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We now live in a world where customer experience (CX) is king. You can blame millennials, global warming or the rise of the hashtag, but it’s expected that by 2020, customer experience will overtake both price and product when it comes to people choosing a brand.

What happens when people start deciding with their experiences, rather than their wallets? You end up with a juggernaut of a trend that should make everyone sit up and take notice. With so many avenues and bases to cover, how can you craft a customer experience that’ll make people want to keep coming back to your business?

COVERING YOUR DIGITAL BASES

We may be happy to trust our food shopping into the cold, robotic hands of the self-serve checkout, but for anything more complex, you may find yourself in need of some extra help.

But what about before a customer gets to the stage of talking to an actual human, and afterwards? They’ll be searching online, browsing your site, using contact forms, maybe even chatting to a chat-bot.

And after a purchase? They’ll be receiving confirmation emails, signing up to subscriptions, downloading a mobile app, and hopefully leaving positive reviews on your social media pages.

Here’s the kicker: ALL of these encompass the customer/user experience. This is known as omnichannel, which is a strategy for making sure your customer has an easy time of things across a wide variety of channels and platforms.

While niche channels abound, there are a few that every business owner needs to be on top of. These include:

MOBILE

At this point, it’s not even a question: you need to be making mobile a priority.

The entire customer experience is shifting onto mobile devices, meaning that everything your customer sees on their phone and tablet needs to be clean, efficient and totally user-friendly. It also needs to mesh well with all your other avenues of marketing.

That means providing a mobile-friendly website, as well as easy methods of ordering and reordering products and services. You also need to make sure your information is easily available in places like a Google search by using Google My Business, since people will be looking you up on mobile devices to find out opening hours, reviews, your location and more.

Mobile will be the very first point of contact for most customers, so it’s essential that it be a great experience from square one.

WEBSITE

The world might be going mobile, but that doesn’t give you a free pass to neglect the regular desktop experience.

Business owners will often make the simplest mistakes, such as not making it clear from the homepage exactly what it is they do, neglecting to have help readily available for visitors with questions, or just slapping any old content on their pages and not even bothering to check the spelling.

It may seem like there are a million different facets of a user-friendly website and it’s impossible to cover them all, but potentially, it’s as simple as asking yourself what you would like to experience when browsing for a product and working outwards from there.

You may not quite be at the stage of offering 24/7 live-chat to website visitors, but you can at least make it so the contact form is easy to find, all the links work, and the page doesn’t play music that visitors can’t turn off.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Just visiting a web page isn’t enough for most people anymore, with social media now being a key avenue for gathering intel about a business. Websites might give the basic info on products and prices, but social media is where the discussion happens; it’s the place for real-time updates, customer service inquiries and- hopefully- five star reviews.

You don’t need to be posting work selfies every other hour, but every business needs to have some sort of social media presence, even if it’s a stock-standard Facebook page with opening hours and a map. There’s now an expectation of swift communication from customers, with 40% of those surveyed stating that they expect an answer from a business within thirty minutes on a social channel.

That particular stat may be bordering ‘entitled’, depending on the business type, but that’s no reason not to strive for quick responses. Giving your customers the information they need- and fast– is all part of a powerful, holistic CX strategy, and an easy way to distinguish yourself from more sluggish competitors.

THE SMARTER WAY

Gone are the days when the customer experience starts and ends with entering and leaving a shop. A smiling face at the bank or a friendly voice on the phone are now merely threads making up the complex CX quilt…and no one wants to buy a quilt that’s full of holes.

When it comes to the digital customer experience, SBM are the experts. We understand that great quality CX is all about targeting every single channel you have available and then making sure they perfectly interweave. From the first website click to the purchase confirmation email and beyond, we have the tools and expertise to craft a powerfully efficient process.

No matter where your potential customers begin their journey, they deserve a smooth ride the entire way. With price and product soon to be overtaken by a positive customer experience as the key to business success, the time is now to make sure every single one of your touchpoints helps to guide your supporters to the best possible outcome.

 


 

Looking to supercharge your digital marketing? Contact Smith Brothers Media for a business discovery session today!

 

– Written by Stuart J.A. McNabb

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