The ultimate guide to improve customer experience strategy
Customer experience. You don’t need to set foot near a marketing agency to hear the words drifting ominously outwards. And, let’s face it, there is a perfectly good reason that the notion of customers often sends shivers down the spine. People usually go into business because they’ve got a great idea that they want to sell, not because they want to start ‘meaningful relationships’ with distant audiences, or to become ‘social media buddies’ with strangers.
However, the reality is that customer experience is changing the entire philosophy of the business universe. Ideas such as “continuous engagement” are now recognized as being crucial to successful organizational development. Innovation, integrated communication, brand experience, and 360-degree value are all characteristics of companies that make the A-list.
So is it possible to achieve? Absolutely. Here’s our ultimate guide!
Stop imitating and start innovating
Innovation. It’s a golden word. It’s the key, we are all told, to success. And there is a definite truth to that: without innovation, there would have been no Bakelite, and without that, no computers, and without those… well. The world would look very different indeed.
However, ‘innovation’ can sometimes seem like an unachievable goal. After all, we can’t all be the next inventor of the iPod.
Instead, studies show that successful innovation is more of an organizational philosophy than anything else. Innovative organisations have a culture of creativity, experimentation, and commitment to always putting the audience first. The mindset of ‘this is what I’m going to give the customer’ is becoming increasingly obsolete, replaced by the much more agile and powerful ‘what does the customer really want?’
Start with that basic question, and begin breathing fresh air into your brand.
Infuse the experience with the brand
In a fragmented world where consumers exist in a kaleidoscope of information, it can be easy for brand identity to disintegrate. Audiences expect cohesion from their brands, but with the struggle for visibility over different platforms an ever-present problem, this can be hard to achieve.
Turning to visibility experts can help, and these are now better than ever. For example, SMR Digital provides an organic approach to search marketing. These days, that includes a dizzying array of marketing needs, such as Link Outreach, SEO, PPC, social media marketing. As the Forbes Agency Council recently noted, these trends are constantly evolving, and have a dramatic impact on customer relationships. They are something to be taken seriously.
Prioritize quality support
Studies suggest that many start-ups think that quality support is less important than other aspects of an organization, such as marketing or engineering. However, this is a grave mistake. All of the evidence shows that customer service can be a make-or-break factor. Make sure that you don’t end up on the annual viral lists of customer service fails.
Be relentless about talking to customers
Everyone knows that there is a delicate balance between bombarding customers and completely ignoring them. Overdo it, and it’s all too easy for followers to hit ‘unsubscribe’. Under-do it, and you consign yourselves to the shadowy history of memory. The Chartered Institute of Marketing says that there is no one-size-fits-all rule. Instead, you need to listen to your customer base and align your marketing communication in tune with their tempo.
Create an experience around the business model
Gone are the days when a good idea automatically translated into steady revenue. Customers these days are things to treasure, something that the customers themselves are increasingly aware of. If you want to forge that lasting relationship, you’re unlikely to succeed on the basis of a great product and a basic marketing plan. Instead, your brand needs to exist in the 3D zone of the fully immersive experience.
Creating a brand experience takes both time and thought, according to innovation and creative manager Yasushi Kusume. This means that it has to be integrated into the business model as a whole. When you start recognizing that you will never be able to separate your brand from your customer’s experience of it, he argues, you are on your way to establishing a continuous engagement with your audience.
Perfect customer service is something that we are still learning about. Until recently, the “sell and forget” model worked perfectly well. These days, the idea is something that provokes a nostalgic chuckle. However, by following the simple steps that enable you to place the customer at the heart of your entire process, great engagement is achievable.