Monday, November 3, 2014

The Customer Experience Is Key, in Every Channel and at Every Interaction

Hard-sell advertising messages don't cut it in today's multimedia messaging universe. Instead, meet your customers where they live.

In today’s environment, where consumers are deluged with advertisements across multiple channels and mediums, they are less likely to trust branded content and more inclined to seek out individualized recommendations, tips, and insights that come from their own networks.
This should be seen as a vast opportunity for marketers and advertisers, not a hurdle.

The Customer Advocacy Opportunity

Customers are every brand’s most valuable asset and influential source of promotion. According to Nielsen,84 percent of consumers are more likely to trust word-of-mouth recommendations from their peers than branded advertising campaigns.
Every step in the customer journey presents the chance to engage with customers directly and send a simple message: your care more about their experiences versus the final sale. By encouraging trust, your customers become your brand’s strongest advertisers – capable of organically spreading your message far beyond the reach of a traditional advertising budget.
If your current ad spend is not recognizing the results you remember from past, it’s time to rethink your strategy.

1. Don’t Flood the Customer’s Feed With Marketing-Heavy Content

Your buyers consume information through a number of media outlets over days, weeks, or months before making a final decision. The wrong way to get ahead is to flood them marketing-heavy messaging.
Instead, try integrating real user reviews into email campaigns sent through your customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Relevant testimonials from true customers’ highlights your business without mimicking the obtrusive marketing emails that likely flood a prospect’s inbox.

2. Deliver Every Message One-to-One

Take the opportunity to personalize engagement at every stage in the customer lifecycle. This is crucial for online businesses, which must combat the perception that the Internet is an impersonal marketplace. Send thank-you emails after point of sale, interact with customers on social media to field support queries, and respond to customer reviews in a sincere manner.

3. Focus on Service, Not Products

Your customers are paying attention to their overall experience. By encouraging them to share their feedback, you build a rich library of end-user testimonials that can be featured in external communications as well as internally to ensure customer satisfaction expectations are met.
If a review is negative, a response from the brand emphasizes its commitment to improving its service. However, a response to a positive review, thanking the customer for his business, sets a strong example as well.

Final Thoughts

Traditional advertising and building brand loyalty go hand in hand toward the same goal. Positioning them to enhance one another will allow your company to reap true value and gain visibility. This message will not only bring in new business from word-of-mouth advertising but can also influence a prospective customer who sees your supplementary marketing efforts on another device or in another situation – and make the decision to click and learn more.

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