Creating a Great Customer Experience strategy – A 6-Step Strategy
Customer experience strategy.Today, in the digital marketing and sales arena, the competition is absolutely cut-throat. It is not just the big players like Amazon that offer intense competition, but also the smaller players, like smaller boutique sites offering similar products. In such a case scenario, just offering high-end products at lowest price, on the website, doesn’t really help. It doesn’t really guarantee conversions or customer loyalty. To be on top of the game requires the company to create a good customer experience. In fact a great customer experience of value.
A good customer experience is the key to success. It is what helps the brand to stand out in the crowd. Customer experience is the combined total of all interactions a customer has experienced with the business brand. This includes interactions before and after a sale. It may also include interactions pertaining to how the customer researches products on the company website, how the transactions are completed, what happens when the customer receives the product, and other interactions.
Customer experience is the key deciding factor that ascertains if the consumers will buy from the brand, and do business with the company , and become loyal customers or not.
One negative customer interaction and one bad customer experience is enough to lose business and customers, even the most loyal ones. According to the PwC survey, 17% of
U.S. consumers walk away after just one bad experience. And 59% of U.S. consumers walk away after a series of several bad experiences, even if they love the company or its product.
1: Have a Clear Understanding of Your Customers:
In order to deliver experiences that are satisfactory to the customer, it is imperative to understand the customer profile, there needs and situations.
Knowing the customer profile helps to understand the customer needs better, and thus helps to provide the customer with the best viable solutions, thereby creating a positivecustomer experience.
All customer profiles are not the same. It is necessary take note of the fact that not all of the customers experience the same situations, or have the same grievances or demands.
Hence, the first and foremost requirement is to create accurate buyer personas or customer profiles that represent a common group of people.
Demographics data like age, interests, buying behaviors, job profile, etc. may be
considered, to clearly define the characteristics of each customer persona, and make the customer personas more accurate.
Surveys to understand different types of customer profiles help to bring in more
accuracy into the customer persona. This data and an accurate customer persona is crucial to building a positive customer experience strategy, one that effectively and satisfactorily addresses the needs and demands of all of the customers. Documenting all surveys and personas, and maintaining a record that is easily accessible by every department, and that can easily be referred to when needed, is very important. One can group the personas in groups and label them, and store surveys in a shared Google folder or Dropbox.
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2: Customer Journey Mapping and its Relevance:
Mapping of the customer journey is essential. To create a positive customer experience strategy, it is important to have an overview of the customer’s interactions with the brand, documented and mapped right from start to finish. This mapping of the customer’s interaction journey helps to get an accurate picture of the customer experience at every
key point, so the company can identify the customer needs and perceptions.
Hence, creating an accurate customer journey map for each buyer persona, to outline the key milestones of their journey with the company, is an essential that cannot be ignored. The initial customer interaction, the regular communication profile, the requests and grievances, an understanding of all this helps to establish a better customer experience.
3: Competitive Insights Data and Its Relevance:
In a competitive arena it is always advantageous to know the strategies of the rivals. A competitor research survey helps to know the kind of customer experience strategy they are using and competitors are offering and delivering. This helps to reorganize and improve one’s own strategies. There are several ways to collect competitive insights data to enhance the
customer experience strategy.
Identifying where and how the competitors are getting their customers, is a good place to start doing research, to gain competitive insights. Getting a detailed look at the organic and paid clicks the competitors are getting, and an insight into the top keywords of the rival brand, is helpful. These insights, along with identifying the top search terms people are using to find the competitor brands, help to understand user intent. The backlink data provides information on the websites that are sending traffic to the competitor brands. A knowledge of these backlinks provides an option to replicate the strategy, and increase traffic to the company website, by locating the audience where they’re most likely to be, and attracting them from there. Competitor’s customer experience strategy can also be researched by exploring the various channels where customers interact with their brand. This includes the competitor’s website, social media, app (if they have one), and so on. It is good idea to understand the interaction style of the rival brand, and make a note of any errors in their strategy. It helps to analyse and see if anything can be replicated or improved and applied in the company’s own customer experience strategy.
4: Reachability and Customer Service and its Relevance:
Immediate addressing of customer queries is the key to establishing a good customer experience strategy. Prompt and good communication is a major factor that influences theoverall customer experience. Company must be available to their customers on all its channels and portals, in order to not miss valuable opportunities to attend to customer queries and interact with them.
It helps to identify the channels the customers are most active on, and ensure that the brand is reachable on all those channels. UTM parameters are the best way to obtain a clear and accurate picture of the performance of different channels. All links shared by the company on different
channels can be tagged with the unique UTM parameters, to find out the performance of those channels. Identifying the top channels the customers are active on helps to formulate a strategy to enhance customer experience on those channels. Improving service convenience on those channels and making them more accessible to the customers, improves the customer experience graph of the company. A fair understanding of the top channels, and an insight into how people are using them to communicate with the brand, helps to narrow down on the kind of improvements needed to enhance the customer experience, and also identify the other channels customers want the company to be present on. Even if the company has a live chat support on its website, people still expect chat
support through social media. At times customers expect 24/7 chat support, which is often not a viable option for most businesses. In such a case scenario, company can provide support through chatbots, during non-working hours.
Customer behavior, reviews, and engagement can be studied to identify opportunities for further improvements. Direct surveys are also a great tool to understand customer profile.
5: Improve Purchase Convenience
Another major factor influencing the overall customer experience is the purchase
experience. Various factors like the ease with which a customer can find what they are looking for, smooth navigation in the company’s website, simplicity of the process of completing the purchase, all play an important role in establishing positive customer experience. Hence, it pays to be on a constant lookout for opportunities to optimize the site or app,
to improve purchase convenience. Ensuring that it is easy for people to complete their purchases, guarantees a positive feedback from the customer.
The basic steps to improve Purchase Convenience are:
1. Optimizing the search bar and making it easy to find and use.
2. Sorting out the products into relevant and suitable categories.
3. Improving page load speed.
4. Providing secure and smooth checkout.
5. Optimizing fonts, colors, and images to improve aesthetics and draw focus on the important tabs. Inclusion of useful and smart tools, videos, or images, to guide the purchases, helps create a smooth and seamless purchase route to enhance Purchase Convenience.
6: Emotion Connect with the Customer and Its Relevance.
The customer’s feeling about the brand influences their customer experience. The emotional connect of the customer with the brand enables the customer to enjoy their interactions with the brand, and thus lead to a better overall experience. Emotionally connected customers are seen to be 52% more valuable than customers who are just satisfied. Emotionally connected customers also have a high lifetime value, and are more likely to advocate for the brand.
Hence it is imperative to establish an emotional connection with the customers, to create an effective customer experience strategy. Laying out a plan to enhance the customer’s emotional connections at every touch point, right from marketing and sales to post-sales service, is a very important factor in establishing customer experience. Improvements in the marketing aspect of the business are worth investing in, along with investments in better employee training and advocacy. Switching from bland and aggressive advertisement, to more intimate and humanized marketing tactics is a good strategy. Micro-influencers prove to be a great boost to the business. Micro-influencers are social media users who exert some authority over a collective audience, in their area of interest. The audience relates and identifies with them because their persona and appeal is like that of a regular customer. These micro-influencers have a significant and highlyengaged and emotionally connected followership. According to Influence.co, microinfluencers exhibit a much better engagement than macro-influencers. The average engagement rate could range anywhere from 2.5% to 6% for influencers, with 2000 to 100,000 followers. This rate drops gradually as the following size increases. Hence, with such a powerful influence, micro-influencers have the potential to drive relevant conversations around the brand and the products. These micro-influencers can help the company to establish strong emotional connections between the brand and the target audience. Showcasing the micro-influencer in the company’s product or services, in a way that resonates with their followers, helps establish the emotional connection. Showing the micro-influencers share their experience, using the company product, demonstrating how the product solved a problem in their life, etc. are the different ways of establishing emotional connection. A challenging step is in identifying the best influencers to work with.
These 6-steps are the basic steps involved in creating a good and positive customer experience strategy. But, like everything else, constant improvements of the strategy, based on analytics insights and customer feedback, is required. Listening to the customers, collecting feedback, and making use of opportunities to adapt the strategy, as per the changing needs of the customers, must be regularly upgraded and improvised upon.