Have you heard? We are no longer in the age of the influencer. We are moving ever more steadily to the purest of forms: the age of the customer.
U.S. companies are losing up to $62 billion a year due to bad customer experiences, according to a 2016 report by New Voice Media.
That means companies can, and should, be thinking about how they can directly communicate with, appeal to, and appease the very people they expect to be buying their products and services — today, tomorrow, and in the long-term.
This is especially great because it means that marketers can save a lot of money by focusing their campaigns directly on the source. It also means you can measure your ROI more accurately and cleanly, without the murky middlemen. Going forward, you’ll benefit the most from building and nurturing your relationships in a direct, honest way.
Yes: We’re shifting gears, and it’s all kicking off in 2020.
Here’s how you can get started, in three easy steps:
1. Deeper Relationships: A lot of outdated theories on nurturing customer relationships simply focus on continuing, or preserving, those relationships. Today, it’s about deepening relationships. The longer that someone remains engaged with your brand, the more they will come to expect from that relationship in order to stick with it. But the reward can be great; in fact, amazing customer experience (CX) can lead to nearly 30% greater retention rate, according to a 2016 study by the Aberdeen Group. Sometimes this will involve offering special deals and discounts for longtime customers; sometimes, it’s a matter of offering personalizations when people log into your website. You can also create loyalty and membership groups to automatically give more back to those who are the most involved with your brand. In 2020 and beyond, it’s going to especially matter to engage with people in social spaces, and reward advocacy when people promote and recommend your brand to others in an organic way.
2. Self-Service: When it comes to CX, one of the most important areas to focus on is granting autonomy. Today’s customers want to be able to interact with your brand without much hand-holding. They want to be able to easily navigate your website and find the answers or products they’re seeking. They want to be able to troubleshoot without relying on your customer service team (in fact, 73% of customers prefer to solve problems on their own, according to a 2015 study by Aspect Software & The Center for Generational Kinetics). You’ll find yourself with happier customers when they rely less on your staff to get what they want from your brand. Clear user instructions, functional Q-and-As, products that are user-friendly to begin with, and even forums where they can learn from one another’s feedback are all great places to start.
3. Clear Communications: Trust is of utmost importance to today’s customers. And as we’ve said a million times, transparency is one of the biggest shortcuts to earning trust and building a true relationship with your customers. But that comes down to your communications. They need to be reasonably frequent — both in terms of your touchpoints, and in terms of how hastily you reply to customer service needs. However, perhaps more importantly, they need to be precise, consistent, and crystal clear. When brands evade questions or fail to communicate clearly, it looks like they’re hiding something, according to a 2017 study by Forrester. On the other hand, companies that communicate clearly with their customers are considered up to 4x as trustworthy, according to the same study.
If this means rethinking your content and communications strategy, contact Mad 4 Marketing. We’re geared up for the new year and ready to help you find your most authentic connections.