No matter what the size or nature of your business, and no matter who your target audience, you owe it to your customers to provide an easy and satisfying experience. Whether you operate in the digital space, have a physical premises or have a blended “bricks ‘n’ clicks” approach to commerce, Customer Experience (CX) needs to be a key part of your corporate strategy in 2020.
The coming year and the new decade will bring more competition and challenge than you’ve ever faced. Improving your CX strategy now will help you to build greater value in your brand and help you distance yourself from the competitors who are hot on your heels.
Here are some ways in which you can create a more comprehensive and satisfying customer experience in 2020 and beyond.
1. Make it easy for the customer to approach you on their terms
A key component of CX is ensuring that the customer needs to expend as little effort as possible on your behalf. After all, today’s consumer has never had so many demands on their time and attention. Nobody wants to come home after a hard day’s work to jump through hoops to engage with your business.
Make sure that your customers can communicate with them on your terms, however and whenever works best for you. Some ways in which you can do this include:
- Stay active on your social channels. The longer customer comments (especially complaints) go unanswered, the worse the look for your brand.
- Consider investing in a Virtual Receptionist service to handle customer queries outside of hours.
- Lots of people don’t like communicating over the phone. Consider implementing solutions that allow live chat, IMs or text messaging to engage with your brand.
- Make sure that customers always have someone or something to engage with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to get the answers they need about your business, products and services. Which brings us to...
2. Use AI to enhance the customer experience
AI is already hard at work in a number of different industries, businesses and departments with a wealth of exciting applications, including CX. One of the most obvious ways in which AI can improve the customer experience is through the use of chatbots. These can answer low-level customer service queries and direct website users to the information they need. They can also direct queries to team members during working hours and forward queries to team members outside of working hours to be addressed the next day.
AI can also be used to deliver a higher quality and more satisfying customer support online. Using AI to make personalized recommendations based on purchase or browsing data, for instance, can add real value to the customer experience. Speaking of personalization...
3. Use personalization to communicate directly with the customer
Who doesn’t love gifts? Nobody, that’s who! But a gift is more meaningful when it’s something that’s just for you. Even something as simple as personalized messaging can help customers to make a personal connection to your brand and help create a more meaningful customer experience.
Even something as simple as a personal greeting on a Homepage or automated email can make a difference. What’s more, when personalized discounts and offerings are made on meaningful days (like the customer’s birthday or the anniversary of their first purchase), it can go a long way towards making that all-important personal connection with the customer.
4. Blog and vlog to address pain points and provide practical answers
A strong CX strategy is all about delivering value to the customer and ensuring that they get more from your brand than your competitors can offer. Which is why there’s significant overlap between a CX strategy and a content marketing strategy.
Generating useful content like blog posts, tutorials, infographics and videos is a great way to establish your knowledge, expertise and authority to customers. But unless your content is attuned to their needs and interests, your content risks being perceived as self-congratulatory.
Make sure that your content addresses common pain points experienced by your customers and provides practical solutions to everyday problems. Make sure it gives viewers and readers something that’s useful for free. Everyone likes to be offered something that’s useful and free with no strings attached. It can help to build trust, faith and value in your brand, getting the customer experience off to a great start.
5. Leverage video production for powerful brand storytelling
Brand storytelling is a vital component of ensuring a satisfying customer experience and creating a personal connection with you. We love stories inherently, and we’ve been using them to make sense of our world for hundreds of years. Using narrative conventions to communicate with your audience can make for powerful and effective messaging. And video is easily the most powerful way to do this. Video production requires investment and effort, but it also brings a host of benefits...
It allows you to convey a lot of information quickly
Your customers have all kinds of brands competing for their attention. Their time is limited, their attention even more so. Video is a great medium to convey a lot of information more quickly and efficiently than long-form formats like blogging.
Is a format that’s quick and easy to digest
Video is easy to watch and assimilate, and perfect for enjoying in small bite-sized chunks. And since many of us view video content on the go using a mobile device, it’s well suited to our current online habits.
Allows you to capitalize on our inherent love of video storytelling
Do you know anyone who doesn’t love movies? Neither do we. Video storytelling is immersive and attention-grabbing, and because most of us have been consuming it from a very young age, we have an inherent understanding of its conventions, tropes and shorthand.
But you’ll need to invest in infrastructure to keep up with the demand for video
Video content is more in demand than ever. While the estimates that it would make up 80% of all online content this year were a little ambitious, there’s no denying the mass appeal of video.
And if you’re to keep up with the surge in demand for video content, you’ll need to invest in a Video Asset Management (VAM) platform. This can give you quicker and easier access to archived video assets by adding comprehensive metadata at the point of ingest. They can also make it easy and secure to access video files remotely and collaborate with freelancers and outsourced editors.
When you have the right infrastructure behind you, video can play a pivotal role in improving CX and making your brand resonate with old customers and new.