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Customer Experience is your Strongest Marketing Tool
Originally published: August 05, 2020 10:52:31 AM, updated: November 19, 2022 12:00:00 AM
Positive customer experiences with your brand are critical to your company’s success. They increase sales and turn satisfied customers into advocates for your brand. Knowing that most consumers read online reviews before making shopping decisions, this is an opportunity for you to build trust with your prospects and encourage them to choose you over your competitors.
What Is Customer Experience?
Customer experience is the impression of your brand your target audience gains through combined interactions. It directly impacts customer conversions, as well as brand loyalty and advocacy.
Customer experience focuses on every segment of the customer buying journey. It is all about being there for your customers when and where they need you. No matter if a customer is in the awareness, desire, intention, or advocacy stage of the shopping cycle, you should focus on providing them memorable, consistent, and pleasant interactions with your brand.
Given that, it is not surprising at all that customer experience is not entirely the responsibility of your marketing team. It requires cross-departmental collaboration. To improve CX, you need to break down the silos between your marketing, sales, product development, and customer support teams. Only by creating an agile, transparent, and informed company culture will you be able to provide seamless and consistent brand experiences.
Why does Customer Experience Matter?
The internet has changed the way we do business and market to our target audiences. Today’s customers are more demanding. They are the ones having the power, not brands.
With a multitude of brand options to choose from at their fingertips, customers do not approve mediocre and uniform brand experiences. They expect brands to understand their specific needs and provide personalized moments at each touchpoint. Researchers found that most customers would give you personal data and pay more to get personalized content and offers.
Precisely because of that, we can freely say that customer experience is a new battlefield for businesses to conquer. Statistics back me up on that. The Walker study claims that user experience will overtake price and product by the end of 2020 as the most crucial brand differentiator.
How to Improve Customer Experience?
Now that you know what customer experience is and how important it is for your business, it is time to see how to improve it.
1. Provide Smooth Website Experiences
Negative experiences with your website will cause customer frustration and impact your overall brand impressions. It does not matter how amazing your product is if people cannot easily navigate their way around it. That is why your website and applications need to be user-centric and intuitive.
When improving website/app usability, never assume users know what their next move should be. You should be the one guiding them across the different stages of their buyer journey and making it clear what they need to do to achieve a specific goal.
Continuously perform usability tests to evaluate how easy it is for users to navigate through your app or website. That is how you will identify the main CX issues and fix them on the fly.
2. Ask for Customer Feedback
To improve customer experience, you first need to understand what your customers feel about your brand. That is why you need to ask for customer feedback all the time.
Remember that your customer support team is the treasure trove of customer information. Record phone calls and analyze your chatbot, email support, IM tools, and live chat to understand what problems your customers face and how effectively your teams are solving them.
Focus on measuring brand sentiment. For example, with social media monitoring tools, you can track your brand and product mentions and understand how people feel about them. VoIP phone systems can help you here, as well. Namely, top hosted VoIP services offer advanced call analytics options, allowing you to measure the customer experience score and customer sentiment.
To collect customer feedback, you could also create long form-based surveys, short in-app surveys, and Net Promoter Score surveys.
3. Personalize User Experiences at every Touchpoint
Personalization and customer experience go hand in hand. Research says that 71% of customers feel frustrated when their shopping experiences are impersonal. They are more likely to abandon a purchase and never come back to your website.
Now, there are many ways to insert personalization into your marketing strategy.
For example, keep your email marketing campaigns targeted and segmented. You could segment your email contact list by user locations, browsing experiences, interests, gender, previous purchases, stage in a sales funnel, etc. Amazon, for example, tracks each customer’s browsing history on its site and sends relevant emails based on it.
You should also individualize website experiences. For example, by tracking user interactions with your website, you will know what sections they are interested in. Therefore, instead of landing on your homepage, you could directly point them to the website page they have previously visited.
You could also customize your homepage and product pages, based on customers’ previous browsing experiences. For example, you could show “New for you” or “Products you viewed” categories on your website.
4. Improve Mobile Experiences
In the mobile-first era, customers expect the mobile browsing experience to be identical or even better than the desktop one.
That means you need to create a responsive and user-friendly website that looks and feels the same across different screen types. Most mobile customers do not want to wait more than 3 seconds for your website to load. Moreover, if your site is unresponsive on mobile or your content does not fit users’ screens, they will leave the site frustrated and never come back.
Continuously test your website speed and mobile-friendliness to deliver seamless browsing experiences across all devices.
5. Be Consistent and Transparent
To provide customers with relevant feedback, you need to overcome the silo mentality. Your marketing, sales, and customer support teams should continuously hold meetings and share information so they can create customer-centric strategies.
For example, if a marketing team is running a new brand awareness campaign, your customer service team should know everything about it. If a customer calls and a call agent cannot provide them with the right information, this may impact people’s perceptions of your brand and cause frustrations.
One of the simplest ways to centralize data is to invest in the right CRM tool. CRM software collects customer data across different platforms you use and stores it in a single, comprehensive database. That way, it makes customer information available to all teams in real-time, irrespective of their location.
Over to You
Obsessing with customer experiences helps you boost conversions, attract new customers, and retain existing ones. Above all, it inspires brand loyalty and advocacy, giving you a massive competitive advantage.
To maximize CX, you will need to improve your cross-departmental collaboration, identify key customer touchpoints, collect customer feedback, and measure brand sentiment. I hope these tips will help you!
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