Imagine being the house that trick-or-treaters avoid because they don’t have the “good candy.” With an abundance of options, trick-or-treaters want the houses that will give them the king-sized chocolate bar, not the free toothbrush.
The same applies to your customer experiences, only instead of candy, it’s what the business will offer them in terms of their digital experiences and services. Almost all customers, 96%, say customer service is important in their choice of loyalty to a brand, which is a major opportunity companies may not be fully pursuing. If a customer becomes disengaged or disgruntled at your offerings, they are likely to “ghost” your brand — whether that means changing their mind on a purchase in their cart or knocking on a competitor’s door.
Today, there are so many brands that have pioneered user-friendly, connected digital customer experiences. Because of this, other companies now can build on that innovation, exceed these “new standards,” and create extraordinary customer experiences that not only drive acquisition, but engagement and loyalty. Long gone are the days when companies only needed to prioritize customer acquisition; it is now imperative for organizations to enhance the entire customer lifecycle — from acquisition to engagement, to retention.
So, let’s make your company the most popular house on the block. Here's how to avoid digging your company into the bad CX grave:
Limit the Creep Factor
An important part of digital customer journey management is personalization — recognizing the customer and when, where and how to communicate with them. However, demonstrating an understanding of and empathy for your customer should not leave them feeling exposed.
Take, for example, instances where big box retailers begin promoting baby formula and diapers for women at the very start of their pregnancies, before they have a chance to share the news with friends and family. It’s important for brand messages to be personalized, but if messages in new channels include overly intimate or invasive content, customers can be scared away or uncomfortable. Customer journey orchestration tools can help brands personalize digital brand experiences without overwhelming the consumer and while maintaining responsible data practices.
To personalize a digital journey effectively, brands must first analyze their first-party customer data to see what specific outliers in the customer journey need the most attention. Looking into both internal voice of the process (VoP) and external voice of the consumer (VoC) data helps brands decipher exactly where the customer journey can be adjusted to better suit the customer’s unique needs and avoid alienating them. The practice of journey customization does not mean oversharing; part of understanding the customer is knowing what information will be most helpful and interesting to them.
Customer-centricity is about enabling the customer to do what they want, when they want and how they want. This has been a critical part of providing excellent experiences. To enable greater customer autonomy, brands have shifted their strategies related to data privacy and trust. More and more companies are looking to give customers greater control over their data and preference over what data is shared and utilized to provide experiences. We’ll continue to see this level of data preference management and control take greater hold as companies look to build more trust while creating personalized experiences.
Related Article: Are You Ghosting Your Customers?
Avoid Jump Scares
With more digital touchpoints to encourage customers to take action, it’s important to leverage tools that track users across channels to synchronize the perfect timing. Brand messaging should be proactive and convenient but not too quick. In order to prevent jump scares, brands need to fully comprehend their customer base, to know when and where the customer wants to be contacted.
To do so, it’s important to realize customer channel preferences and adapt the journey accordingly to make it as convenient and helpful as possible for the customer. With customer journey analytics, brands can make data-driven decisions to make the most impactful engagement based on channel and content preference. As we see companies leverage deep analytics and apply intelligence to help keep customers engaged and to understand the relationship each customer has to their brand. In turn, that insight allows brands to create smarter notifications that meet customers where they are and when they want them. This will ultimately help companies elicit more engagement from customers and generate greater brand loyalty.
Some of the best horror films center around a terrifying phone call — but that is not the experience you want your customers to have. To avoid leading customers into a customer service nightmare, brands should arm their call center employees with this insight on preference and history. As a result, customers will see faster issue resolution speed and a more satisfying, empathetic experience with customer service. In turn, this leads to fewer call-backs and more cases that can be managed in a shorter timeframe.
Related Article: What Is a Call Center? A Detailed Guide
Don’t Be a Zombie
Go beyond business and marketing formulas to think of the experience on a human-to-human level; marketers are humans too and should pull from their own expectations for a branded experience. Providing your customers with only a formulated, zombie-like customer experience will never bolster the customer journey. The more personalized, white-glove service moments you can provide, the better the experience.
One specific marketing formula will not fit every customer, and tactics should continually evolve. Being mindful of current customer experience trends and consumer preferences should be a priority, as this is in a constant state of change. A superior customer experience that beats out the competition will constantly be evolving and changing due to consumer preferences.
Now, brands will need to start to invest more in highly intelligent, intuitive and more effective conversational AI solutions. This technology will ultimately better emulate the human experience, striking a creative balance of personalized consumer predilection with a mix of automation.
Customers want dynamic, respectful brand experiences that seem human. By creating personalized and authentic digital customer journeys, brands can boost engagement and dispel customer ghosting with a poof!