Keeping the customer satisfied through every phase of their journey with a product or brand—also known as maintaining a good customer experience—has been receiving an increased amount of attention in recent years. A positive customer experience is key to business success because happy clients are more likely to become loyal customers who generate repeat business that can improve your revenues.
Everyone knows that the balance of power has shifted. Consumers once had no choice but to rely on brand owners and salespeople to obtain the information they needed, but the wealth of knowledge on the internet means that today’s consumers can—and usually will—seek out this information on their own. As a result, consumers are more informed, discerning, and skeptical than ever before. The customer is in control, and a one-size-fits-all approach to sales and marketing simply won’t work with today’s savvy consumers.
A positive experience is key
Although word of mouth has always been an important factor for consumers during the purchasing decision, it has been given new life in this age of social media and the Internet. Consumers are less trusting of salespeople and marketers than ever before, but they rely heavily on the opinions of their peers and online reviews. Online retail giants like Amazon are loaded with product reviews, and many people will look at these reviews when making a purchasing decision. Simply put, today’s consumers want to know if others who have already purchased the products and services they are considering have had a positive experience.
Keypoint Intelligence completed a web-based survey of over 350 business respondents in North America (Canada and the U.S.) last year. This research offers insight into how enterprises are responding to consumers’ evolving preferences on transactional communications and related documents. Of our total respondent pool, 161 enterprises (roughly 44 per cent of the total) considered improving the customer experience to be one of their most important business objectives. Of these enterprises, the most common tactics for improving the customer experience were expanding their mobile offering, improving data hygiene/address validation, and more engaging interactions with customers via social media.
Figure 1: Tactics for Improving the Customer Experience
Improving the customer experience may seem simple, but it does have its own set of challenges. According to the survey results, the most common challenges were developing an effective strategy, using analytics technology, and managing information across multiple databases.
Figure 2: Most Significant Challenges Associated with Improving Customer Experience
If you don’t have the internal resources to deliver a great customer experience, consider investing in a software solution or partnering with a vendor that can help you offer a positive experience in a seamless yet cost-effective manner. Today’s consumers want to be recognized as individuals, therefore, choose a software solution or service provider that focuses on the customer experience to help you deliver a more personalized and customer-centric experience.
All channels are part of the experience
Even in today’s increasingly digital world, customers may not necessarily want all their interactions to be digital. Instead, they want to engage with a company on their own terms (based on convenience or comfort level) and consistently receive a positive and seamless experience across all communication channels. Some customers will welcome a highly digital experience, but others might be confused or frustrated by that same experience.
Implementing an omnichannel communication strategy can deliver many benefits to enterprises and their customers. According to the survey, over the next two years, platforms like mobile apps, social media, and personal cloud storage are expected to increase the most in terms of importance. Additionally, even the more traditional channels like printed direct mail are expected to remain moderately or extremely important to most respondents over the next two years. This underscores the need for, and importance of adopting an omnichannel communication strategy to reach consumers regardless of device, personal preferences or physical location.
Figure 3: Importance of Channels to Communication Strategy Today
Figure 4: Importance of Channels to Communication Strategy in 2 Years
Developing a seamless and comprehensive omnichannel communications strategy is a must in today’s market. Getting started may seem overwhelming as many businesses may not have the resources to design customer journeys and securely optimize their communications for various channels. Having the right partner can help alleviate these challenges while providing expert guidance to help businesses succeed.
The Bottom Line
Today’s consumers have come to expect a consistent and seamless experience, and enterprises must deliver on these expectations to remain competitive. In today’s increasingly digital reality, communication strategies must also shift. Businesses must focus on improving their customer experience with meaningful and engaging interactions. However, simply committing to a digital communication strategy is not enough as businesses also need to adopt an omnichannel experience to create a holistic and positive customer experience.
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