5 Steps to Great Customer Experiences
Have you recently checked out your company’s web presence and thought to yourself that it was in dire need of an update? But then maybe you started imagining the pain of pushing new data there, and resigned at the mountain of work ahead. Or maybe your mind turned to even more pressing problems with the site - maybe it doesn’t render correctly on mobile, or no updates get pushed into social media. In the end, you were overwhelmed by the number of problems, and filed them under “it’s just a virtual world anyway”. Instead, you started looking into issues with the new production line, the latest catalogue, or not reaching your sales target in last quarter. Unfortunately, a continually optimized virtual presence will be the keystone of creating great customer experiences. Your physical aspects obviously still count, but your virtual presence should take centre stage.
We don’t blame you if you haven’t fully realized the severity of this fact: even though your web presence might not be that old, the so called virtual world is changing rapidly. We have good news for the ones among you that like constants, though: through all these transformations and changes, content is still king. The boundary between the virtual and real world might be getting blurrier every day, but the content that you deliver to your potential customers is still the core and most important asset of the message you are sending. And its importance doesn’t dwindle with the channel, be it your site, social or email.
Another factor that will remain relevant in the ever changing field of virtual worlds is time. This is a commodity that is constantly increasing its price and is valued higher and higher by people every day. They don’t want to spend their time reading about your product or service in a three pages, sugar coated document. They want raw facts! And they want them now! And while they want facts only, they also want to be seeing something visually pleasing, and most importantly, it should be relevant to their interests. This is the template for your new presentation. This is the demanding customer who wants everything, all the time, everywhere.
A few years ago, a potential client might have asked about the product or the service in the physical shop that was offering it, but now, they’ll pick up their mobile phone and search for the product sheet and reviews themselves. And they want the results returned by the search engine to count. They don’t have time to waste on irrelevancies - after all, time’s the most expensive commodity they have. That is the constraint set for both your desktop and mobile presence - clear, to the point and delivered quickly, while they are still thinking about your product rather than about that offered by competition.
And if they get unhappy? They will complain, and more often than not, they will use social media to let everyone know that they are unhappy. But rather than being scared of such feedback, isn’t it an excellent opportunity to engage in dialogue with them? They are not indifferent to your product, they already tried it, found it lacking, and now they give you free advice on how to make them happy. They made the first step and opened up to you. Just listen to their feedback, treat them well and you will multiply this goodwill in convincing many more that you and your company are worth of their business. Isn’t that every salesman’s and marketer’s dream?
So there you have it - the key ingredients for successfully drawing people in and getting them interested in the customer experience you have designed for them. Here’s a step-by-step manual:
Step 1: You need topical and valuable content. This can be anything, from a services infographic to a company blog or an interesting Pinterest profile - as long as it gets visitors interested.
Step 2: All content needs to work on your mobile presence, fast and to the point. Ideally, it’s also easy to share.
Step 3: Make use of search optimization and analytical data to drive more people to your site and to segment those coming, so that they’re targeted with relevant content.
Step 4: Engage with your current and potential clients on social media, for open questions, promotions as well as for showing others that you care.
Step 5: Find a system that performs those steps for you in one place. Newsflash: you probably won’t find it. Because maybe your production department invested in a new IT system recently and they don’t want to change it. Or marketing just implemented a new analytical tool that collects data from all channels. Or maybe you simply don’t want to handle all your business in one tool.
That means that you need a system that connects your content and your data sources with all available media and channels into something that is pleasant and easy to use - a system that unifies all tools and streams to generate that customer experience you want to achieve. I’ll talk more about a potentially great fit in my next post. As a little preview, let me google that for you: “Intuitive, user and developer friendly Content Management System that integrates with enterprise systems and works on mobile and manages social media”