Marketing is often thought of as something you do to gain customers – but it’s just as important in helping you retain customers. See how marketing can help you navigate unhappy customers – and keep them happy to stay with you!

Preemptive Communication

If you think of marketing as communication, it becomes obvious why it would be essential at all stages of customer interaction. While sales is specifically focused on bringing on new customers, marketing is also about education. Marketing is how you educate your industry about your work and your brand. It is how you communicate to people who are far from even seeing they have a problem. And it can also be a way for you to help create happier customers.

For instance, there may be an issue with your product design that you know will create hassle for your customers. Or maybe it’s an issue with all products in your category, regardless of manufacturer. In both cases, marketing can help prevent unhappy customers by giving this information early in the sales process so they know what to expect and what to do about it. Heading problems off at the pass in this manner is a brilliant use of marketing.

Stay in Focus

It is very common for corporate messaging to slip into self-centeredness. As much as you are fascinated by your company, you have to remember that no one else is. Even your happiest clients don’t think about you that much – you’re just one of many vendors they work with. You don’t gain any points with them by barraging them with every news item about your company. They want information on the challenges your product addresses because those challenges are something they do think about.

So if your most satisfied customers are not especially interested in hearing about your company, imagine how little your unhappy customers want to hear about it. They, too, want to hear about the challenges you help them address – except, for the unhappy customers, there is considerably more urgency underlying that interest. The solution? Keep your focus on the problems and challenges your customer – unhappy or otherwise – is dealing with.

Build Trust

In sales, the first thing you do with an unhappy customer is listen. That shows you care and want to understand the problem. It shows you are invested in them, not you. The same holds for marketing – it’s just done a little differently. To build trust when there’s a problem using marketing, you need very clear, easily accessible information on where your customer can find help. If they need to leave a message, you need to communicate clearly when they will hear back from you and via which channel. If they can get instant help online, make it simple for them to find it. But don’t put a halfhearted attempt at AI on your chatbot and think you’re helping anyone. The last thing you want is for an unhappy customer to get frustrated by incompetent AI systems; they’ll only think you’re trying to duck the problem.

Instead, make it easy for them to connect with a human quickly if there is no other solution. Aim for stellar human service to help your customer feel they matter.

Marketing for Happy Customers

By thinking of marketing as as tool to communicate, educate, and build trust, you will make a positive difference on even your unhappiest customers.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash