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Yorkshire Mafia Leeds Business Week Engage Comms social media workshop on recreating the customer experience online September 2013. Why best practice digital communications is vital for reputation management.
Yorkshire Mafia Leeds Business Week Engage Comms social media workshop on recreating the customer experience online September 2013
Tech That!: Recreating the
customer experience online
#LeedsBizWeek, 23 Sept 2013
Helen Gill (nee Standing), Director, ngage Comms
Recreating the customer
• What is digital communications?
• Who’s responsible for managing your brand’s online
• How has digital/social media changed customer
• How do you secure and retain customers in the digital
• Top tips for recreating the customer experience online
– the 5 Cs
What is digital communications?
• Social media shouldn’t be looked at
in isolation – it has to be part of a
wider digital comms strategy which
is integral to your wider
communications strategy and
integrated into your overarching
• Digital communications
encompasses everything you do
online – the website is not dead, it
should be your digital hub!
Who’s responsible for managing your
brand’s online presence?
• Even if the creation of content/management of social
media is outsourced, EVERYONE needs to be feeding
into it so that it is a true reflection of the business
• Don’t just leave the intern in control of your online
• Good communications in business is more important
than ever – you need to create a ‘communications
culture’ both internally and externally
• That’s not just talking, but also listening!
How has digital/social media changed
• In a word: completely
• Customers expect things in ‘real time’ and they want
to know that you genuinely care (you can’t pretend to
be something you’re not)
• There’s no such thing as ‘no comment’ and there’s
nowhere to hide – everybody’s listening and you have
to be too
• Staying front of mind and offering better service is
easier but also more competitive than ever!
How do you secure and retain loyal
customers in the digital age?
• Remember direct mail? Well, forget it!
The digital age is all about high quality
long term relationships
• Think referrals, referrals, referrals –
being a ‘giver’ not a ‘taker’ pays off eventually
• LISTEN and respond to what your audiences want
• Keep finding new/interesting ways of maintaining
What’s the magic formula?
• There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach
• The secret to success? Defining what success looks
like for your business and tailoring your approach
• In a world where we are bombarded with so much
content, your task is to stand out – not by being all
things to all men, but by carving a niche which is of
real value to the specific people you need to reach
• Ultimately, if you’re useful and serving a
purpose, you’ll get results
Carving a niche for yourself
• Go back to basics and define what it is that really
differentiates you/makes you unique and what your
• Create a clear and consistent brand personality and
tone of voice and use this as the basis for all digital
• Use social media as a customer insight tool to find
gaps in the market that you could be filling and get
feedback on how you can constantly strive to be
better at what you do
Factors to consider for your
• Think carefully about the regulatory/professional
framework you’re operating within
• What cultural/ social barriers/ opportunities/
sensitivities are there that you need to be aware of?
• Whether you are B2B or B2C, people buy people
• Who are your REAL audiences? You can’t just talk to
your customers online, think about wider
stakeholders, communities and consumers who
Bringing your business to life
• There will be great things happening on
a daily basis – but no-one will know
about it if you don’t tell them!
• Find the ‘gems’ and put them on display
in a tone of voice and style that feels
right for your brand
• Blogging allows you to showcase your
expertise in a ‘non-salesy’ way
• Images and video can tell a 1000 words
but need to be backed up with substance
Getting referrals and recommendations
• What others say about you holds
more weight than what you say about
yourself – and now the world can see
what they’re saying!
• Get your customers talking by giving
them an EXTRAordinary experience
• Ask for feedback and make it easy for
them to give it
• Respond to and thank them
• Provide them with ‘shareable’ content
Case study: Prashad Indian vegetarian
Top tips for recreating the customer
experience online (The 5 Cs)
1. Create a ‘communications culture’ (both listening
and talking) amongst your staff, customers and
with the outside world
2. Carve your niche
3. Remember consumer is king –
not just customer/client
4. Capture the moment with creative,
‘real time’ content
5. Care (and genuinely mean it!)
Let’s carry on the conversation
about digital comms….
@engagecomms on Twitter
The Yorkshire Mafia LinkedIn group