Providing a meaningful customer experience is no longer an added bonus for brands, it’s a necessity.
In fact, IBM’s annual Global C-Suite Study, found that 68% of C-suite executives expect organisations to emphasize customer experience (CX) over products. That means more than two-thirds of C-suite executives think that the customer experience of purchasing a product or service is often more important than the product or service itself!
CX is a big deal and will continue to be for brands. So… what can your business do to ensure the customer experience doesn’t just satisfy, but remains memorable? How can you encourage customers to come back often, spend more and engage in spreading positive word-of-mouth about your brand? Here are some of our recommendations:
Always start with the customer
When it comes to marketing strategies, the customer is the only logical place to start. Without an in depth understanding of who your customers are, you can’t create value for them or effectively communicate with them. This is why understanding your target audience and identifying your buyer personas is so important.
When you know your customer and truly understand them (how they think, what’s important to them, what problems they are facing), you can communicate with them in a meaningful way and truly make an impact.
You can utilise this understanding to keep your customer front-of-mind in everything you do. Think about how your business activity will impact them, what they will think about it and how it will make them feel. If you continuously do this one thing, everything else will fall into place.
Happy employees, happy customers
Your employees are the face of the company and the ones that interact with customers on a regular basis. It’s so, so important for your employees to understand how important their role is and how valuable they are to the company, no matter how small or mundane some of their responsibilities may seem.
Your employees are your best asset when it comes to finding inefficiencies, gaps or common complaints your customers may have. A Customer Journey Mapping Workshop is a powerful way to help your employees feel open and comfortable about identifying these issues. The journey mapping process also helps show employees how integral their role is in the customer experience.
Be authentic, be human
Customers want a great experience and they want to buy from a brand they love. You have to let your brand personality be present in everything you do, from the emails you send, to the Instagram photos you post to the way you answer the phone.
Moreover, customers love connecting with brands that have a purpose. In fact, research shows that 69% of Australian consumers want brands to be more purpose driven by advocating for causes they care about.
Knowing who you are as a company and embracing it will have a huge influence on your content marketing and customer retention strategies. So, define it up front and make sure your entire team knows what your company is all about. Your customers will love you for it.
Be personal, but not creepy
There is a fine line behind craftily personalising a retargeting ad and being super creepy. Advances in technology and access to big data have given marketers the ability to know more about their customers and leads than ever before.
We’ve all seen creepy marketing, like How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did and unfortunately, we’ve seen just downright insensitive marketing too:
Creepy marketing: My dad is in assisted living. Today, he received a Christmas basket from the local mortuary. — Kim Possible (@kimlockhartga) December 23, 2016
In this day and age, it’s important for marketers to know where to draw the line. Know how much is too much and how close is too close. It’s one of the biggest challenges marketers face.
To succeed and find the balance, you have to start with your customer and their experience. Put yourself in their shoes. Don’t be pushy, but instead create useful and relevant content that draws them in and provides them value.
So, take a step back. View the customer journey from the customer’s perspective. Take a good holistic view of your business and understand all of the ways your customers interact with it. Carefully examine all customer touch-points. Find gaps. Innovate. Work as a team to see what needs fixing, and brainstorm ideas to improve the customer experience. And remember, no matter what you do, always, always, always keep the customer front-of-mind.