Whether you’re a business owner, a marketing manager for some company or a customer support agent, you should have realized by now that social media continues to grow in importance when it comes to a perception of a brand or a certain product. You can invest time and money into the production of good content, create stunning high-quality visuals, prepare a killer digital advertising strategy, but if you don’t plan out ahead your overall customer experience, I gotta tell you – the results you’re gonna get won’t be satisfying.
Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, even Instagram, have amplified the ability for information to travel at instant speed, especially if it includes bad news. You might comfort yourself that even bad PR is better than none PR, but I think we’ve all went beyond that. Word of mouth is insanely powerful when it comes to the reputation of your business products and services. That’s why it’s crucial to understand that customer experience is more than customer service or quickly answered queries you receive on Facebook or Instagram. Social media and other reviews sites, such as TripAdvisor or Yelp, can help to amplify to the voice of the customer, but the overall customer experience encapsulates the entire lifecycle of your customers.
That means you can capture their interest with good content you’re going to advertise, but it’s basically throwing money in the wind if the whole experience for users and customers won’t be pleasing. 59% of customers switch brands due to a poor experience, and 40% are willing to pay for better customer experience.
Rethink Your Customer Experience Strategy
Let’s say you have an amazing new product you want to launch. You’ve already sat down with your advertising agency million times, you’ve gone through all the details about the content they’re going to create to awake the interest of your target customers, you’ve discussed the budget for digital advertising strategy, and you are ready to go. The agency does their job as you discussed: awareness of your new product is booming, and people start showing up in your store asking about this particular new product. But then – they leave without buying.
So again, you sit down with your agency and try to figure out what seems to be the problem. Is it the product itself? Does it cost too much? Are we targeting the right people? Maybe you need better content? Or more advertising budget?
All these questions are quite alright, but one seems to be missing and it is: have we done everything in our power to give customers good experience? It might surprise you how little people think that this can be a deciding point in a buyer’s journey to make that final step. But it makes sense when you think about it, doesn’t it?
You see a product online and it piques your interest so you visit the website. You read more about it, but aren’t completely sure. Then remarketing ads show up and you’re constantly being reminded of the product. After some time, you decide to pop up by their store and check it out in person. This is where things go wrong. The salesman at the store is rude to you and doesn’t know answers to your questions. Or maybe there isn’t even anyone around to help you out with the product. Either way, you feel bad and you leave. Without the product. And it’s quite possible you won’t be coming back any time soon.
Let’s look at a different situation. This time completely with online customer experience. For example, you decide to purchase an item online. You’ve read the description, you’ve paid in advance and you’re ready for webshop to let you know it’s on its way to you. But email confirmation isn’t coming so you decide to contact them. You reach out to their customer support and they assure you everything is okay because they can see the deposit you made and your item will be shipped to you shortly.
You wait and you wait, but the item isn’t coming. So you contact them again and ask about the situation. Customer support is nice, they check everything for you and they even apologize you haven’t received an email confirmation about your purchase. They explain to you that there was an issue in their system, but it’s resolved now and both your email and item you’ve bought will be on their way towards you as soon as possible.
But, once more, you receive none. For the last time, you decide to contact them and you tell them you would like to cancel your order and don’t want the item anymore. All you receive from them is the answer that your money will be back to your account by tomorrow morning. And that’s it. Now, how disappointing is that?
Poor customer experience matters because it shows you can have amazing product or service, good content to promote it, fantastic digital advertising strategy, but if your customer feels bad throughout their buyer’s journey, none of that is going to help you. The silver lining here is that when bad experiences happen, you have an opportunity to make things right. Show them that you care. That they matter. That you feel sorry they’ve had to be the ones who had to see you on your bad day. Quality customer experience is the ultimate marketing tool and it shouldn’t be neglected. Branded, personalized moments at each and every point of customer engagement are what market leaders are seeking.
Ultimate Customer Experience Strategy
Based on everything you’ve read so far, don’t you want to shower your customers with affection and give them love and support they deserve? After all, they are the ones keeping your business afloat. Here are some tips and tricks you can start using today and incorporate it into your customer experience strategy ASAP:
1. User-centered design
Us at Kontra like to provide a first-class experience for our clients because they and their needs come first. Same should be with you and your customers. To give them the best possible customer experience, you need to think what they would want, like and need. Everything, starting from your website, your social media channels, content you post, blog posts you publish etc., should be designed and created with customers in mind.
Think of it this way: if a random user ends up on your website and wants to familiarize themselves with your products, they need to be able to find them on your website at first glance. If he or she can’t find the section of your website that offers more information about your products, you are going to lose a potential lead, customer or a buyer. Just because you know where to find every single thing on your website because you’ve seen in a thousand times, that doesn’t mean your entire website is logically designed with users in mind.
2. Personalized touch
It’s incredibly important to address all inquiries and no comment or post from a customer on your social media should go unnoticed. But just bluntly answering their question won’t charm them, impress them or give them a good customer experience. Always go one step further. Sure, giving them the information they need is the key, but pay attention to your customer and go an extra mile by listening to their needs and provide them with additional information. Also, don’t be afraid to be friendly and nice in your communication. Address your customer by their first name, social media allows you that kind of tone of voice.
Let’s say you are in furniture and homeware business. Currently, you are offering a 50% discount on all wardrobe closets to anyone who subscribes to your newsletter. Still, a few customers haven’t read the terms and conditions and they think they can get a 50% discount either way. You start receiving questions on Facebook and have to explain the situation to each person. Don’t just copy and paste the same answer to everyone. Personalize your answers to each customer. Here are two examples:
- Dear John, sorry you misunderstood us. We are offering a special discount of 50% on all wardrobe closets to anyone who subscribes to our newsletter by the end of the month. Once you subscribe, you’ll receive a coupon from us which you can use on our website when purchasing a closet you like. There will be a special bar where you type in a code from the coupon and the price of the closet will automatically be lowered 50%. If you need anything else, let us know!
- Dear Jane, thank you for reaching out! This month we have a special offer for all our new newsletter subscribers. Anyone who subscribes by 30th of November will receive a coupon with 50% discount that can be used on all wardrobe closets on our website. If you’re already subscribed to our newsletter, don’t worry: we haven’t forgotten our loyal subscribers either. Just check your inbox tomorrow – we are sending something your way as well. Have a nice day!
3. Be honest and resolve complaints
So you’ve messed up. Your product isn’t working as it should be or it broke down. Maybe some of your employees messed up. Or you lost your customer’s order. It can be many things. Whatever the case, you should be honest about it, apologize and make a menace towards your customers. Don’t try to cover it up, make excuses or delegate the guilt on someone else. Use that as an opportunity to demonstrate excellent customer care and provide them with the support they’ll remember fondly. If you resolve their bad experience in a way they get a positive result, they’ll make sure to appreciate it. Be prompt and show your human side. If you go beyond their expectations and find a suitable resolution for their problem, you can turn a displeased customer into a loyal brand ambassador who will go around and tell everyone about your brand and company.