Catering to the needs of the customer has become a defining feature in this new era of marketing when consumers have more power than ever in their relationship with brands.
In today’s digital world, the consumer has more power than ever before. People now have access to a wide range of tech tools (such as apps that allow for instant product delivery and real-time support chat bots that can answer questions) that allow them to get what they want, when they want it. However, now that we live in an “on-demand” culture, consumers have come to expect an extremely high-quality customer experience.
Your business can create the most elaborate, impressive product in the world, or offer a service that people really need, but if your potential customers don’t enjoy or find it easy to interact with your company, there’s a good chance that they will not return.
What Is Customer Experience?
Customer experience seems pretty straightforward, but it’s actually more all-encompassing than most marketers might realize. Their experience is not just the experience a consumer has when purchasing from your company, or when directly interacting with a representative of your business, but the experience a person has when they encounter your brand across all channels — from watching your mobile video ads to surfing your social media pages to browsing your website and more.Hence Customer Experience is shaped by the feeling’s customers have and the perceptions they build about your brand.
Unlock the Insights Hidden in Your Customer Data:
Increasing competition from traditional and online providers increases the need to grow customer loyalty and profitability. Companies have responded by adopting a relentless focus on customer analytics, searching for insights that will help direct improvements in Customer Experience (CX).
Businesses are Still at the Start of the Customer Experience Journey:
Most organizations are just starting to use the tools, processes and techniques required to facilitate a real-time, personalized customer experience at scale. Despite the acknowledgement of its importance, this has not yet manifested in development of the necessary capabilities, as organizations struggle to get to grips with what is required for success.
Part of the reason behind organizations struggling with their customer experience efforts is their inability to manage or maximize their data. However, this is with most companies collecting data from only a handful of first-party data sources. There is a clear gap in resources that organizations must address if they wish to enhance their ability to deliver seamless experiences.
What Is Customer Experience Optimization, and Why Is It Important?
Because customer experience shapes buyers’ perception of your brand and influences purchasing decisions and loyalty, optimizing the customer experience can ensure higher revenue and better brand ambassadors.
Companies who want to reap the benefits of customer experience optimization can take advantage of marketing technologies and data analytics to offer better, more personalized interactions, as well as stronger, more reliable relationships.
With many options, consumers don’t stick with companies that deliver a bad customer experience. It’s easier than ever to find another source for nearly every product or service. Yet, the flip side is consumers will become repeat customers if a company provides a great customer experience. With each interaction that delivers this level of service, the loyalty increases.
How Can You Best Optimize Your Customer Experience?
If you want to sustain a competitive edge in the digital age, optimizing your customer experience is a must. The following strategies can help you ensure that every customer interaction is fine-tuned to build stronger, more personalized interactions and relationships.
To drive the most results from customer experience optimization, there are a few best practices that you should familiarize yourself with.
Take a look at these 8 keys to optimization and learn how you can utilize them to create the best customer experience:
1.Make Sure Your Company’s Online Presence Is Optimized for Any Device:
There’s no denying it — the age of mobile is here. This means that you need to ensure your company’s online presence is responsive and optimized for a variety of different devices. Consumers should be able to access your website or e-commerce store from anywhere, and it should not only look good when they do, but be easy to use. Updating your sites so that they work in the mobile digital era, and also offering a variety of ways to access your brand (an omni-channel brand experience), is a good first step to ensuring your customers enjoy their experience.
2.Know What Motivates Your Customers:
It’s critical to know what motivates your customers to engage with your brand at any particular touch point. Whether they’re a first-time visitor or a returning customer, you must gain an understanding of their habits and behaviors in order to move the needle on the overall experience.
With each interaction, your customers are giving you data that can be analyzed and used to improve their experience. Leveraging this data can help you create a more relevant and personalized experience for each individual customer.
Essentially, customers want three things:
- To be recognized and remembered
- To be given choices
- Moments of delight
Use customer-journey mapping to discover how different consumers choose to interact with your brand. And listen to them through surveys (solicited feedback), on social media (unsolicited feedback) and employee comments to understand their attitudes, behaviors and triggers. Then start small and reduce friction in one area of your business that can make the most impact.
3.A Personalized Customer Experience is the Future of Marketing:
For companies looking to offer deliver a relevant customer experience, it must be highly personalized and tailored to fit the intended customer. True personalization is the key to increasing brand loyalty and retention, as modern customers demand connected digital experiences across all channels. Modern businesses looking to set themselves apart should focus more on being customer centric, and offer tailored messages and interactions to meet the rising demand of consumers.
Based on their previous interactions and engagements, companies can create complex customer profiles that can facilitate future content, interactions, offers, engagements and recommendations to create a personalized journey for every customer. The goal is to create a human touch – one that connects with the customer on a deeper level.
4.Start Using Data Analytics:
If you want to understand what is working for consumers and what isn’t, you need to look at the cold, hard numbers. One great tool for analyzing your customers’ data is data analytics software, which can crunch a huge amount of raw data and give you insights that are actionable and intelligible. According to a survey by Forbes Insights, more than 25 percent of executives across the globe saw significant improvements in their ability to deliver an outstanding customer experience once they started using data analytics.
5.Take Advantage of Predictive Marketing:
Using data analytics is helpful for creating outstanding customer experiences, but you can take it one step further to make your interactions even more effective by using predictive analytics. Predictive marketing can use both marketing and customer behavior data to detect patterns; it can then help you to contact customers both how and when they prefer to be contacted. Predictive marketing will also help you predict the outcomes of your marketing efforts before they happen, and tweak as necessary.
6.Gather Customer Feedback:
Software is helpful for understanding what customers think. But the best way to figure out whether your customer experience is working or not is to go straight to the source: the customers themselves. Begin gathering customer feedback in real time with post-interaction surveys, calls or emails. You may not get answers from every customer who does business with you, but the ones who you do gather will help you make changes based on what customers liked or didn’t.
7.Don’t Forget Your Employees:
The digital stuff is really important for a customer experience optimization process — but so are the people involved. Your employees should be trained in customer service, so that every time a customer interacts with someone from your team, they experience not only an outstanding level of customer service, but also one that is consistent. Also, ensure that your employees are trained for email and phone communication, too — not just in-person interactions.
8.The Work of Optimizing Never Ends:
Possibly the most important part of customer experience optimization is to keep doing it. It’s not a one-and-done kind of effort. In order to not only improve the customer experience, but also use it to directly drive results, optimization needs to be a constant effort. Whether it’s by updating product recommendations, dynamic content, or special offers to align with what you’re seeing in customer data, the ongoing application of adjustments and improvements can make a big difference.
When brand loyalty is at stake, customer experience is the first thing to look to. In fact, 73 percent of customers say they are more likely to expand their purchases if they’ve had a superior customer experience. Prioritizing customer experience optimization will give you the boost your business needs and nurture the strong connection customers are looking for.
It’s not enough to have the best products or the best marketers anymore. Customers are looking to make connections with their brands. They want to feel like they’re cared for and that they got more than just a good deal. They’re looking for the full experience, and you can take a few steps to optimize customer experience at your company in the next year. When you optimize customer experience, you add revenue, decrease costs and inspire loyalty that keeps customers coming back.
Although many businesses acknowledge the importance of customer experience optimization and its impact on business processes & outcomes, it is still yet to be widely implemented on a wider scale across the organization. However, as technology gets more advanced and competition increases in coming times, we’re sure to see companies investing in customer experience Management to set themselves apart from their competition.
“Assess the requirements, Explore the opportunities and Implement the changes and Succeed – Sky is the limit”.
If, you are a newbie and have some questions- ask me in the comments…
If, you’re an expert- share your secrets with me in the comments…