2016’s Digital Marketing report by Adobe and Econsultancy looked at the biggest growth opportunities for the coming year and identified Customer Experience as the area with the biggest potential.
While many businesses are still struggling with getting the most out of the trend for personalization and the potential for both content marketing and mobile marketing are still at a high, getting started with yet another focus area seems scary.
But what is Customer Experience Marketing? How does a Customer Experience Strategy look like and how do you manage customer experiences?
Customer experience is defined by interactions between a customer and an organization or brand throughout their business relationship. Interactions are i.e. becoming aware of a brand, cultivation, purchasing, advocacy, and any kind of service connected to the business relationship. Customer Experience Management is a part of Customer Relationship Management, which is often shared between marketing and customer success departments. However, Customer Experience Management directly impacts the Customer Lifetime Value and has hence become increasingly important for organizations’ overall marketing strategy.
Managing customer experience is at least as important as providing great customer service. However, it’s significantly harder to manage. Why? Because many customer experiences happen outside of the organization’s control. For example, a customer might first hear about the organization through word of mouth. The organization is not part of an active dialogue here.
Customer Relationship Management software and platforms offer great ways to track a customer’s journey and the touchpoints he or she has with a brand after an initial interaction that creates the contact in the database (i.e. signing up for a newsletter, downloading a whitepaper, buying a product). CRM software doesn’t just help gather data that can be used to predict customer behaviour and tailor marketing, but also enables sales to be more proactive when it comes to converting contacts. CRM software is usually also the perfect tool to create, test, and send email marketing campaigns while the biggest providers let you build almost any kind of campaign - including social media and adwords marketing campaigns.
How do you manage the overall customer experience after a customer has run through your entire marketing and sales cycle? This part of Customer Experience Management is far more tricky, but can be just as rewarding as delivering top-notch marketing campaigns.
The Net Promoter Score© is your safest bet. This type of transactional survey allows you to identify pain points in the customer journey. Making pain points visible will enable you to determine which touch points need work to improve retention and customer experience. Good Net Promoter Score© software should go beyond just measuring and acting on customer feedback. It should give you a solid idea of your audience, their potential audience and how promoters and demoters influence your overall revenue. Read more about the Net Promoter Score© in our post here.
It’s great that you’re reading this article on Customer Experience Management. Studies show that most companies aren’t aware of how much work their user journeys could use and how unsatisfied their customers are with their experience. Most companies put much more effort into finding and winning new customers, instead of retaining existing customers or improving their journeys. This is a typical revenue dilemma, as this can lead to major losses connected to the Customer Lifetime Value (read more here).
For most organizations, there is a gap between how they view their customer experience and how customers perceive it. This is why every organization needs a Customer Experience Strategy.
What’s your vision when it comes to communicating with customers and the way you want them to experience your product or service? Do you want it to be easy, fun, or maybe challenging?
It’s important that you define a set of values and communicate these to everyone in your organization.
The values can then drive behaviour within your organization: how customers are treated, what developments are prioritized, and what language is used for external communication.
Who are your customers? What drives them? How do they behave and why do they buy from you? You should have a clear vision of your customer personas not just to target marketing activity, but also for your customer support staff to understand who they’re dealing with in order to take the right actions. Creating customer personas is an important step to becoming truly customer centric and the more customer centric you are, the higher the likelihood that you’re managing customer experiences the right way.
As with any kind of experience, it becomes significantly better when there’s an emotional connection. Loyal customers are emotionally attached to a brand or organization, so in order to get more loyal customers, you’ll need to focus on creating an emotional bond.
A business model that is optimized for emotional connection outperforms competitors by 85% in sales growth. This is one of the reasons why influencer and micro-influencer marketing have become so popular - marketing messages are transported via the personal brands of people and the emotional connections they have with their audiences.
Research shows that emotionally engaged customers also are a lot more likely to recommend a product, three times more likely to re-purchase from the same organization, and less price-sensitive. The ideal customer, don’t you think?
Measuring customer experience is difficult. The Net Promoter Score© is pretty much the only well-tested approach to tracking customer experiences. Because of its popularity, it’s the only benchmark available to evaluate your performance towards competitors.
While the Net Promoter Score’s’ one-question survey approach may sound simple, it’s actually a great way to get started on measuring and managing customer experiences. Plus, it’s super simple to set-up.
If you’re not measuring the Net Promoter Score yet, head over here to get started today.
May 7, 2018, Nicole Michaelis