’s traditional social media platforms like Twitter or review forums like Reddit), can be a brand's worst nightmare. 

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Here’s another example from Dan that I’ll leave you with:

“There’s no such thing as an offline experience anymore, because even experiences that we think have nothing to do with being online can come online in a heartbeat. Think of the guy being dragged off the plane [referring to the United Airlines case in 2017]. You used to think that an airplane was a sacred space [where] you turned all your devices off and [were] completely offline, and now even something like that can come online in a heartbeat. Companies have to be aware of every aspect of the customer journey, because at any time, whether it’s a great experience or a terrible experience, somebody can snap a photo of it and bring it online. You should ask yourself with every step of the journey: Is this something that we’d be proud to have people share on social media?”