The recent Adobe 2020 Digital Marketing Trends Report has revealed that the #1 most exciting opportunity for companies this year is customer experience.
What’s more, statistics are showing that companies who implement an effective customer experience strategy could experience a 70% increase in revenue in as short a period as 36 months.
Findings such as these indicate that customer experience is one of the most valuable areas of investment. However, before you dedicate budgets to the improvement of your company’s customer experience strategy, you first need to get clear on the most impactful strategies to implement.
Otherwise, you might end up leveraging resources but not seeing results.
Fortunately, you are in the perfect place to get started formulating a superior customer experience strategy. Read on as we walk you through five essential steps to improving customer experience.
1. Clearly Define Your Target Customers
One of the first steps towards designing an effective customer experience strategy is to define your target customers.
Defining your target customer is essential for both branding and marketing. It is also a vital component of a successful customer strategy.
By defining your company’s target customers, you will be able to refine how service agents interact with customers and leads. You will also be able to adjust the tone of communications, and the type of support materials needed.
An effective way to define your target audience is to segment it. Then create customer personas. An example of a persona would be:
“Ellen, age 39, is active, has multiple gyms memberships, and is concerned with healthy aging. She and wants to take the best quality supplements for enhanced longevity. Has extensive knowledge of supplements.”
A second persona could be:
“Peter, age 27, does home workouts. He is looking for ways to increase muscle gain through supplementation. Has an entry-level knowledge of supplements.”
These types of personas can help customer service teams relate to potential customers and connect to their needs.
2. Focus on Both Customer and Employee Feedback
According to a study by Bain and Company, 80% of companies consider their customer experience to be excellent. However, only 8% of customers agree.
The take away from this is even if you think that you’re doing a good job at delivering a superior customer experience—you might not be.
This is why customer feedback is vital.
Customer feedback opportunities can be integrated at various stages through the buyer journey. Here are some examples of feedback features that can garner valuable customer feedback:
- Online surveys after checkout
- Rating functions for products
- Review capabilities
- Rating functions and surveys for support interactions
To leverage this feedback, the next step is to create action plans around common problem areas.
Another area of feedback that is often neglected, but profoundly insightful, is employee feedback. Employees who are on the ground dealing with customers and dispute resolution may have crucial information about potential roadblocks in the customer journey. They will also be able to report on the business’s ability to deliver outstanding service.
Most companies that collect employee feedback do so once a year. This is not nearly enough. To maximize the potential of employee feedback, companies should look into using tools to facilitate continuous feedback from employees.
This can be done through applications such as project management software, or even social media tools.
3. Learn From Marketing Towards Customer Service
Reports show that up to 87% of consumers conduct online research before buying a product or service.
This means that by the time they are ready to consider a purchase, they know as much as the marketing agents they might be speaking to.
Traditionally, the role of marketing agents was to outline the benefits of a company’s products or services. Before consumer research became so widespread, this was of benefit to the customer.
However, nowadays, the customer probably does not want to hear, again, why your company’s product/service is the best. Instead, if they are engaging with an agent, they most likely need to have a problem solved.
If this is the case, then the customer requires customer service and almost surely does not want to be marketed to.
For this reason, companies that want to enhance their customer strategy may do well to adjust marketing agents’ customer interactions more towards service and away from promotion.
4. Work to Reduce Customer Effort
One of the key ways to enhance the customer experience is to reduce customer effort.
Ecommerce stats show that 87% of shoppers abandon their carts if the checkout process takes too long or is overly complicated.
It is essential to optimize every aspect of both online and brick and mortar experiences to ensure that customers do not get frustrated or feel like they are wasting time.
There are a number of ways you can achieve this. For example, one of the marks of effective web forms is an autofill feature.
Besides the checkout process, another area where it’s essential to reduce customer effort is support. When a buyer needs assistance, they don’t want to jump through hoops to get it. Instead of making buyers fill out a contact form, many companies are opting for a live chat feature.
5. Establish a Seamless Experience
Lastly, if you want to increase customer engagement and elevate your customer experience strategy, you need to establish a seamless experience.
Nowadays, customers can have numerous touchpoints with brands. From social media messages to targetted advertising to organic search, newsletters, and more, you need to ensure that your leads and customers are receiving messages from you that are on-brand and consistent.
One way to do this is to invest in a good CCM solution. With the right customer communications managed software, you will be able to streamline personalized omnichannel customer communications and retain a high level of consistency.
Are You Ready to Upgrade Your Customer Experience Strategy?
Customer experience is predicted to be the top brand differentiator by the end of 2020.
Are you ready to upgrade your customer experience strategy?
If so, take a look at our customer experience automation solution. Optimizing customer experience can be complex. Automation holds the key to solving some of the typical customer experience issues. Such as data discrepancies, omnichannel communication challenges, customer experience personalization, and reliable CX metrics.
To leverage the power of automation and—nail your customer experience strategy—request a free demo. Contact us today if you have any questions.
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