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Customer experience (CX) tends to get caught in the wave of today’s marketing jargon, but it is a critical part of brand strategy for gaining lasting customers and driving business growth. With the recent need for brands to shift their focus to digital experiences to reach customers, CX has become the key driving factor behind a customer’s decision to choose your brand over your competition. In fact, in a recent Salesforce report, 76% of customers now say it’s easier to take their business elsewhere. Feeling the pressure yet?
Here is a simple approach to understanding CX today and six ways to improve your organization’s customer experience so it’s a win-win for both you and your customers.
How CX creates connections with customers
Customer experience starts from your customers’ first impression with your brand and, ideally, continues through ongoing interactions that drive loyalty. But it’s not only how you ensure your customers are getting to the end of their customer journey, it’s also how you’re delivering business results. As marketers and business drivers, we tend to lean heavily more toward the latter by creating and serving up a CX to achieve our business goals. But it’s equally important that your brand experience is meeting customer needs.
Think of it as a relationship. Providing a superior CX is a key component in establishing a long-lasting relationship with customers that’s built on trust. As they navigate a journey toward a desired outcome, such as deciding on a purchase or finding the best solution for what they are looking to solve, CX enables you to connect your customers with the right solution.
Customer expectations and your brand’s CX
The single biggest factor that’s driving organizations to raise the bar on how they are shaping their customer experiences is customer expectations. Of the over 6,700 consumers included in the same Salesforce report, 76% of them expect your brand to understand their needs and expectations. While consumer expectations will continue to evolve, here are four top expectations of your brand:
- Connected customer journeys
- Treating every consumer as a preferred customer with personalization
- Innovations with new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI)
- Ensuring trusted data handling and protection
Takeaway: CX has become the key driving factor behind a customer’s decision to choose your brand over your competition.
Six ways to improve your customer experience
1. Start with your customers’ needs
It’s easy for brands to create content and messaging centered around their own products, but put yourself in your customers’ chair and start looking at your brand from their perspective. When they get to your website, are you solving your customers’ pain points? Do you have a focused understanding and path for solving their pain points? Have you taken into consideration how your competitors are answering these questions? Addressing your customers’ needs is key to ensuring that you’re mapping out customer journeys that drive business results.
2. Establish a baseline for your content
We’ve all heard the phrase “Content is king”. Customer experience is powered by content and the behavior data that your organization gains from customer interactions with your content. If you haven’t already, establish a baseline for your content’s performance. This will help your organization start to piece together a full 360-degree view of your customers.
A good place to start is looking at key content marketing metrics. Understanding your content’s performance will also help your organization identify what customer experience modifications you need to prioritize for better return on investment (ROI) for your content.
3. Focus on value, not volume
When making a brand decision, 66% of consumers care more about experience than price. And the more we become reliant on digital experiences, creating human connections becomes more imperative. As you shape your customer experience, focus on offering customers content that drives emotional connections through value. How you do that is through great content, not more content.
One key way to create great content is by conveying authentic empathy. Show your customers your brand understands their needs through your content. Also look for opportunities to repurpose content to level up your existing content strategy and drive positive ROI.
4. Spot the friction points across customer journeys
Who hasn’t experienced a time where it was difficult to find what you were looking for on a web site or mobile app? These types of friction points undo all your hard work by causing frustration and a negative sentiment toward your brand – especially if your competition alleviates that frustration with an easier path to their solution. Looking at your overall content strategy, identify and eliminate the points where your customers are getting snagged in your brand’s customer experience.
Common friction points:
- Forms are too complex
- The position of the main call-to-action is buried
- It’s hard to navigate to the right content
- Re-entering information multiple times
- Challenges with using various devices
5. Connect your content management engine
Creating a seamless customer experience extends into your marketing operations, content management lifecycle, and data management practices. Manual or siloed processes and systems create a multitude of internal complexities that in turn affect your customers. If you’re experiencing this, you’ll know it leads to disjointed data capturing and analysis, gaps in content and other deliverables, go-to-market bottlenecks, and disconnected experiences as your customers navigate between systems or internal teams. A centralized experience platform consolidates data while ensuring compliance and empowers your organization to deliver a consistent experience for your customers.
6. Take CX to the next level with personalization
Delivering a personalized customer experience is the key to making customers feel like they matter to your brand. Personalization allows your brand to deliver the right content, at the right time, and to the right person. Mastering personalization is a digital transformation journey from getting started with quick wins to AI-driven automated personalization. Wherever you are in this journey, the key is to get started.
To learn more about taking your CX to the next level, download the whitepaper on “Plotting Your Path to Personalization with The Digital Experience Maturity Model”.