2017: The Year of the Customer

Published on 25th Jan 2017 in Marketing

2017 is set to be an eventful year for the marketing world.

We’ve already established that the new year will mean lots of changes within the realms of communication. Let’s take a look at how the customer experience may evolve over the coming months.

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When eConsultancy conducted their Digital Marketing Trends survey, they asked companies to state the single most exciting opportunity in 2016. As this eConsultancy chart shows, customer experience pulled into the lead position amongst marketer’ priorities. Have you done everything possible to improve the customer experience delivered by your brand?

What do we mean by ‘the customer experience’?

The customer experience is the sum of every interaction the customer has with your brand and it takes account of every touchpoint.

This used to be a fairly linear process: for example, a customer would see an ad and pick up the phone to order the product. Now we live in an era of online research, social media and multiple devices, opening up many more routes to purchase. Mobile phones are now used for research and even purchasing high ticket items, while social media apps (like Facebook and Twitter) allow consumers to interact directly with the brand.

The logical impact of these many permutations on the customer experience is fragmentation. Instead of creating campaigns for a limited number of defined customer journeys, marketers must now create ways to serve up appropriate content at each of the many potential touchpoints. If they fail to do so, they risk losing business to their competitors. One in three smartphone users has purchased from a company or brand other than the one they intended simply because that brand or company provided information in the moment they needed it.

The risks of a bad customer experience

A bad customer experience leaves the consumer frustrated and prone to want to share their views, which they can easily do via several very visible channels. They can post scathing comments on review sites, contact you directly on social media, and even create viral videos broadcasting their poor experience to the world.

It’s not only new or prospective customers that can be put off by a bad experience. According to Accenture, 66% of existing customers will switch companies if they are not satisfied with the service they receive. Given that it is much cheaper to retain an existing customer than acquire a new one, marketers should be aware of the need to continue delivering a first class experience to all customers: prospective, new or established.

Future-proofing your brand’s customer experience

There are three things to consider when developing your customer experience:

-Customer-centric mindset. Amazon is the world’s leader in this regard, with every touchpoint designed to be as user-friendly as possible. From lightning-fast responses and customer service enquiries, to no-quibble returns and one-click ordering, it’s easy to be a customer at Amazon. What can your brand do to emulate Amazon’s success?

-Data intelligence. In the era of ‘big data’, more information about your customers is available than ever before. By utilising this data correctly, you can gain actionable insights that can be used to target your marketing much more effectively.

-Personalisation. Customers increasingly expect a personalised experience, from the basic (e.g. using their first name in marketing materials) to the sophisticated, such as showing them tailored content on your website.

These are all key to addressing the needs of each unique customer who interacts with your brand.

The customer experience: connecting the dots

As every marketer worth their salt knows, what can’t be measured can’t be managed. A comprehensive tool for tracking the results of each of your campaigns (both online and offline) is essential. For example, if someone clicks on your PPC ad but makes a phone call instead of continuing through to the online enquiry form, you need to know that these two actions – phone call and PPC ad – are linked. Similarly, you need to know if your print and billboard ads resulted in phone calls and if so, how these actions tie in to other touchpoints on the customer journey, such as online research.

Infinity’s Caller Insight App for Salesforce is a key tool in measuring and managing the customer experience. It has revolutionised the way that organisations deal with inbound calls by delivering real-time insight to operators, enabling them to see what the caller has been looking at before picking up the phone. So, if the caller ran a Google search for a particular keyword, landed on one of your PPC ads and clicked through to a page on your website before calling, your call handler can use this insight to skilfully convert and even upsell the customer.

Let Infinity help you improve your customer experience. Get in touch today.

Marketing Assistant

Katie Leask
Marketing Assistant

Marketing assistant who loves cake, rooftops, cocktails, Europe and going to bed early. Outside of work, I'll be photographing something, avoiding the gym or ordering Chinese.

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