Thanks to the devices the majority of us carry in our pockets, there are more avenues to divert our attention to than ever before, each fighting to be noticed.
For marketers, that’s a challenge: in such a crowded marketplace, where customers want to be in charge of curating their own experiences, how do you stand out?
In this post, we’ll explore why CX is spearheading marketing transformation and why – and how you should adapt your marketing strategy to the customer experience.
The art of online body language
We all understand what is ‘good’ customer experience, on the surface—something an employee does that exceeds your expectations in terms of satisfaction, efficiency or demands. It could be something as simple as a friendly cashier in a retail store who helps you find what you’re looking for, or someone who proactively points out how you could save money by choosing a certain deal.
In the ‘real world’, these positive customer experiences can come down to a willingness to help, open body language and positive expression. But how can you express that online? (And no, the answer is not ‘emojis’).
CX is how customers perceive their online interactions with your company. The difference being instead of a smile over a cash register, it’s an instant-message customer support chat at the bottom of a webpage, or a direct mention on social media saying, “thanks for stopping by, did you find what you were looking for?”
It’s these kinds of gestures or features that go ‘above and beyond’ our standard customer expectations that form the foundation of CX.
This becomes more difficult as the mediums for customer interaction continue to increase. A customer may have a great experience with you over the phone, but if their friend is getting lost on your website, or having trouble paying a transaction online, then they might have opposing views of your customer experience. The problem is, the latter is more likely to share their interaction with others.
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Mastering a consistent customer experience therefore means focusing on your CX ‘touchpoints’—the various avenues for customer interaction with your brand.
What are your touchpoints?
We believe there are three digital CX touchpoints that offer you the best method of interaction with your customers, and therefore are the three your company should focus their marketing efforts on. They are your blog, website and social media account(s). Let’s look at each in some more detail, how they’re connected and what you can do to master them.
1. Your blog
Great CX hinges on the way customers view your company. And the best way to help them ‘get to know you’—the services you provide, products you sell, your company culture, etc.—is through your blog. It’s something you have full control over that can drive traffic to your website, engage your customers and build relationships.
To do so, it needs to be consistently updated with new and relevant content. And this content should revolve around the customer, not the business: it should reference their biggest problems, concerns or needs to pique their interest, before including advice on how to solve them.
An informative, regularly-updated blog is perhaps your strongest CX touchpoint—showcasing your expertise while connecting with your audience to create a strong and continued customer experience.
2. Your social media presence
With just over 2.5 billion social media users across the globe today and almost 3 billion estimated for 2020, the odds that potential customers are out there waiting to discover you on social media are pretty high. Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are therefore all very active CX touchpoints.
Social platforms offer a great opportunity to present your business in a more approachable manner. They provide a layer of transparency: letting you hear what your customers are saying and offer advice or assistance in a more informal, conversational way.
And with greater transparency, you can expect an improved level of trust between your business and your customers. Creating a social media strategy is therefore a big step towards mastering your CX.
3. Your website
Your website is the online home for your business, and when you have visitors over you want to make sure everything’s in pristine condition to make them feel comfortable. Functionality such as a responsive, mobile-friendly design allows users to access your site on any device, helping the consistency of your brand message.
Visible customer support options like instant-message chat or email/phone contacts let visitors know they can get help if needed. You will also want to avoid anything that might drive customers away, like slow loading times or lengthy online forms. If your audience feels familiar and ‘at home’ on your website, their experience will naturally be a positive one.
Create brand consistency
If there’s one thing to remember, it’s that you must tackle the customer experience from the perspective of the customer, not the business. Your customers care more about their needs and resolving their pain points than your business’ best accolades or how many collective years’ experience your employees have. Your touchpoints and the content you create should constantly reflect that.
Once you’ve established your CX touchpoints, the next thing is entwining them. Create some brand cohesion by promoting your latest blog across your respective channels consistently. It may seem small, but for those viewing you and your business for the very first time, it’s your chance to create a good first impression.
And what does this all equate to? Like any positive customer experience, the goal is to maximise the customer’s satisfaction. In turn, this can create firmer, long-lasting relationships, loyalty and repeat custom, and give your company a competitive advantage.