When it comes to creating a formula for a successful business strategy, the focus is very much on the journey as well as the destination. In a digital world that offers on-demand services, instant satisfaction, and near-endless competition, the customer experience is the only thing that can differentiate products and services.
Every touchpoint of a customer’s journey that includes company brands can help to make or break end-revenue performance. So much so that creating a customer experience strategy is widely perceived to be a cornerstone for growth plans.
In fact, with industry figures suggesting that a satisfied customer generates 14 times more revenue than a dissatisfied one, brands that aren’t focused on their customers whole journey stand to miss out on significant potential.
So, what does a customer experience strategy involve?
Create personal relationships with social media
The rise of social media may be a cause of some controversy for some but in the business world it offers an instant way to connect with customers on an individual level. Companies that harness its power to deliver meaningful, personalized content to its customers are able to build relationships and foster trust. Those two key elements are a cornerstone of customer loyalty.
Critically, the power of social media improves customer advocacy in a world where more than four in five customers do not trust adverts.
The alternative of reaching out to individuals and creating engagement amongst a target audience is proving to be an essential component of a good customer experience strategy.
Make the journey simple
Customers may want a more satisfying experience from their interactions with a company but they also want them to be easy, and for the most part, fast. The landscape of the world we live in today means that convenience is a must. A successful customer experience strategy should focus not only on reliability but also speed. Not just on how products and services are delivered but in the way customers access them.
Dominos has always had a great strategy for using social media and continued their innovative streak by introducing the tweet-to-order process. Regular customers can merely tweet a pizza emoji to get their regular order delivered more quickly.
Streamline the online
With most customers using a company’s website to either find information or to purchase products and services, it goes without saying that online interactions should be seamless. Websites must be fast, simple to use, and well-designed. In a world where the popularity of the desktop is waning they must also be mobile-friendly. Companies that can offer digital apps for tablets and smartphones are also seeing a return on their investments.
People who make sports bets on Stakers.com benefit from a progressive web app that boosts the speed of movements of the offered odds. Combine this with live in-play betting, it’s easy to see why online sports betting websites provide a level of customer experience that really stands out.
Improve response time of customer support
Customers contact businesses for a myriad of reasons from placing or checking on the status of orders to querying product information, making a complaint to commending a member of staff.
Customer support should deliver the same experience as the rest of a company’s customer journey; it should be simple, fast and personal.
Dutch airline KLM proved how effective this approach could be when they were able to demonstrate responsive customer support via social media in the wake of the Icelandic ash cloud in 2010. Swift and personal feedback to all its grounded customers boosted the reputation of the business, and has reportedly increased revenue by $25m as a result.
Transparency is the new visibility
The customer has always been king but in the digital age, they have fast become an all-seeing one with the internet offering them also omnipotent power. Companies can no longer hide behind their brand image alone. The trend towards transparency at a senior level is demonstrating that customers are more likely to trust (and use) a company where the CEO uses social media.
The viral video posted by the CEO of Bodyform in 2012 demonstrates the power that senior execs can have over brand exposure.
Long considered to be one of the key factors in creating lasting customer relationships, trust needs to be built into every step of the journey customers make. From digital security offered by websites for online ordering to data protection and social responsibility credentials, fostering faith in a brand at every stage is important.
Customers have never been so informed about products and services, and the companies that offer them. They are more mobile than ever before about where they take their business and only by enhancing their journey at every step of the way can companies influence their choice of final destination.