In the Age of the Customer, nothing is more sacred than clients. Customers are the primary source of success and reward; at the same time they are - or should be - the ultimate reason why you do business.
Customer experience management, thus, become critical to engage them and win their unconditional love. And here are the 10 commandments to improve this two-ways connection, starting with their satisfaction and ending with your competitive advantage.
After discussing the 7 deadly sins of a bad customer experience, with the commandments we keep on exploring the ‘religious’ side of digital marketing. Far from wanting to hurt believers’ feeling, we rather wish to emphasize the critical role of people in that process - mostly guided by disruptive technologies - that will decide who wins and loses the race to customer’s attention in overcrowded markets.
While we stress the importance of this customer-centric era, too many companies still think that technology, product and brand identity make the real core of business. But technology is just a tool, not the final mean; a well designed product is worthless, if nobody will buy it; and brand identity is nothing but the result of what people say, narrate and share about it (on social media, for instance).
If markets shift into conversations, all brands transform into - whether they like it or not - publishers, and it becomes easy to lose the grip on communications interrupted by constant ground noise. Customers receive way too many messages, coming from different channels and sources. As a consequence, companies are forced to think and act fast to give them feedback and high-quality answers whenever they need it.
Digital channels allow customers to control how and when - if ever - they will engage with your brand. As a marketers, you have less and less control over that communication, and the ability to create and sustain amazing customer experiences at every touch point is not considered extraordinary. It’s routine for customers empowered by mobile devices and accustomed to receive what they want when they want it.
Let's mix the sacred with the profane, then, defining a list of the 10 commandments of customer experience management. And if you think there is something missing, please feel free to comment.
- Customers come first - everything you do, you do it for customers. Work to solve their problems, fulfill their desires and give more than expected.
- Ask, don't tell - innovative brands always listen to what customers are telling. Don't be afraid to ask to yourself critical questions, even the ones you don't want to hear.
- Help, don't sell - when people connect with you, they don't want you to sell them stuff; they ask for your help. Only then will come the conversion, and customers will live happily ever after.
- Map the journey - you will never really understand your clients if you don't map the customer journey to analyze the touch points they go through when they decide to engage with you.
- Be true to yourself - your identity is the foundation on which to build your storytelling, content marketing and engagement strategy. Be coherent and respect your true why.
- Stay memorable - people judge brands not just for what they produce and sell but, even most important, for the omni-channel experience they create for customers. Stay epic!
- Put human touch - automation (Internet of Things, i.e.) can be really helpful to overcome the challenge of digital transformation, but never forget to put a human touch in the relationship with real people.
- Act before react - the best way to shape a memorable customer experience is to adopt a proactive approach and work to fix the problems before they even happen.
- Don't treat all as one - in an era of standardization, the worst thing you could do is to treat all customers as one. One-to-one communication and personalization are the keys to customer retention.
- Involve employees - you will never win customers' heart if you don't conquer your employees first. Treat them well and make them feel like they're a critical part of the brand.
All these commandments can be summed in one last rule (+1):
- +1. Change your mindset - from telling customers what you want them to hear to listening to them and understand what they want and need.
Only then you will build engaging conversations, and yours will be the kingdom. Translated in business terms: you will benefit from a growing flow of satisfied and loyal customers that will spread the good vibes, return to buy more and close the circle from strangers to promoters.
Mobile optimization is a major duty for companies aiming at connecting with people of the Age of the Customer. To help you ensure a strategic advantage to your organization, learn about the DCX 7-Steps Checklist crafted by Neosperience, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation.