Effective Customer Experience From Consumers
Personalization has become a norm rather than an exception in the modern business world. From targeted social media ads to personally addressed emails, successful brands of all sizes prioritize a customer-centric approach in promotion and strategic marketing plans.
Consumer trends continue to shift—from traditional businesses selling products/services, moving on to focus on experiences (i.e., Coca-Cola selling happiness in a bottle) and, finally, settling into the modern practice of personalized engagements. Brands need to treat each customer as an individual rather than part of a segment or group to yield the best response.
According to McKinsey’s Next in Personalization 2021 Report, 71 percent of consumers expect personalized communication, with 76 percent getting frustrated when they fail to receive it. The pandemic has spurred individuals to seek new shopping habits (i.e., alternative brands), providing insightful findings on the increasing need for personalization.
Brands need to think like a consumer to deliver the most effective CX, and it all begins with speaking a common language.
1. Apply a Conversational Tone
Modern consumers spend a great deal of time scouring the pages of social media and casual news feeds. The conversational approach has become a default mode of staying in touch, now more than ever. Current market trends show a preference for messaging as an effective way for brands to connect with their customers through an ongoing dialogue.
Based on a Zendesk report, social media brand messaging spiked by 110 percent between 2020 to 2021, highlighting the popularity of companies staying connected via a conversational approach.
2. Train Brand Reps To Offer a Human Touch
Rather than having customer service agents read from a script, marketers should train teams to take a more empathetic approach. A modern customer experience strategy sees a growing need to eliminate standard responses to consumer queries and concerns.
Teams can hone their customer-facing skills through roleplaying exercises and attending hands-on communication workshops. Modern customers respond poorly to generic/robotic solutions and services, affecting their long-term perception of a brand.
Brand reps should have the soft skills to assess a situation and provide the most human response accordingly.
3. Always Offer Options
Modern consumers seek greater freedom and empowerment in their purchasing experience. Consumers desire the power of choice, from choosing the combination of flavors for ice cream to customizing a travel vacation package.
Fixed or standard offerings may lose consumers to competitors with more flexible arrangements, even if they feature less effective products and services.
Relevance carries great significance in the modern customer approach, which also applies to communication channels. As such, a strategic marketing plan should include an omnichannel system that identifies and provides optimal customer conversations.
4. Prioritize Feedback
Direct and consistent feedback is the most effective way to establish a personalized customer experience strategy.
Modern brands should consider collecting and evaluating feedback from multiple channels, including social media platforms, website chatbots and proprietary messaging apps.
Advanced CRMs can help automate streamlined data collection while maintaining data security from an integrated platform.
Regular customer reviews and feedback provide the necessary data for brand reps to identify real-world challenges and the areas for improvement for personalized outreach. Additionally, customer feedback can help brands spot market trends (i.e., communication preferences) to achieve a proactive business strategy.
5. Provide Self-Service Whenever Possible
Modern customers seek greater autonomy in their brand experiences, as seen in the popularity of self-service offerings. Through self-service, customers can receive relevant solutions at their own pace. As a result, brands can maintain customer expectations resulting in improved buying behaviors and increased profits.
According to contact center research company ContactBabel, consumers ranked fast answers as a priority in successful customer services. Self-service technology gives customers control over their quest for answers and information, improving overall experiences.
6. Constantly Revise Services
A customer experience strategy is a dynamic process that requires careful attention. Brands should re-evaluate their offerings regularly to ensure that they remain relevant and effective in response to consumer trends, market movements and other factors.
By referring to customer feedback/reviews from multiple sources and keeping a personalized approach, brands can consistently improve relations with their most valuable customers to drive buying behaviors.
7. Leverage AI Technology
Advanced AI technology and machine learning provide brands with real-time insights into customer preferences to help drive highly dynamic experiences. Specifically, the complex algorithms in AI solutions, such as automated chatbots, enable businesses to analyze a large volume of accurate customer data without delay.
Some advanced chatbots built on NLP (natural language processing) technology provide quick and relevant responses that exceed customer expectations by offering human-like support and assistance around the clock.
8. Create a Familiar Setting
Customers respond more positively when an online business offers products and services in a familiar interface. Market research firm, CSA Research, discovered that 76 percent of online consumers prefer to purchase products with the information provided in their native language.
Additionally, 40 percent of consumers will avoid websites that lack information conveyed in their native language.
Marketers should prioritize a geolocation tool in their campaigns, especially when planning an international outreach, creating a familiar environment (i.e., service support systems in native languages or displaying prices in local currency) that encourages buying behaviors.
9. Focus on Video Content
Video marketing is a leading customer outreach method for most brands, with visual campaigns leaving some of the most lasting impressions on customers. As such, many companies turn to video as a top choice for strategic marketing initiatives.
According to a survey by Hubspot, 54 percent of consumers choose video as the top type of content they wish to see from supported brands.
10. Measure Success
While brands may aim to understand consumer needs and implement the most effective personalization strategies, there is a need to prove the success of a positive customer experience.
As such, marketers need to consult various metrics in estimating customer satisfaction levels. Some of the most common tests include the net promoter score (NPS) that gauges customer loyalty and Voice of Customer (VoC), an insightful assessment of customer expectations and the overall sentiments toward a product or service.