As each new app or tech gadget appears on the horizon, keeping the customer experience (CX) fresh and relevant becomes more complex. But making and retaining customers in 2019 is not just about keeping up with the sophisticated robotics of the 21st Century. Yes, branding and selling is about knowing what and how technology can assist in the CX experience but it's also about ensuring that there's a human and emotional connection with the consumer every step of the way.
1. Defining principals
If your company has a website, you’re selling online. - infobip.com
Defining who your customer is and how to reach and keep them is fundamental to creating a successful business model. Simply put CX is: “The combined effect of the entire interaction of your customer with a product or brand.” This includes engaging with customers via these (and other) platforms: Website, mobile, social media, digital media and marketing and direct marketing. The marketing terms used to describe these (and other) touch points are ‘cross-channel’, ‘multichannel’ and ‘omnichannel’.
2. Relevance rules
So, get to know your customers. Humanise them. Humanise yourself. It’s worth it. - Kristin Smaby
To be relevant to the customer, know what CX touch points are available. These include digital, physical and phygital.
Physical merged with digital, that's where the term phygital comes from. It's a marketing and retail description, but you'll find a world of phygital art out there too...
Jainita Khatri 26 Oct 2017
Make your CX “seamless, orchestrated and perfect”. Know the potential customer omnichannel cycle, which incorporates the following:
- Website and elements on the page including live chat, newsletter sign up and sharing of marketing events such as podcasts and webinars.
- Mobile channel - app activity, digital, SMS, and WhatsApp groups.
- Pinterest – showcasing design and sharing interesting and inspiring boards.
- Social Media – these are potentially your most cost-effective sales platforms. Use them to sharing company values, showcase work, inspiration, Thought Leadership and advertise special offers.
- YouTube – another area to share created video content and “like” potential customer content.
- Digital Media – Separate from social media, this includes internet advertising, mobile ads, TV, paid search, and affiliate marketing
- Direct Marketing - email offers and responding to customers, promotions, invitations, newsletters, online magazines and brochures.
- Traditional media – radio and TV, billboards and printed magazines.
- Call centres – real-time communications, addressing complaints, surveys, updating customer profiles.
- Loyalty programmes - credit cards, competitions, loyalty tiers and loyalty points.
3. Cherry picking
CX transformation is no longer a nice-to-have, it's a necessity. - Forrester.
The business you’re in should define the scope of the CX experience. Being selective about investing in which omnichannel engagement to choose from will strengthen your brand. Start with the basics and proceed from there. As UX Mag
says, “Find the turning point” of your customer, look at when they are “sold” and where it is they become passionate about your product.
4. Journey mapping
Journey mapping ensures a brand takes the necessary UX design steps that will best engage its customers. - Ania Rodriguez
notes, “If you don't properly understand the customer journey, you probably also don't completely know the demographics and psychographics of your customers.” They have great examples as well as a downloadable template
for journey mapping. Key things to successful journey mapping include:
- Creating personified customer personas by defining the parameters of how you’re going to map the customer.
- Profiling personas and being specific about their goals.
- Listing available touchpoints (see above).
- Researching customer loyalty drivers and key “pain” points
- Knowing which elements you want the CX journey to show.
- Experiencing and testing the bespoke CX journey you’ve created.
5. Manage and measure
We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. - Jeff Bezos
Focusing on customer motivations for buying (or not buying) will offer up key insights to how to grow or pivot brand positioning if necessary. With thanks to Tera Data
for some discerning thoughts on creating content and measuring CX success after journey mapping:
- Tell your unique and engaging brand story so potential customers are intrigued and so you can get to know your audience better.
- “Enable exploration. Let people "stumble" upon your fresh brand ideas.” Show them something about your product which will change their lives for the better, which they can’t live without.
- A/B testing. “Exhaustively test. And then test more.”
- Know the competition and what they’re doing.
- Understanding “lean digital” is your friend; looking at daily updates on digital customer use, which goes towards keeping focused on the correct things (more on this below).
6. Ongoing enablement
Attention is a main asset in marketing. - Toba Beta
Keep questioning and reassessing CX data. Analysis is the key to return to (again and again) after all the baseline research, omnichannel decisions and journey mapping have been done. With the insights you’ve garnered more detailed, decisive action can be taken. The goal is to continuously: “Improve, innovate, and create” – making the CX personas and foibles as well known to you as your BFF.
7. Continuous improvement (bonus point)
I see the future of customer experience being ‘hyper-personalisation’, moving away from process standardisation and towards experience personalisation. - James Dodkins
“Hyper-personalisation” is a great buzzword for where we’re at as marketers as it implies the pace of technology and how consumer demands need to be met almost before they are made.