CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE STRATEGY-CRUCIAL FIRST STEPS

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According to the 2015 Adobe Digital Trend Report, customer experience is the single most exciting opportunity in digital marketing this year. Adobe says it best, “We are delighted to see customer experience (CX) increasingly taking center stage as more companies realize that this is crucial not just for differentiation against competitors, but increasingly for survival in an unforgiving business world.” I couldn’t have said it better. Literally, I tried and failed and just decided to go with their quote. I digress!

A refined customer experience is not an easy thing to create. It involves multiple marketing channels, departments, and people within an organization. It also demands vigilance and cultural buy-in from every corner of a business to execute and hold one another accountable for continuous improvement. The business world is unforgiving, so let’s jump into the crucial first steps of laying out a plan for optimizing the customer experience.

1. IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN, PLAN TO FAIL

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The first step in any marketing venture is creating a cohesive plan and then executing like hell on that plan. It sounds extremely easy in theory but is supremely hard in practice. A concrete strategy allows you to look at the big picture of the customer experience, a.k.a the 10,000-foot view. Make sure you’ve included every touch point and moment that it encompasses, from ads to social media, to receipts, print collateral and emails. Every touch counts and is an opportunity to surprise, delight, and differentiate

2. CULTURE VULTURE

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A well thought out marketing strategy is one piece of the puzzle. But if the entire team, and I mean the entire team, from temps to the top are not executing and bought in on that strategy, the opportunity for it to crumble rises exponentially. Your audience’s expectations are high, and must be taken into consideration if you’re going to win at the customer experience game. They want it easy, cool, clever, and they wanted it yesterday. You definitely can’t please everyone all the time, but you’ve got to please the majority most of the time. That takes effort, accountability and a team willing to hold everyone in their company to a higher standard.

3. DON'T BE A TOOL, USE ONE

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Oh, Technology. The right tools make a hard job easier. If you want to create a seamless, impactful, personalized, and timely customer experience, utilize every marketing tool that will aid in executing your strategy and respecting your budget. According to the aforementioned Adobe study, targeting and personalization are the highest digital-related priority. Tools like Marketing Automation software make this easy to automate, optimize and track. Marketing Automation tools allow you to market more effectively in a variety of channels. They can automate repetitive tasks, segment your buyer personas and easily personalize content. You can also build customized campaigns and landing pages for all stages of the customer lifecycle.

4. MY FAVORITE GOONIE: DATA

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They might never say die, but your campaign or marketing efforts certainly must if the numbers dictate. Always track, analyze, and refine. Listen to your audience, user test, make improvements, and repeat. The people will tell you what they want and what they like, you just have to be willing to listen and take action.

Now that you’ve got a few steps to begin dialing in your customer experience, you need to make sure that you understand who you are marketing to—meet your buyer persona. According to Hubspot, “buyer personas are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers. They help you understand your customers (and prospective customers) better and make it easier for you to tailor content to the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of different groups.”

Next time on the Total BS Blog:

GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT

Buyer Personas allow you personalize and target your marketing. They help you communicate more effectively and deliver content that is relevant and meaningful to your prospect or customer. Don’t shoot in the dark, take the time to identify your buyer persona(s) and your content planning and strategy will become streamlined and headed towards greater success.