HOW TO TRANSFORM THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE AND BUILD BETTER RELATIONSHIPS
With today’s fast-paced and super-competitive marketplaces, it’s vital that you make your business, service and/or product stand out from the crowd. With more access to information than ever before and customers becoming more empowered and informed, standing out, is arguably, more difficult than ever. However, don’t get disheartened, gaining trust in your brand or organization is not impossible, far from it; you just have to view the customer journey from the customer’s point of view. In this article, we discuss building blocks to transform the customer experience and create customer value and advocacy.
Of course, this all starts with having a positive and consistent positive customer experience across all the channels with which the customer interacts with your business starting with customer acquisition (e.g., website, physical locations, call centers, e-commerce sites, and social media). If your customers have a seamless experience on your website, they are more likely to return. When a buyer is faced with the choice of buying from you or your competitors, any added value you can provide will make a huge difference. And the easiest way you can make them feel comfortable and at ease on your site and with your brand is through the customer experience you provide.
Where should you begin?
Why You Must Start With the Basics
When considering the experience that a customer is going to have on your website, it’s important to take the basics into account. Today, if you don’t have a mobile responsive design, you are going to be left behind; plain and simple. Mobile usage trends are continuously on the rise with 52%+ of internet traffic globally is now coming from mobile devices. And the time spent on mobile is increasing too, with American adult mobile users spending an average of 4hours 16minutes on mobile internet per day! Mobile responsive design is no longer an option, it’s a requirement if you want to compete online.
There are more than 1.2 billion websites live on the internet as we speak all vying for the eye of users. Basic principles such as fluid site navigation and a clean, crisp design are as important as ever. You should also ensure that your website loads quickly and there are no broken links. Forgetting about these basic principles will result in your customers clicking elsewhere, so make sure to start with these action points.
The Importance of Building Emotional Connections
As we move further into the digital age, the importance of building emotional connections with your customers must be taken into account. According to the Harvard Business Review, “the most effective way to maximize customer value is to move beyond mere customer satisfaction and connect with customers at an emotional level – tapping into their fundamental motivations and fulfilling their deep, often unspoken emotional needs. Emotionally connected customers are more than twice as valuable as highly satisfied customers” and “buy more of your products and services, visit you more often, exhibit less price sensitivity, pay more attention to your communications, follow your advice, and recommend you more”. That’s great news for your business.
Building an emotional connection with your customers doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Depending on your product or service, you may choose to evoke emotion in any number of ways through your marketing and brand image. The first step is to deliver a message that will connect your offerings with an emotion your customer wants to feel. For a company that provides accounting software, this might mean appealing to the feeling of being organized, accomplished or in control. While for an outdoor adventure brand, you may concentrate on emotions such as excitement, freedom or the appreciation of natural beauty.
How you build emotional connections will depend on your marketing strategy and brand outlook. However, the importance of building these connections in this day and age is unparalleled. As with everything in marketing, you will need to not only consider the message you will provide, but also the channels you intend to use to reach your customers. And with so many different avenues to utilize, it’s critical to make the delivery as seamless as possible across your channels. This brings us nicely to our next point.
Designing and Implementing an Omni-Channel Approach
Information is being consumed across a wider variety of devices and through more channels than ever before. Desktop, mobile, in-app, tablets, smart-watches, smart TV’s, the list goes on and will only continue to grow as time goes on. As behaviors change you must develop a marketing plan that encompasses not one, but all, of these channels – an omni-channel approach. You need all of your channels to be working in unison with each other.
Before we go on, it’s important to note here, the difference between a multi-channel experience and an omni-channel experience; it all comes down to the level of integration. Basically, an omni-channel experiences will use multiple channels, but not all multi-channel experiences will qualify as omni-channel if they are not integrated in a cohesive way. The aim is to provide a seamless experience across all of your marketing, sales, and service channels; Facebook, Twitter, Website, Blog, physical, call centers, chats, etc., creating a satisfying customer experience for the user.
In order to develop an omni-channel approach, you will need to coordinate with every area of your business transform the customer experience across the organization’s value chain, from customer service to marketing to IT and any other staff who will be involved at any stage of the customer interactions. Create specific goals, ensuring your omni-channel strategy is coherent, cohesive and provides an aligned customer experience across your various platforms.
As more social platforms emerge and new technologies and data analytics are developing, this concept of a seamless approach is going to become increasingly important for the future of digital marketing.
Get Going; Transform Your Customer Experience
Ensuring your customer has a great, seamless experience not only on your website but across all of your channels is crucial for your organization’s success. Remember, put yourself in the customer’s shoes and look at the buying journey from their point of view. Start with the basics, provide the best experience you can and concentrate on building an emotional connection with your customers.
By giving your customers the best experience possible you will keep them coming back time and time again, they will recommend you to others, resulting in more traffic, more conversions and a bigger, more engaged audience than ever before.