You’ve probably heard the tales about gold mining in California back in 1849. Boy was that hard work. You had to stand in a river all day panning. Some people even had to use spoons because that’s all they had available. You’d stand there, hunched over the water all day, for as long as you could, hoping that one scoop would bring you a few ounces of shiny, beautiful gold. What a task!
Lucky for you, then, that you are sitting right on top of a gold mine, and you don’t have to do much except to actually notice its presence. Now that’s a good deal, right?
What could we possibly be talking about? Why, the questions you receive from your customers, of course!
The fact is that in this era where “content is king,” answering customer questions is one of the most powerful, most efficient ways to accomplish two goals. First, it can help you hone your customer service skills, and second, it can actually provide great fodder for your content marketing strategies. How does this work? Let’s talk about five different ways you can use questions you receive to help your company create great content.
1. Web pages: If you get the same question over and over again, it makes sense to create a page on your website dedicated exclusively to content that answers that very question. There are quite a few benefits to taking this approach. First, chances are good that the content you will create will naturally be chock-full of SEO rich keywords (you can assure this by working on the page with SEO experts). Second, you can improve your customer service because customers who ask the question now can be referred directly to an informative page. This means they don’t have to stay on the phone with you waiting for an answer, and they can get the exact information they need quickly and easily. Third, if you build the new page the right way, you can naturally entice visitors to go to other relevant pages of your website, too. You’ve created the portal – now they can be guided to specific doors (like an “RFQ” page, for example).
2. E-Newsletters: There are a lot of ways that customer questions can be used to strengthen an e-newsletter. Most obviously, answering common questions can represent the main source of your e-newsletter content. However, there are also ways to use customer questions to build a more engaged audience for your e-newsletters. For example, invite your readers to submit questions with the promise that one “lucky” reader wil have his or her question answered in the next e-newsletter. This will keep people reading, and it will also help show that you are interested in helping your customers solve problems that are plaguing them.
3. Blog Posts: Just as is the case with e-newsletters, customer questions can also provide great fodder for blog posts. Blogger Marcus Sheridan (aka the Sales Lion) is a huge proponent of this tactic. His company, which sells fiberglass pools, built a tremendous amount of content simply by answering the most common questions they received about their products. Marcus, by the way, not only became a thought leader in his industry, but he has also become a thought leader when it comes to inbound marketing.
4. Video: Video is extremely popular right now – it’s a great way to put a face and a voice to your company. Answering a few questions via video every week not only puts your customers in the spotlight (“Hey, look, my name was mentioned on YouTube!”) but it also helps frame you as a thought leader in your industry. Videos are great ways to add rich content to your website, and links from YouTube videos back to your site can also help your SEO “link juice.”
5. Facebook Page Content: Facebook can really incorporate all of the approaches we’ve mentioned already. Videos and blog posts can be posted to your page with ease. Someone asking one of your common questions can be referred to that page of your website. But again, customer questions can also be used to increase the engagement you have with your “fans.” Encourage the people who like your page to ask you questions. Maybe have a “question of the week” contest so that people are more encouraged to send you questions. Spotlighting fans on Facebook is a great way to build a relationship with your customers.
Do you receive a lot of customer questions? Do they tend to be the same types of questions every time? If so, you might want to consider one of these strategies. If you need any assistance, just let us know!
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/valeriebb/3006348550/ via Creative Commons