Ever wondered why Apple, on principle – whether creative or otherwise – releases variants of its new models? Take, for instance, the case of iPhone 11, which was recently released worldwide with three main variants, namely: iPhone 11, iPhone Pro, and iPhone Pro Max. Three possible reasons come to mind:
- One, being the most obvious: It offers the buyers more variety in terms of the features, pricing, aesthetics, etc.
- Two, it empowers the company to put “customized innovation” at the forefront of its marketing efforts. Three, and most importantly, it allows customers to feel that the “power to choose” is in their hands.
That’s the beauty of going the extra mile and enhancing your customer experience with a brand.
The point we’re driving at is this: If you wish to kick start “real conversations” and “intuitive interactions” with your customer that center around success, productivity, and a positive brand image, you need to get into the customer’s mindset.
If you’re still not convinced, let’s look at what the numbers say:
- Embracing a customer experience mindset can drive up revenue by 4-8% higher compared to the rest of your competitors.
- By 2020, a large share of purchasing decisions will be made using “customer experience” as the primary indicator and not price.
- Companies that prioritize customer experience outperform competitors by a staggering 80%.
- Data by American Express suggests that 60% of customers will pay more for a better experience.
Needless to say, integrating customer experience strategies into your marketing plan can prove to be your smartest move yet.
At this point, you’re probably wondering how to consider customer experience as the ultimate marketing tool and ensure that it becomes the prime revenue driver. Let’s look at the top six ways you can take in a logical manner.
1. Consider Buyer Persona as the Doorway to Your Customer’s Mind
Selling to a customer without understanding who they are is like serving food at a 3-Star Michelin Restaurant without having tasted the food beforehand.
This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but you’ll be surprised to know that a majority of brands today don’t invest in understanding their customers – a huge mistake if you ask me.
Some key questions you can ask while researching include:
- Who are your customers?
- What do they want? What do they don’t want?
- What are their aspirations? What do their needs entail?
- What are their biggest pain points?
Here’s a sample buyer persona profile by the website development company, Iron Springs Design that effectively ties the brand’s offerings with its ‘ideal user’s lifestyle:
Key Takeaway: Exploring your buyer’s persona is no longer an option; it is mandatory if you wish to strike a chord with the customer. Plus, remember to map out ultimate touchpoints such as the user’s personality, psychographic factors, etc. in as much detail as possible to create a foolproof marketing plan. If you get stuck, just imagine this scenario: “A day in the life of my ideal customer” and take it forward from there.
2. Welcome Users in Style with a Laser-Sharp Onboarding Plan
Brand onboarding is much like going on a first date or a blind date. Ask too many questions or make too many requests, and you risk losing the ‘relationship.’ On the other hand, setting the ‘right expectations’ can turn out to be a game-changer. But how can you do so in a non-authoritative and friendly manner? Here are some initiatives you can undertake:
- Making on-site changes like creating user-friendly navigation and extending a better User Interface like the one by Etsy, as shown below.
- Offering video tutorial support to customers who are confused or lost as the Cloud accounting platform, Xero demonstrates below:
- Creating mobile pop-ups or emails for non-active users to send reminders about platform onboarding (website/app). The example from Netflix shown below demonstrates an onboarding email reminding the user about purchasing the subscription as the trial period is about to end:
Key Takeaway: To kick start your CX strategy and marketing plan, laser-sharp user onboarding strategies are of paramount importance. There are literally hundreds of onboarding best practices you can apply to your marketing strategy/ So make sure to brainstorm with your team and understand the primary requirements of your long-term business goals such as introducing product/service to users, welcoming new users, sharing customer experiences, etc.
3. Personalized Support for a Rewarding Customer Experience
Repeat after me: Speed, convenience, and accuracy can transform new customers into raving fans. Add to the mix, personalized support, and you’ve got a winning combination at hand.
Case in point: Cobrowsing technology literally allows customers and the company to be on the ‘same page.’
Apart from this, the Cobrowsing offers a host of other advantages such as:
- Interacting with customer screens online and in real-time.
- Assisting customers using simple and innovative features such as ‘screen-sharing’ for a secure and interactive experience.
- Handling customer queries on the fly and in a collaborative manner.
- Improving conversions by assisting leads through advanced means such as audio/video calls.
- Tracking agent performance and setting better standards for customer support.
Key Takeaway: For an “all-in-one” customer engagement experience that is swift and smart, personalized support can become your organization’s best friend.
4. Let AI Be the Eyes, Ears, and Voice of the Company
Simply put, AI can transform the way your brand collects and utilizes data to become data- and insight-rich. This, in turn, ensures that your day-to-day interactions with customers are self-service oriented, 24/7, pleasant, convenient, and error-free.
Let’s look at some of its other advantages:
- Allows for more personalized and interactive customer experience. Take, for example, the image shown below where National Geographic uses a chatbot on Facebook messenger to raise awareness of its series “Genius”.
- Empowers the company to send AI-powered abandoned cart email. For example, ASOS brand is sending AI-powered email whenever the user didn’t get through the checkout process and left the site in midway. As you can see from the below image, they also add a clear CTA (Call To Action) button, additional features and most importantly, the product image with description which reminds the user to make one more visit to the website.
- Helps brands connect with customers in real-time and offer sweet deals at strategic times of the day. Starbucks is a brilliant example as the company uses real-time data, user preferences, personalized games, etc. to engage with users and drive undeterred loyalty across various platforms such as mobile, email, among others.
In fact, the brand today has the capability to send over 400,000 variants of hyper-personalized messages and engage in 1:1 personalized marketing with customers and by extension, enjoy unthinkable profits. You do the math.
Plus, the mobile app informs users about nearby stores and educates them about the payment options available such as the Mobile Order & Pay option:
Key Takeaway: If there’s one thing you can take away from this blog, let it be this: For added convenience and greater user interaction, use an AI-enabled chatbot and send customized offers and messages to your customers.
5. Customer Appreciation & Recognition is Key
When it comes to appreciating your customers for their loyalty and undivided attention, a brand should never fall short of words (pun intended).
Perhaps the best part is that there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach that companies need to take. From customized ‘Thank You’ emails and heartfelt, hand-written notes to engaging ‘Thank You’ videos and fun giveaways, there’s plenty of room to experiment and surprise your customers.
That said, make sure that the gesture is memorable, sincere, meaningful, and implementable.
Let’s look at some examples that will get your Marketing team members thinking:
- Below you can see Frank Body’s bold letter which comes with their body scrub. Notice the creatively-worded content as it brilliantly encourages the customer to view their social media pages and offers simple “how-to” steps on the best way to use the product. As you can guess, this small heartfelt gesture stays in the customer’s mind long after they’ve used the products:
- A customized “Thank You” emails series focusing on customer appreciation by Avon:
- Crafting light-hearted hand-written notes such as the one shown below by the brand Casper adds a warm and personal touch to the customer experience:
Key Takeaway: In the case of gratitude-based marketing, there’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way of thanking your customers. The idea is to give thanks in the most creative, human, and surprising way possible so that your customers feel loved, special and appreciated for being a part of your brand’s journey.
6. Analyze Effectiveness with CX Measurement Methods
The importance of measuring your brand’s CX efforts cannot be stated enough. Whether you engage in quantitative analysis using NPS, surveys, etc. or try qualitative methods such as conducting interviews and researching into buyer behavior, brand perception, etc., it is essential to create a CX metrics program which offers the following benefits:
- Helps the brand keep track of progress and predict future needs and outcomes.
- Provides a ‘complete, in-depth’ scenario of a customer’s actual experience with a brand.
- Sets a benchmark for marketing and advertising initiatives allows them to focus on a specific benefit/pain point to lure customers in.
To that end, let’s look at some real-life examples of brands using CX metrics to their advantage:
- Airbnb sends out a survey asking customers to share their experience, as shown below:
- Slack doesn’t slack off and takes CX metrics to the ‘next level’ by dedicating a command within its application which allows users to voice their preferences/concerns. The result? Slack based its product development solely on the user’s inputs to deliver a world-class customer experience.
Key Takeaway: Using data-driven CX metrics like CSAT, NPS, CES, etc. can actually help brands to identify the probability of repeat purchases and referrals, and then take proactive measures to address any issues at hand.
“Each year, businesses lose around $75 billion in revenue because of poor customer experience.” – Forbes
If you’re looking to push the bar higher with your customer experience strategies, you need to:
- Encourage a better collaboration between the creative, content, marketing, and web teams.
- Integrate your customer experience efforts into your overall marketing plan using these handy tips at your disposal.
Try these strategies with real-life applications and see the gap between a happy and irate customer vanish completely.
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