You can purchase a carton of milk in pretty much any corner shop in your neighbourhood, or a large-scale shopping centre on the outskirts of the city where you go for those major grocery hauls. In pretty much the same way, you can purchase the same pair of shoes in a number of different stores in town – but you’ll always choose the one where you’re treated with respect and care. The journey from entering the store, looking through the shelves to find the milk (or the cookies, or the shoes), and swiping your credit card at the register is the same, with one crucial difference – the experience.
If you’re greeted by an unfriendly clerk, an unhelpful employee, a mess of a shelf where you cannot find the price for your favourite brand of chocolate, your experience is bound to be ruined. Naturally, you never want to repeat it. No matter how flashy the store’s ads might be or how impressive their website, you’ll rather drive the extra few miles to avoid the discomfort and feel like a valued customer.
The same rings true for any digital or brick-and-mortar relationship your own business builds with its customers. That experience is by far the best tool in your toolbox to attract more customers and boost customer retention rates. Here’s how you can leverage that experience and grow your business.
Automation saves the day
Marketing automation is far from a new concept, but in addition to helping companies manage their workload more efficiently, it also helps with improving customer experience. For example, tools that help automate analytics on your website and collect data that is crucial for understanding your customers’ behaviour can become the most vital element for boosting their experience in the future.
Then again, automated chatbots help reduce the workload for your support team, while automating your email campaigns saves time and allows you to personalize your emails without any hassle. All of that, together, works to provide a superior experience any customer will have when interacting with your brand.
Be available across all channels
Your presence doesn’t end or begin with your website. In fact, customers today want and prefer to interact with businesses via different channels, from dedicated business apps, social media apps, all the way to your customer support teams directly. In fact, the latter has become the main strategy to revive that human element in brand-customer interactions, so more businesses are now setting up dedicated phone lines for increasing availability and customer support.
Companies are often setting up VoIP-based systems such as Nextiva to enable their remote teams to provide ongoing customer support even when they’re out of the office. This is particularly handy in the current situation due to the pandemic, and it helps companies stay on top of their customer support requirements without any issues.
Ask for and publish customer reviews
In online interactions, many businesses never really know how their customers feel during and after the purchase. Asking them directly through well-crafted surveys will not just provide you with invaluable feedback to boost your business, but it can also be a source of reviews to publish on your site, with their approval, of course. Customer reviews have become the go-to factor for choosing a trustworthy brand for customers – they’ll trust reviews as much as they trust direct referrals, and they’ll seek out reviews before they actually make a purchase at all.
- Pick the right moment to ask for a review: send a freebie with their order and a note asking for a review on your site.
- Send them an email confirming their purchase and asking for their feedback.
- When they call your business, use that opportunity to ask for a review.
- Leverage your social media pages for reviews, too.
Customer-centric website experience
Marketers love numbers, and your customer service experts have access to bounds of data on how your customers perceive your brand online and offline. Phone conversations, email exchanges, social media interactions, all the way to heat maps on your site and other website analytics can all help you refine your website’s look and feel.
For example, does your live chat feature on your site work as well as you originally planned? Do you have clear CTAs sprinkled throughout your site? Have you trained each agent to communicate your brand message clearly and consistently? Is your site mobile-friendly and easy to navigate no matter the device they’re using? All of these and many other questions can make or break your customer journey.
You know you have a superb product or service on your hands. Your customers agree. However, while some people will naturally tell their friends and family about their splendid experience with your business, others might not share something that’s seemingly so trivial in their eyes. For them, it’s passing on a link or telling people about their last purchase, while for you, it’s measurable success, greater brand visibility, and success. So, here are a few ways to nudge your customers with the right incentives:
- Offer personalized discount codes for sharing a link on social media.
- Send a freebie with their original order and ask for sharing your brand.
- Set up a contest on social media to engage, and at the same time, incentivize referrals.
- Create time-limited offers to refer your brand to others before their subscription ends.
- Offer free shipping for their next purchase in exchange for a referral.
Among many marketing tactics you utilize on a regular basis, customer experience should become the focal point of everything that you do. After all, you exist to solve a problem your audience has, or to entertain them, and simply make them happy. Make their journey a memorable one, and they’ll not just be eager to come back for more, but they’ll be happy to recommend your business to their loved ones, spread the word, and above all, grow your brand awareness and visibility across the board.