Creating meaningful customer experiences is essential, not only online but in all the ways you communicate with your audience. More than ever, it is so important to maintain good relationships with existing customers and find ways to gain the trust of new.
Alongside the rise of Amazon and other online shopping giants, a huge number of Australians are now intentionally going the opposite way and supporting local, small businesses instead. People want to shop local, they want to support small businesses. Having a partially-engaged audience is the first step, all you need to do next is guide them on the journey you want them to take. Create a meaningful yet simple experience for your users and you will see results.
Other than word-of-mouth, your marketing is usually the way most people encounter your business for the first time. This needs to be a curated experience. Make sure your branding is solid and your voice is consistent.
At a minimum, ensure your digital marketing is reflecting what you actually offer in your business and that your website is kept up to date. Special offers should be easy to access and not a barrier to purchase. If you advertise a discount code, make sure it is easy to input and that it actually works! These sorts of barriers cause friction and disrupt the customer journey.
On top of this, know your audience and where they are spending their time. If you’re thinking about advertising on a new social media platform, ask yourself some questions about why and what you’re looking to gain.
And don’t forget about return customers – often these are the people who are already following you and consuming your content. Find new ways to engage and keep them coming back. And if you offer rewards systems, again, ensure that using them is a simple process and provides actual value.
SEAMLESS TOUCH POINTS
Online, meaningful customer experiences can be as simple as ensuring your website is easy to navigate, fast, informative with seamless touch points. Touchpoints are any way a customer interacts with a business, whether it is in person or online. Technology should be there to make your customer’s lives easier. You should know what your customers want to do when they land on your site – anything they encounter should add value and drive them to make easy and fast decisions.
This should be reflected in physical touchpoints as well – calling your office, entering your store, finding your address, coming in for a meeting – all of these are touchpoints and each should be thought through and add to the experience of interacting with your business.
Using first party data (data and details which a business collects about its customers) to re-target and inform your existing customers about specials, sales or new products is a great way to create meaningful customer experiences.
BUT – this is not about just placing a customer’s name in an email and spamming them with a bunch of your products! The process is about removing any friction from their experience, this can be based on their previous interaction with your brand or website. Customers appreciate recommendations based on past purchases, they like to be rewarded with promotions and discounts for their loyalty – all of these personal touches are part of how they experience your brand. Think about your customers and what you know about them – what would they actually appreciate landing in their inbox?
Utilising a solid CRM (we use Hubspot) to implement this personalisation technique is simple for most businesses and sees significant results.
Security and privacy are getting more and more important, especially as companies are having to become more transparent about how they collect and use data. It is really important to keep in mind that customers’ privacy of data and details is essential.
These days, people think twice before entering their details (and rightly so). Most are willing to share their personal and payment details if the brand is deemed to be trustworthy…and for facilitating easier and faster purchasing and paying procedures.
While the online world has made our lives easier in so many ways but (we say it a lot in our business): humans are not robots – they are humans! And they want to be treated as such. You should be thinking about your products, your marketing, your branding from the perspective of a real-live person.
One way to build your reputation, drive sales and create meaningful customer experiences is by encouraging feedback. From quick comments on your socials to product or Google reviews – all these interactions build confidence in your brand and add to the experience of the user when making decisions about where to spend their money. Always respond to the comments or reviews and if improvements to service is required, let your customers know that real changes and improvements are being implemented.
LEAD THE WAY!
The world has changed significantly over the past few years. Our shopping behaviours (and lives in general) continue to evolve; your business needs to be adaptable. Consumers are changing, they have more choice and therefore higher expectations than ever before. CX should be central to your business strategy (read more from our Director of Customer Experience here). Make sure you are continually gathering information about your audience, if you need to change the way you speak to your people then be strategic about those updates.
All of your assets contribute to your customer’s journeys; ensure all are up to date, inline with your business goals and designed to drive your brand forward and beyond your competitors. Be the leader in your game.
Delivering meaningful customer experiences doesn’t have to be difficult – think about your people, remove obstacles, guide them where you want them to go.
Caitlin Massey // Communications Manager