2 Ways Digital Channels Can Improve the Customer Experience

Heather Anderson, executive editor, Credit Union Times

B2B publications face more competitors than ever in the information marketplace. At CU Times, we don’t just compete with other B2B titles, we also compete for our customers’ limited time with aggregate news sites, blogs by high-profile industry figures, trade associations that consider themselves to be news organizations, consultants and specialty information sites.

At the same time, much has been written about the challenges of delivering content that engages the audience using digital platforms. Conventional wisdom says engagement is severely diminished when communicating digitally.

That doesn’t have to be the case.

You can improve engagement and provide a better customer experience because of your digital channels.

How? Here are two examples:

  1. A richer community experience.

Digital channels allow us to strengthen our relationship with the industry’s community by engaging our customers in new ways. Don’t just report a new hire, congratulate the executive and his or her new employer on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Often, customers share or retweet our posts, expanding our reach and further establishing our brand as the voice of the industry served. Try also sharing videos reposted by your customers, sharing best practices in advertising, marketing and business development. This not only provides your customers with new ideas, it expands the posting customer’s reach; a win-win for everyone. This past Fall, we organized, promoted and produced a bracket-style contest in which customers voted on the most influential industry leaders in the last 25 years. The contest supported CU Times’ 25th anniversary celebration. It was very well received by our customers who enjoyed placing votes that supported current colleagues and honored those who have retired or passed away. The positive nature of the contest supported the idea of a community, and not just an industry.

  1. Multimedia-enriched news

Particularly in the B2B market, customers don’t just want news; they want information that can help them do a better job running their shops. Digital channels help us make that happen. Look outside your industry, identify and reach out to potential partners. Last year, we partnered with an enterprise risk management firm to produce an audit survival guide to help our customers comply with new cybersecurity regulations and guidance. The downloadable PDF combined detailed compliance instructions with “real life” examples of credit unions that have succeed and failed at cybersecurity compliance, pulled from CU Times news coverage. We even included some of our editorial cartoons on the topic. This year, we will explore sending reporters onsite to cover breaking news – not an easy task when you cover the banking industry. Imagine live coverage of a financial institution being seized by federal regulators, or a tour of a facility recently destroyed by a natural disaster, with a focus on insurance coverage dos and don’ts. Multimedia coverage brings these events to life in a way print news could never imagine.

In the past few years, it’s become increasingly popular for businesses to use digital communication channels to maintain a relationship between brands and customers. What are some other ways you’re using digital platforms to engage your audiences?

Heather Anderson