In today’s day and age, the words “customer” and “experience” have almost combined to become a bit of a digital marketing buzzphrase, haven’t they? Truth be told, it’s a real shame, because meaningful customer experience is without a doubt the jet fuel that makes businesses boom.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a social media specialist, content marketer, growth hacker or even an old-fashioned, face-to-face salesperson—without any kind of genuine interaction taking place between a company and a potential buyer, long-term sales conversion is little more than a half-hearted wish.
But here’s the good news—as a business owner, you’re in complete control of how much emphasis is placed on customer experience. Though the Set It and Forget It! mentality might work for Hootsuite enthusiasts, there’s more to customer experience than automation can offer. Interested in making the change? Keep reading to learn of what’s required to make it happen:
1) An Emotional Connection
Yes, big data, market research and psychographics can help, but in order for a true emotional connection to be made, you’ll want to engage your customers by showing them the more human, relatable side of everything you do. In a digital world, this can be difficult, but there are certainly ways to get the job done.
For starters, always introduce yourself. It doesn’t matter if it’s an email, personal message on Facebook or an author bio and headshot on your business blog, always make it a point to peel back the corporate curtain and reveal something about yourself.
Next, use in-the-moment images of employees and customers on tangible handouts, social posts and Web pages. You see this all the time, and there’s a reason for it—it works. Lastly, while logos are great, designate someone to be your brand’s ambassador. Hey, if it worked for the Burt’s Bees guy, it will likely help your business, too.
2) A Sense of Community
Everybody wants to feel like they belong to some sort of group. Thanks to the advent of the Internet, this is now easier than ever before. Yes, there’s a time and place for meetinghouses, lodges and conference rooms, but with LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ offering up their own groups and communities, the need for people to gather in a literal location is hardly justified.
Communities are important in that they’re mutually beneficial. Your customers have questions and concerns. In a communal environment, they’re able to voice them, receive feedback from those similar to them and even speak directly with the people that matter most—you and your team. Use social media, forums and popular Q&A sites to start your brand’s own community.
3) Customer Involvement
Seems almost counterintuitive, doesn’t it? You’re the business—it’s your job to provide the service, without asking that a customer get involved, right? Well, yes—but there’s a different way to look at things, too. Instead of asking customers to help out with your company’s responsibilities, help them feel like part of the team by way of special treatment.
Has a loyal client recently launched a new business venture? Promote it on your social accounts. Did one of your customers have a great experience with your brand? Invite them to compose a guest blog post about it for your website. Involving your customers requires creativity, but hands down, it’s one of the best ways to boost engagement.
Whether it be through a blog post, webinar, Twitter chat or meet-and-greet at your physical place of business, if your company is ever to develop a group of devout brand fans, it’s imperative you make customer experience a cornerstone of your current consumer outreach program. Cut corners with this, and blend in; do things correctly, and people will notice.
As crazy as it might sound, I’m going to ask that you engage with me right now. In the comments section below, share a few of the strategies you use on a regular basis to engage with your customers. Whether it be through digital or traditional means, I now want to learn from you! Needless to say, I can’t wait to see what insider tips you’ve got for me this week!
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