Did you know that 58% of customers will pay more for a great customer experience?
Delivering an exceptional customer experience is the key to success in today’s competitive market. By investing in the customer journey, your brand can enjoy increased customer lifetime value, greater brand loyalty, and improved engagement with customers.
So let’s take a more in-depth look into why improving the customer experience should be at the forefront of your brand strategy and how you can improve it.
Why Invest in the Customer Experience?
Brands that focus on creating a great customer experience generate more revenue and have more market influence than those without a customer-experience focus. A recent study from Gartner found that over 80% of marketers expect to compete primarily on customer experience in the next two years.
Here are some key reasons to consider investing in the customer experience:
Increase Customer Lifetime Value
Customer lifetime value (CLV) is a metric used to measure the total value of a customer throughout their relationship with a business. It’s based on the idea that not all customers are equal. Many customers fall off after one or two purchases, while others become loyal buyers.
Brands that want to increase CLV optimize their marketing efforts to increase revenue from existing customers and keep them longer. They may offer loyalty programs or brand ambassador programs to incentivize more purchases. They may also seek to improve customer support with instant chat or other initiatives.
Focusing on CLV has a knock-on effect on acquiring new customers. Satisfied customers are likelier to recommend the product or service to others if they have had positive experiences.
Build Brand Trust and Reputation
Focusing on trust and reputation is an essential component of creating a great customer experience. Investing in a seamless experience can lead to improved customer loyalty, better engagement, and increased customer lifetime value.
The value of reputation to a brand is more than you might think. A global study by Weber Shadwick estimated that 63% of a company’s value is tied to brand reputation. By elevating the customer experience, brands can set themselves apart from the competition and put themselves in the best place for growth and development.
Improve Products and Services
A by-product of investing in the customer experience is improving the products and services offered by your brand. Enabling customers to interact with your brand throughout the buying journey can reveal pain points that need addressing and generate new development ideas.
By improving your products and services to respond to customer needs, you can best position yourself to gain market share over your competitors. It shows that you are listening to feedback from your customers, making them feel valued and heard.
The Customer Experience in 2023
In the past, customers would begin their buying journeys in-store. But in recent years, digital experiences have dominated the customer experience landscape.
In 2023, it’s expected that over 80% of customers will start their buying journey digitally. So here are three core trends your brand should consider for improving the customer experience in 2023.
3 Tips for Improving the Customer Experience in Today’s Landscape
Many businesses that once thrived on in-person experiences are moving towards a “phygital” model. Phygital experiences focus on the use of digital technology in physical world interactions. A recent survey by PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC) found that more people than ever are seeking digital in-store experiences such as:
- Using the retailer’s app or website in-store to find products (41%)
- In-store entertainment (27%)
- Immersive digital experiences (24%)
- Digital booking of in-store appointments (21%)
These experiences are all part of the customer experience evolution, bringing together the physical and digital experiences into one seamless experience. Consider adding some of these phygital experiences to your customers’ journeys.
Humanizing Your Brand
In this digital age, customers seek more personalized experiences that include a human touch. The concerning factor is a disconnect between brands and consumers. A personalization study by software company Twilio showed that while 85% of brands believe they provide excellent customer experiences, only 60% of consumers agreed.
This is where brand ambassadors come in. Brand ambassadors are representatives of your brand that help build customer relationships by creating a community experience. They can answer questions, provide product demos, offer tips, and make customers feel more connected.
People trust the opinions of the people they know and follow on social media. By having a strong social media presence, ambassadors help increase user-generated content (UGC) about your brand that potential customers can quickly discover. This strategy allows businesses better to reach their customers organically and sustainably.
Omnichannel Marketing for Seamless Experiences
Omnichannel marketing allows your brand to offer customers a personalized and seamless shopping experience tailored to their needs. By utilizing digital and physical channels, brands can provide customers with real-time updates and support from any device or location.
Examples of omnichannel offerings include:
- Online web chat
- Social media updates
- Phone helpline
- Email marketing
- In-store helpdesk
Omnichannel marketing can allow brands to track customer behavior across different metrics and customer profiles. This data can be used to identify areas of improvement to optimize the user experience and create more targeted campaigns.
How to Make the Customer Experience More Interactive
Customers are looking for brands that can offer them experiences tailored to their needs and interests. Behind the scenes, brands can achieve this by collecting data on customers’ preferences, buying habits, and demographics. This data allows them to tailor the customer experience to each individual.
To achieve the most reliable data and the best chance of success for your brand, incorporate the following changes into your customer engagement strategy:
Encourage Customer Feedback
Encouraging customer feedback is an essential part of creating a personalized experience. Brand ambassadors can be incredibly effective in providing this feedback, primarily online through social media platforms.
Having an active presence on social media is a great way to drive customer engagement and loyalty. Invite customers to give honest opinions on products and services and provide feedback that can help the business grow.
If a customer leaves a comment, respond to them! Let customers feel heard and seen. This helps build trust in your brand and encourages other to engage.
Collect More Reliable Data for Improving Products and Services
Superior customer experiences require businesses that understand the customer journey and identify areas for improvement. This can be done in many ways, notably:
- Feedback forms and surveys
- Social media mentions and reviews
- Independent audits
- Data analytics
Investing in technology, such as customer engagement platforms, to improve the customer experience is also a must. By leveraging advanced analytics and automation technologies, you can optimize your processes and make them more efficient. You’ll also free up vital resources to spend more time focusing on a great customer experience!
Increase User-Generated Content with a Brand Advocacy Program
User-generated content (UGC) is one of the most effective ways of increasing engagement and trust online. HubSpot found that 60% of consumers consider UGC the most trustworthy and authentic content format that influences their buying decision. One of the best ways to take advantage of its power is by setting up a brand advocacy program.
By setting up a rewards or referral program, you can encourage loyal customers to provide feedback and create high-quality, authentic user-generated content. Other benefits include:
- Increased brand loyalty for reputation
- Amplify social reach and engagement
- Position your brand as community-driven
- Passionate and authentic voices build trust
Empower Your Employees to Become Brand Advocates
Empowering your employees to become brand advocates can also help increase customer engagement and satisfaction. Employees who feel invested in their job are more likely to go above and beyond for customers. Passion for a brand is infectious, so employees pass on this enthusiasm and desire to the customer.
Only some employees will be suited to becoming brand advocates. But offering your employees competitions, incentives, and loyalty programs creates a sense of community and builds morale across the entire team.
Invest in Improving the Customer Experience Today
Improving the customer experience is essential for brands looking to stay competitive in today’s market. By understanding customers’ needs, investing in technology, and training staff, businesses like yours can deliver a superior experience that keeps customers coming back.