Customer experience (or CX) has become a buzzword, but don’t dismiss it as a fad.
Doesn’t take a genius to work out the experience a customer has with your brand sets the tone for their relationship with you – and their value as a buyer.
Customer experience should certainly never be compromised.
According to CGS, 80% of consumers feel more emotionally connected to a brand when customer service solves their problem.
And that emotional connection is crucial.
It’s how you get customers to REMEMBER, and stay LOYAL to you.
Which is exactly what you need to keep them coming back for repurchase, improve your referral marketing, prevent your customers falling off the sales funnel or being snatched away by your competitors.
Because in today’s crowded online marketplace, if you don’t offer a personalised customer experience, your customer can easily find someone else who will.
So, here are 4 things you can do right now to improve your customer experience:
Segment your audience for more personalised messaging
I’m going to let you in on a secret…
The key to great customer service is personalisation.
The truth is, we all like to feel a bit special.
And we don’t care about things that aren’t relevant to us.
So as a business, it’s your job to support your customers’ specific needs and interests as much as possible, to show them you care about them as an individual.
Of course with a large customer base, this can be difficult.
But there are things you can do to get to know your customers a little better.
Segmentation is the process of separating your general customer base into smaller groups or ‘segments’ based on similar characteristics that are useful for targeting.
There are many different ways you can segment your audience, and how your approach segmentation will depend on your audience, sales funnel and goals.
But here are the two most useful ways you can segment your audience for better customer service:
- Interests – What have your customers been looking at on your site?
What areas or products have they previously shown interest in?
You can then send them more information based on what they’re actually interested in, and avoid sending them general marketing messages they don’t care about.
- Behaviour – Where are they currently at in your sales funnel?
What have they been doing (or not doing) recently with your business?
How can you support their activity in real time?
Using data insights, automation technology and the right strategy, you can deliver a hyper-personalised experience for your customers, which in turn exceeds their expectations, builds connection and keeps them engaged with your business so they keep coming back.
Which brings us nicely onto the next point…
Build automated messaging sequences triggered by real-time customer behaviour to support them at the right time
You can help support real-time customer behaviour on your site, automatically.
You can use marketing automation software to build messaging sequences that are triggered when a customer interacts with you.
For example, if a customer downloads a guide from your website, you can send them an automated follow up with extra information about the guide’s topic to inform and delight them further.
You can also use automated messaging to plug gaps in your sales funnel, such as cart abandonment.
You can send reminders to people to finish their purchase shortly after they’ve left, offer a discount to finish their purchase or recommend other products they might want to add to their order before they buy.
Setting up automated sequences to support the main areas of your customer journey provides excellent service for your customers, as they receive timely and relevant messages where they need support 24/7.
And doing it automatically saves you and your team time to focus on other things in the business.
Send automatic rewards to existing customers for staying with you
Retaining your customers after they’ve purchased from you is one of the most valuable things you can do to scale your business.
And if customers are staying loyal to you, that’s amazing!
So why not reward them for sticking with you, to cement your bond even further?
It could be the thing that pushes them over the edge to become a brand advocate (aka the best type of customer you could hope for).
You can set up automated sequences to record how long people have been a customer for, or track the amount of purchases they’ve made with you, and send them rewards at the right time.
You can reward people with acknowledgement, exclusive content, discounts or whatever they’d find valuable, to show you care and appreciate them.
You could also send people discounts or rewards for personal milestones like their birthday for that extra thoughtful touch.
Remember that human touch.
If you want to use any of the techniques listed above, you’re going to have to use some sort of automation to support your strategy, or you’re going to have a really lengthy and difficult time trying to keep on top of things.
But just because you’re using automation to reach out to customers, that doesn’t mean you have to sound like a robot.
Here’s a few things to keep your messages sounding genuine, engaging and most importantly, human:
- Address customers by their first name – Personalising the emails you send with the recipient’s first name is always a must.
The important thing to remember, however is that good personlisation/customer service should go BEYOND this.
- Avoid jargon – Your emails should sound like an actual person talking as much as possible.
Keeping things simple and to the point is usually the best way to go. But remember to still keep that friendly tone.
- Keep your messages targeted and relevant. – We’ve touched on this a few times previously in this post.
Having personalised messages helps build an emotional and human connection with your customers, as it feels like you’re being attentive to their individual needs with relevant support/content.
- Send the right message at the right time – If you’re flinging whatever content you have at your customers whenever you can, it will certainly show.
Don’t underestimate the intuition of the modern consumer; they can smell inauthenticity from a mile away.
On top of that, most if not all the content you fling at them probably won’t be relevant or timely to the individual, so they won’t engage with it the way you want them to.
- Maintain a consistent look and feel with your messaging. – A fantastic way of showing off that human side of your brand could be through basic text emails, and not fancy HTML templates.
It can be very tempting to jazz up your emails with fancy colours and graphics to stand out and establish your brand, but this can often come across as too corporate, constructed and of course inhuman.
We’re not suggesting this for all marketing communications, and it will depend on your business, but maybe their appointment or order confirmation email would feel a little more human and friendly if it looked like a regular email sent from a close friend or colleague?
- Consider your subject line and pre-header – If you’re sending emails, make sure they have a relevant subject line and pre-header, that fits the preview character limit.
Send tests to yourself before the automation goes live to make sure they appear appropriately in the recipients inbox and make changes accordingly.
In conclusion, providing a great experience for your customers at every opportunity can help you build a better relationship with your customers, increase loyalty, sales and much more.
And the best way to create a great experience is by observing, listening to and supporting your customers to create the most personalised experience possible.
If you’d like to learn more about the importance of a hyper personalised customer experience, check out our solution here.