Customers are no longer loyal to a brand for its own sake. Hailed by Marketing Land as the “age of disloyalty”, it is more important than ever for marketers to recognise the inherent value of customer experience.
Whether it’s attracting new customers, focusing on retention or influencing others, customer experience should be at the heart of strategy.
Here are our 7 ways to do just that;
1. Get inside the customer’s mind
Acknowledging the multi-directional customer journey, and reading the data from engagement at different stages of this journey, is vital to understanding where you are succeeding and where you need more work when it comes to customer experience.
Quoting Wizard of Ads author Roy H. Williams, dotmailer argues ‘the first step in exceeding your customer’s expectations is to know those expectations.’
2. Test your ideas
Once you have an initial understanding of your customers’ expectations, a great next step is to test your ideas.
For business2community.com, this is an important tool for matching expectations with reality. They suggest ‘going beyond simple A/B testing and actually asking customers whether your messages resonate with them’.
By asking for such detailed indicators of performance, it is possible to move beyond an ‘either/or’ attitude to idea selection and create a nuanced strategy that can deliver the desired result.
3. Know your competition
business2community.com also suggests that knowing your competition is an important step to ensuring your customer experience stands out from the crowd.
They argue; ‘you may not want to admit it, but your competition must be doing something right’. By going through their processes as a consumer, it is easier to build a coherent picture of what works for them – and areas where you could steal the upper ground.
4. Think strategically when it comes to content
For EContent Magazine, content marketing is the cornerstone of customer experience – but it has to be engaged strategically.
Highlighting that ‘successful marketers have gone beyond the notion of “content” as marketing in and of itself’, it is argued that beginning with audience needs and delivering value are two good guidelines for content creation.
EContent points to the “Customer 2020” report which predicts that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. They suggest therefore that ’in that case, we need to look at content’s role in creating these differentiating experiences.’
5. Build loyalty through touch points
For Marketing Land, the ‘age of disloyalty’ is upon us. Thanks to a preference for the speed and efficiency that aggregator services like Uber, Amazon and OpenTable can bring, brand loyalty is difficult to build in a meaningful way.
One way to combat this problem is to capitalise on touch points. By ensuring that your content is available at a variety of touch points, Marketing Land argues brands can remain more visible in the land of aggregators and ensure the customer experience is a holistic one.
6. Know your differentiator
With such a noisy environment, knowing your differentiator (and ensuring the customer knows it too!) is an important way to drive positive experiences.
The Drum recently argued ‘customers need a differentiator, a reason to buy in and keep coming back.’ For The Drum, ‘that differentiator is brand experience’, and it is through focusing on the customer experience that brands can operate at their most competitive.
7. Own it
business2community.com claims that ’86% of marketers say they will own the end-to-end customer experience by 2020, meaning that they will become responsible for the entire customer journey.’
With speed, efficiency and cross-channel accessibility among the most important factors for good customer experience, owning the customer experience from end to end gives brands the opportunity to optimise their strategy at every stage.
Marketing Tech News argues that while not all brands are there yet,‘the implementation of tools and research into customers and their buying habits is vital’ to ensuring future success.