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What does customer experience mean to you? Is it simply another new buzzword, or is it something much more meaningful?
Marketing is passé
Earlier this year we wrote about why customer experience (CX) is transforming marketing. The gist of the post was that in a crowded marketplace and a world where customers are more in charge of curating their own experiences than ever before, CX is spearheading a marketing transformation.
Organizations and brands need to understand how to differentiate themselves and adapt customer experience into their marketing strategies or risk losing out on customers. It boils down to this: better CX means happier, returning customers.
Let’s build on that by discussing how focusing your marketing energy on the customer experience can provide big dividends for your organization. This begins with the decision to give your marketing department the ultimate responsibility for your company’s customer experience.
In fact, go ahead and rename your marketing department as the ‘CX department’. That’s how important this is.
There are many facets to the customer experience that involve various departments and other business variables, like:
• customer service
• your product being good
• your CX touchpoints (branding, etc.) being polished
• consistency across channels
So, why am I saying that it should it be left up to the marketing department to ensure your CX is the best it can be?
Making CX the marketing team’s responsibility
Making CX the marketing team’s responsibility is the first step to protecting your customers’ experience.
As technology improves and customers have more choice and wider platforms to share their experiences, it’s vital for organisations to be able to react to customer interactions, design their output and services to meet the expectations of their customers.
When the responsibility for something is uncertain, miscommunication and mistakes can be made more easily.
In the past, as pointed out above, the responsibility has often been split across various departments. This lessens the overall authority to ensure a top quality CX throughout a customer’s interaction with the organisation. Too many cooks and all that.
By giving a single area of the business responsibility, you can make sure that the right amount of resource and consistency is put into CX. The marketing department has the unique set of skills and space to monitor, analyse and improve your company’s CX.
They already handle your brand voice and the content that gets published; they oversee your social media platforms and have access to your CRM tool if they need it. So, it seems like a natural fit to add customer experience in there, too.
Several ways to focus your marketing on CX
So, once the marketing department has been given the responsibility, here are 4 ways they can focus on improving the customer experience:
• Tailor your engagements
We all should understand the importance of engagements with our target audience. But to drive these engagements, creating a personalised experience is key.
What this consists of is targeting offers based on brands or products a customer clicks on, or pages they explore. Or making them offers based on the time they spend on your site.
Provide them with information on a product they may be interested in and send them reminders for the future. When they return to your site you can remind them what they browsed or bought previously.
Tailored engagements increase conversions, enable cross-selling, and are a powerful call-to-action that incorporates location into the mix. This allows you to increase customer retention, which is the name of the game.
• Remember what your customer said
As a customer, there is nothing more frustrating than having to constantly repeat yourself when trying to get advice or when dealing with a customer service issue. But with numerous CX touchpoints available it’s not hard to see how a customer’s information could get siloed away from other touchpoints.
The transcript of a conversation between a customer and call centre employee must be repeated via instant message on the website and repeated further via email if the issue hasn’t been resolved.
Don’t be that organisation. Employing a streamlined process that gives each customer-facing employee a history and timeline of previous customer interactions will be essential to providing a good, relevant customer experience.
• Manage your social
Social media is also a crucial tool for managing the customer experience your organisation offers. It can be used as a research tool to see what your customers are saying about you, how their customer journey is executed and how the customer experience can be improved.
Members of the marketing team should be constantly monitoring your social channels for unresolved issues from customers, noting comments and responding to questions.
Your CRM tool should be automatically capturing these engagements, and your team should be responding in the relevant ways.
• Make it all about the user
When it comes to creating a valuable customer experience, the first step for your organisation should be to put the customer at the centre of everything you do. Your website should be built and designed in a way that fulfils your customers’ expectations and needs.
That means it should be easy to navigate, clear, and contain the answers to important questions regarding your product or service. And not just your website.
Your app or service must work for the benefit of the customer; user-centred design is crucial to building an ultimately positive customer experience. This should be the foundation of your entire CX strategy.
Is it important to you?
Your customer experience is vital for how your business is valued.
There’s a number of ways to understand where you lie, as a starter, carry out an audit of your current setup that allows you to see exactly where it fits in with your current approach, and when needed, where improvements can be made.