Powerful Ways to Improve Customer Experience Across Top Marketing Channels
One of the predominant marketing buzz words for 2020 is customer experience (CX). Armed with information and resources, including the internet and numerous online content, customers are savvier and more involved in the buying cycle than ever before. If you want to increase the chances of your customer making a purchase, you need to improve the customer experience across top marketing channels. Up-to-date technology, personalization, engaging content, and easy online and mobile capabilities all impact to the overall customer experience.
Why is it important for you to get customer experience right?
SocialMediaToday recently stated that customer experience is one of the most important factors that influences business growth. In fact, it’s expected to become the main brand differentiator by 2020. According to research, many businesses generating a billion dollars in yearly revenue could bring in $700 million more within three years, just by improving their customer experience.
Depending on the marketing channel, the customer experience you need to deliver
varies. In some instances, it can be an intrinsic experience based on a sensory marketing campaign. A prime example is walking into an open house and having the smell of fresh baked cookies in the air. Another is going through a fog machine or cool lightshow at a sporting event. These types of actions make an experience great.
Customer experience questions
Today, most businesses define customer experience by answering these questions:
- Do I really know my target customer? Who are they? What are their psychographics? Demographics? Buying behaviors? Pain points?
- Does my messaging resonate with the target audience I’m trying to reach?
- Can my customer easily find my business, as the answer to their problem?
- What is my customers’ perception of how my business treats them?
- Do we provide exemplary customer service?
Breaking that down on a more tactical level, some examples of customer experience questions include:
- Are you listening and responding on social media?
- Are you providing engaging content, that educates and views you as an industry thought leader?
- How difficult is it to navigate your company’s website?
- Is your website mobile friendly?
- Is your mobile app easy to use?
The customer experience through marketing is truly delivering on multiple facets, which follow a common goal of ensuring the customer is the focus and not just the sale.
Why do businesses need to be customer centric?
Businesses need to ensure that when they’re found by a potential customer, that they’re able to engage and convert that person into a customer.
This is driven by understanding your customer, their problems and how your products or services meet their resolutions. In other words, you need to effectively communicate why your company is the solution, through consistent messaging across top marketing channels. When it comes to marketing, the customer experience can dictate whether the customer is a single purchaser, repeat purchaser or a product advocate.
Therefore, businesses need to be customer centric. It’s critical to build a positive customer experience, during every stage of the customer journey—from the customer’s first experience with your brand and throughout the long-term relationship. Being customer centric must be part of your business’s values and intrenched in each employee. Why? Everyone knows that retaining a customer is substantially less costly than finding a new customer.
Why do you need a customer experience strategy?
Delivering an awesome customer experience, across top marketing channels, begins with a comprehensive customer experience strategy that aligns with your business strategy. It must include multiple elements from technology and marketing, to back office operations. Each one of these elements delivers a different experience and holds a different level of relevancy, through the customers buying journey.
No one element can dictate the strategy, but rather businesses need to know their target customers and the journey they take—from inquiry to purchase. Then, personalize their experience, across all marketing channels and through each part of the journey.
CMA predicts that in 2020, personalized marketing will become even more developed through linking data and content, while respecting a customer’s privacy. A recent Evergage trends in personalization survey report found that 98 percent of marketing professionals agree that personalization helps advance customer relationships, with 70 percent claiming that it has a “strong” or “extremely strong” impact.
Through customer experience management (CXM), you can deliver personalized experiences that result in better customer satisfaction, brand loyalty and increased revenue. Brands can execute CXM programs through a combination of research, software, analytics and data-management systems.
Powerful ways to improve the customer experience across top marketing channels
Recent social media statistics show that there are 3.5 billion social media users worldwide. This number is only growing. That equates to a little less than half (around 45 percent) of the current population. With social media offering such a huge marketing opportunity, you especially want to offer a good customer experience on this channel.
Know your ideal customer
This begins with getting to know your ideal customer. Start by asking yourself, “What does my ideal customer look like?”
Then ask yourself more specific questions such as:
- What is their age? Gender?
- What industries do they work in?
- What size business do they work for?
- What are their pain points?
- What are their behavior patterns?
- What are their motivations?
- What are their business goals?
Answering these types of questions will help you build a customer avatar, also known as a buyer persona. It’s best to gather as much detail as possible. A buyer persona is a fictional description of your ideal customer, which is based on data and research about your existing customers.
Armed with this information, you can more closely focus your efforts, choose the right social media platforms to reach your ideal customer and target social media posts that are most relevant to them. The most widely used social media platforms for business include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.
Serve content to satisfy customers
Another way to improve customer experience on your social media platforms is to differentiate and tailor content, so you are satisfying customers and their needs. The buyer persona research will help guide key messaging for the content. To appeal to more than one type of customer, offer different content forms.
Tailor content for social media platforms
Know which type of content is best for each social media platform. Once you do that, you can tailor the content and put a unique spin on your posts for each platform. Tune in to what your target customer is seeking, when they’re on each social media platform.
Practice social listening
One of the best ways to improve customer experience on social media is to practice social listening. You should always be monitoring what’s being said about your brand on your social media platforms. This includes discussions about your brand, as well as customer feedback.
Stay connected and respond quickly to comments, in a personalized way. In addition, be present and don’t leave unresolved comments, questions or tweets. By doing this, you’ll get ahead of the online chatter, especially if it’s negative.
This is one of the most challenging social media facets. Many businesses don’t have the time and resources to handle this time-consuming process. It’s critical to be well informed, on an ongoing basis, about what’s being said about your brand on social media. Especially because word of mouth marketing is so powerful! About 62 percent of consumers search online for reviews and information before purchasing a product and a whopping 90 percent believe brand recommendations from friends.
When you address an issue immediately, with a neutral comment or one that drives to resolve an issue offline, you’re improving customer experience on social media. It’s also a good way to stay engaged and build customer loyalty.
Content marketing statistics show that 64 percent of marketers want to learn how to build a better content marketing strategy.
Be the answer to your customer’s problem
With respect to improving customer experience with content marketing, you need to clearly define how your product or service is the answer to your customer’s problem. Elevate your content marketing strategy by creating content that speaks to the customer and addresses their needs.
You can accomplish this by framing content based on the three stages of the buying cycle: awareness, consideration and decision. When you frame content to match these stages of a buyer’s journey, you connect with sales activity. This also contributes to an improved customer experience because your customer will be better able to build a relationship with your brand, during the different stages.
Share helpful and entertaining content
Come up with topics that your audience enjoys and your customers will find helpful. Then, determine the type of content that will best communicate that message. Also, share content that’s easiest for your customers to absorb.
Different types of content include tips, checklists, blog posts, video content, infographics, news, webinars, case studies and white papers. Think about which ones will be most helpful in speaking to your customer. This will depend on where they are in the buying cycle and how they consume information.
Make content relatable and easy to understand
No one enjoys reading boring content that’s filled with hard to understand industry jargon. Most importantly, to improve customer experience with content marketing, your customers need to be able to relate to your content.
One way to achieve this is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about what matters most to them. Engage and inform your customers through key messaging that targets what’s most interesting and concerning to them. Also, focus on your unique selling propositions to show value. Other ways are to share interesting stories, as well as provide examples and anecdotes.
Personalization and customer experience—top trends for 2020—go hand in hand for all top marketing channels and especially for web design.
Create a customized experience
Web personalization creates a customized experience for customers, thereby improving customer experience with this channel. It allows you to give visitors unique experiences that are tailored to them based on their location, interests, behavior and other characteristics.
Deliver a pleasing design, easy navigation and latest technology
Your customers have a lot of options. They’re searching the internet and visiting websites at lightening speeds. Hence, to catch attention and increase engagement, your website must be easy to navigate, pleasing to look at and have a fast load time.
Employ technology to improve customer experience, like chatbots and Voice User Interface (VUI). VUI enables the user to employ voice input, to control computers and devices like Alexa and Echo by Amazon. Chatbots allow website visitors the option to ask questions, without the need for human interaction.
Use live chat
To meet the growing customer demands, provide a way for your customers to speak to your customer service team in real time through using live chat on your website. If a customer has a question, they’re now more likely to visit your website and try to engage with a member of your team, via live chat. Yet, research found that only 9 percent of companies use live chat on their website.
Make it mobile friendly
Mobile friendly websites improve customer experience. Mobile web browsing has hit an all-time high, with no signs of slowing down. A Google study of mobile users found that 72 percent of them said it’s important that websites are mobile-friendly, yet 96 percent have visited a site that doesn’t work well on their device. Almost three-quarters of respondents said they were more likely to revisit a mobile-friendly website.
If the website isn’t optimized for mobile use, users are five times more likely to abandon the task they are trying to complete. Seventy nine percent said that they will go back to search and try to find another website to meet their needs.
Designing mobile apps with the customer in mind is the best way to improve customer experience.
Create app user personas
When you create app user personas, pay attention to what your users are searching for in a mobile app experience. What are their pain points? Is there a problem they’re trying to solve? Through creating user app personas and intuitive mobile app design, you’ll show users that your product or service is the answer and improve customer experience.
Build apps to be easy and intuitive
Customers don’t have time for complicated. When designing mobile apps, you need to make them easy to use and intuitive. The benefits consist of increasing efficiency because communications will be simpler and quicker, in addition to an improved customer experience. If your mobile app is easy and functions well, customers will stay with your brand or whatever your app is providing.
Utilize latest design trends
User experience (UX) design is the process of creating products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users. This involves the entire design process and integrating the product, including aspects of branding, design, usability and function. The UX design also needs to be clutter free, seamless across all devices and contain content that’s easy to read.
UI design, a subset of UX design, also is significant when designing mobile apps with the customer in mind. Some UI design tips include creating a layout that fits the screen of an iOS device, utilizing elements that are designed for touch gestures, and having contrast between the font color and the background.
Customer Experience Case Study
CMA provides solutions to improve customer experience across all marketing channels. One that comes to mind is Rogers High Fidelity, a manufacturer of high-end audio amplifiers. Rogers hired the firm’s newly acquired web and mobile app division to create a suite of iPhone/iPad compatible apps for its Bluetooth-enabled line of amps. With apps becoming more prevalent and expected by consumers, smartphones are serving as the “remote control of life.”
Beginning in 2016, CMA began building an app that would accompany the product launch of the 34S-1 integrated amplifier. This provided an added benefit to customers—one that the competition was lacking.
Following the successful launch of the app, Rogers hired CMA to develop three additional apps for three new amps—the High Fidelity KWM-88 CORONA integrated amp and 65V-1 and 65V integrated amps. Each of the four apps function similarly but bring a unique set of controllable values to Rogers’ product line.
As experts with hardware and software specifications of Bluetooth 4.0 LTE, CMA used a Bluetooth hardware developer kit to mimic the software running on the amplifiers. This allowed CMA to thoroughly test and perfect the app throughout the six-month development process. Typically, app development takes a few weeks to one year to complete—depending on the complexity and functionality of the design.
Since users of Rogers’ apps would likely be accessing multiple apps while running one of Rogers’ apps, they were carefully tested for several months to ensure a seamless user experience—one that could fully support multitasking on iOS/iPadOS. The intricate UI design process ensured that the apps could scale to various screen sizes, as well as rotated in any direction.
Once the interface was complete and the Bluetooth connectivity was flawless, CMA’s engineers launched the apps and submitted the application through the app store review process.
Launching the apps created a unique selling point—tapping into what customers wanted, which gave the company a unique lead in the industry.
Topline results included:
- 4 apps launched
- 200+ app downloads
Additionally, CMA received an ASTRA Award from The New Jersey Communications Advertising and Marketing Association for the design of the iPhone/iPad controller app for the High Fidelity KWM-88 CORONA integrated amp.
There are many ways a business can drive customer experience that feeds to the bottom line. Although ultimately, it comes down to believing that being customer centric is the right way to run a business. Likewise, make it your value add for the customer and the employee.
Tactics will change, target audiences will change, and technology will change. However, people caring about how people experience their interactions positively will not. So, focusing on how others feel will always build a better customer, better person and better society.
Do you want to learn more about how to improve customer experience across top marketing channels? Contact us today, to start the conversation.