“Customer experience is the new marketing.”- Steve Cannon, CEO, Mercedes-Benz
Over the last 15 years, organizations have adjusted to the reality that customers are increasingly in control. Information about products, services, pricing, and more must be readily available on yours and others' websites, mobile apps, and social media — with the expectation that customers can get to them without barriers. And when they aren't happy, they write negative reviews.
There are two ways you can look at this shift:
1. Customers are now control of your reputation, information, and messaging.
2. Listen and use this customer data to empower and control your next digital transformation.
The Truth is Out There: Customer Expectations
Customer experience trends and research show about 92% of customers read online peer reviews, such as Yelp, when shopping for a product or service, and 80% trust reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
I recently sat with an organization that serves hundreds of satisfied customers a day. Their Yelp page contained several negative reviews – representing a few dozen lost customers and likely hundreds of missed new customer acquisitions that could have been better steered with good (and updated) customer support strategies. Customer experience (or lack thereof) punched a big hole right in the bottom of the marketing funnel. This is where a digital customer experience strategy should come into play.
Control the Experience, Not the Message
When some organizations see negative reviews, they may reply or launch a campaign inviting happy customers to post positive reviews. Their hope is to drive the digital customer journey in a more favorable way and boost positivity in real-time.
This is treating the symptom.
The necessary shift organizations must accept is: customer experience now demands intentionality and investment, and using customer feedback as a source of growth. Being strategic and mindful about offering delightful, personalized experiences can massively increase your reach, customer loyalty and acquisition, and can even become a competitive differentiator.
Understand your customer needs
It all starts with understanding your users and customer needs. When collecting customer feedback to improve user experiences, you'll want to review a few things:
- Review sites like Yelp and Google
- Customer engagement and metrics across your digital channels – Do customers use your app or website once and never return? Do they have a high abandon rate?
- Questions or complaints collected from customer services channels: HelpDesks, chatbots, social media, etc.
Once you collected this data, engage with an expert digital product development and research firm. They will help collect hidden insights across your customer's journey by assessing all customer interactions across both physical and digital touchpoints, and understand how they do (or don't) connect. With this information, you'll be ready to transform your omnichannel experience management strategy.
Build a proactive experience management strategy
Once you have a good lens into your customer’s journey and all customer touchpoints, fix what is broken. This may include launching a more consistent experience across physical and digital touchpoints or enhancing specific functionality on your ecommerce site to the experience on mobile devices. With your digital product and research firm, experiment through a testing and learning approach to find and build digital interactions that create delightful customer experiences. Once you're there, you can go for the moon: launch unique, brand-able experiences that set your organization apart, while also improving customer retention and your bottom line.
So how can you improve your digital customer journey and make it a more seamless experience? By telling us your current challenges. At Highland are experts in various digital services from digital innovation strategy to design research to UX/UI design to custom software development – giving you the end to end service offering you need to build digital interfaces that achieve great digital customer experiences and customer satisfaction moving forward.
If you need help in CRM implementation and optimization across sales, marketing, and customer service, we have a second division that focuses on business management solutions whether it be a cross-channel workflow management structure across all company initiatives or increasing efficiency and effectiveness process automation strategies.