Each of your customers is unique, and each has different expectations and needs when it comes to experiencing your brand. Here’s how you can offer every one of them a unique digital experience.
“Customer experience” is a term that practically everyone in the business world is using, but is frustratingly difficult to define. Some might think of a seamless smartphone interface when asked to explain what a positive customer experience is, for instance — others might focus on the customer service side of a brick and mortar retail space.
But the fact of the matter is that defining customer experience by a singular interface ignores a fundamental truth about today’s omnichannel market. A customer’s experience isn’t just defined by how much they like your store, or how easily they can access your website. Rather, it’s a grand total of all their interactions with your brand, whether they’re visiting you in person, on your website, or via social media, or reviewing their invoice, or chatting with a customer service representative. As HBR contributor Adam Richardson points out, customer experience isn’t just a snapshot in time: it describes the entire arc of that customer’s engagement.
That being said, digital media is constantly giving us new ways of understanding and engaging with customers, raising their standards for experiences of your brand every day. Even if you already have the in-person experience down to a science, without the proper digital tools, customers will come away feeling that they haven’t received the best possible service. Here are a few suggestions from Lithium Technologies VP Dayle Hall that can help your company deliver the kind of high-quality digital experience your customers are looking for:
One of the first things Hall notes in his article is that simply listening to what your customers say isn’t enough — it’s only by engaging in social listening that brands can set themselves apart from the competition. When customers take to social media to voice their feelings or ask a question, writing back goes a long way towards making customers feel like they’re really being heard, even if it’s just to say “thanks!”
If you’re really looking to curate an impactful online experience, it’s critical that you do the proactive work of creating a conversation with your consumers rather than passively waiting for them to interact with you.
Remember, though, that a monologue is not a conversation. Just posting articles or writing tweets won’t do you any good if there’s no one on the other end who wants to respond to them. This is where the listening can help you: if you’ve been paying attention to the kinds of content your customers want to see, it’ll be much easier for you to encourage debate, prompt questions, and provide them with valuable, personalized insights.
In a seemingly-endless digital sphere, consumers are constantly deluged with new content. That means they’re much harder to surprise and delight, as Hall puts it. In order to create a positive experience, you’ll first have to create a memorable one. Before engaging in any digital action with consumers, Hall recommends asking yourself “will this digital moment make a customer smile?” The key, as with most marketing, is generally to stick to your guns: curate a unique voice and perspective for your brand, and if it’s original and endearing, everything else should follow.
In a perfect world, you’d never have to turn the tide of consumer opinion — in the real world, it’s critical to have a backup plan in case your PR strategy goes awry. The amazing thing about the internet is that you can respond in real-time to consumers, so the minute things get hairy, your first line of defense will always be the digital sphere. Always be ready to turn a not-so-great news story into a positive customer experience.
Of course, when you’re looking to conquer the digital space, it’s helpful to have a high-tech digital solution in place. For the best results, AI-powered marketing platforms like Albert™ create powerful digital experiences by hyper-targeting user segments and catering content based on their specific needs and behavior. By leveraging the use of autonomous digital tools with the ability to detect trends and insights that are all but invisible to the human eye, you can much more efficiently and seamlessly create a positive customer experience, even in today’s crowded media landscape.
Learn more about AI and the Customer Experience in our recent white paper here.