Consumers are the focal point for business organizations regardless of their industry. Sans customers, there is no bread and definitely no butter for companies. If they are this important, the chance of ignoring their rights shouldn’t arise in the first place, but unfortunately, it happens. Why aren’t consumer rights seen in a different light?
Businesses can actually leverage them for their own good, which will make it a win-win situation for both firms and their customers. For instance, one of their rights is – Right to consumer education. Keeping customers informed about the latest industry trends and giving them full information about products they are using, from alpha to omega, can be helpful for both companies and consumers. It builds trust and loyalty for a firm while keeping customers happy at the same time. But it doesn’t happen overnight. Consistent efforts in the right direction can lead to better results in the form of satisfied customers, top-of-the-mind brand recall and increased sales.
Take the Example of the Healthcare Industry
The industry is now turning more patient-driven, thanks to patients becoming well aware of their right to awareness. Healthcare providers are now rethinking their strategies to connect better with their customers, infuse transparency, provide personalized experiences and ensure better health outcomes. Let’s look at some of the ways that can help businesses raise awareness among consumers.
Create a Customer Support Knowledge Base
This might sound like something completely out of context, but it’s not. An online knowledge bank that clearly mentions all the information about your products, services, the industry you cater to, etc., works best for educating clients. It’s more like a self-help platform that consumers can access anytime to get information on anything.
- Make sure that you don’t include any misleading information about your products
- Provide full details about how to use a product, the components used to make it, risks involved in using it, safety precautions to be taken, etc.
- Ensure that any important information is disclosed clearly in your knowledge base
The concept of blogging or ‘web logs’ came to the fore after the advent of digital media. A blog is now considered to be an essential section of a website. Why? Simply because it is supposed to provide valuable information to customers that is up-to-date. But are blogs actually serving this purpose? How can they, when they are being churned out mindlessly just to retain higher visibility. Today, there’s a blog on almost everything under the sun. Prioritizing quality over quantity is paramount when creating blogs, not to forget, transparency, as it is something customers look forward to.
One such example is of Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, MD of Seattle Children’s Hospital. Her blog ‘Seattle Mamma Doc’ is famous for giving valuable advice on childcare. Constant updates with relevant information got her more than 20,000 followers on Twitter and she also got listed among TIME’s ‘Best Twitter Feeds’ for 2013.
- Understand your customers and write for them
- Introduce your brand, products, and services you offer in your blog
- Keep updating your blog with the latest information
- Focus on quality, not quantity
Readers are selfish. They want information they can use. Find a way to provide it.– Jim Lodico, copywriter and marketing consultant.
Keep Your Social Media Game on Point
Believe it or not but social media has become the biggest platform to educate customers. Finding people who are not on this virtual planet, is like searching for needles in a haystack. Social media has literally taken the world by storm. This makes it the ideal place where businesses can educate their customers. Be it LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, firms can actively post about their future plans, the new product they are launching, deals they have clinched, etc., to keep their clients informed.
- Be omnipresent. Tap every social media platform you can to be in constant touch of customers.
- Misleading information can land you in trouble especially on social media, as content goes viral here way too quickly. You don’t want that for yourself, right?
- Be as professional as you can. You might have to face flak from dissatisfied customers, and the best way to tackle this is by being accurate with the information you provide.
Don’t Market, Just Educate
Instead of being promotional, how about sincerely informing customers about the details of a product or service along with insights from experts. It’s a better marketing tactic, as customers understand that the company is more interested in enhancing their awareness, rather than simply selling a product, regardless of its merits or demerits.
Giving them valuable insights and showcasing the benefits and risks associated with a product, is a clear showcase of a company’s endeavors to provide its customers a transparent picture of a product and not befool them with false information.
Thanks to the ever-more-elaborate marketing ploys by companies, the business landscape today is going mad. This can literally harm customers. With millennial consumers being aware of their rights, a wise idea will be to keep them informed and not give them an opportunity to complain.
Thanks to the advent of digital, educating customers today can be done on a shoestring budget. It doesn’t require firms to make holes in their pockets by spending exorbitantly. All it needs is the right attitude and perspective. Keeping customers informed is simple if companies use the right mediums - knowledge base, blogging, social media, etc. to reach out to them.
The more educated customers will be, the better their choices will be. They will feel empowered and most importantly confident and happy, which ultimately results in loyalty towards a brand, which is what matters in the end.
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