Forget Branding and Sales! Think Customer Experience Marketing. Here’s How 5 Winning Brands do It
It’s been said that in 20 years time, about 50% of all jobs will be handled by robots. It’s a frightening picture. On the extreme, it brings up a nightmare something of the sort of Will Smith’s I Robot movie.
It might be exciting at first walking into a firm and being greeted by robots. Then after seeing the same thing and hearing preprogrammed messages about 3 times, it loses all coolness. But let’s not go too far. Robots may well be in companies nowadays. On the customer care desks picking up phones. You call telecomms customer care line. You first get a long waiting time then get some ads read into your ears over and over. After a while, someone picks up, you feel they are not really excited to pick up. You’re not excited either, but you’ve got a problem to solve. The same routines, the same conversation lines. Boring! But it works. Not splendid but works. Automation creates increased efficiency.
While automation is increasingly growing important and rightly so, creating human connections should not be ignored when it comes to direct customer facing interactions.
Getting away from what is considered normal service and ‘breaking the laid-down rules’ could be what pushes a service over the line of mediocre to an unforgettable scenario.Creating human connections should not be ignored when it comes to direct customer facing interactions Click To Tweet
Customer Experience Marketing. One of those Big Buzzwords?
Yes. It sounds like another made-up word. In essence, it is actually putting the customer first. And the reason why this is important is: The customer literally has the potential to be your biggest marketer. 91 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews, and 84 percent trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
Aside from the fact (based on statistics) that a happy customer is more likely to purchase again 5.2 times over, you can get real time insights about what works and what doesn’t from happy customers. Its a no-brainer. And companies ask this most times: how can we make more profit? but this is a crucial one too (I think): how can we make the customer happier? And here is how 5 brands integrate this.
Here is how five brands do Customer Experience Marketing
One of the basics of creating a great customer experience is the ability to anticipate and meet a customer’s immediate needs. ShipMonk, one of the largest ecommerce order fulfillment provider, takes order fulfillment to a next level, by helping to create a relaxing atmosphere for business. Envisioning a major need of most product marketers, stress of meeting up with orders. ShipMonk mitigates the stress by creating an inviting and stress-free business environment.
The idea is, a service framework should be subservient to the unique needs of a customer. According to Beth Sherman, Chief Happiness Officer at ShipMonk in an Interview with Fitsmallbusiness.
“Remember: without your customer, you won’t need a framework. The reverse is not true. One way to do this is to make the experience when they arrive inviting. At ShipMonk, we offer freshly brewed green tea, hot towels and a relaxation room to clients when they arrive on-site while our team of “Happiness Engineers” help to accomplish their goals. This leads to lower stress and a generally more pleasant environment – not to mention a willingness to return.”
Yet it’s not just about lowering stress but a high quality service delivery. An 8.2 rating on Trustpilot is a testament to the timeliness and ease of use of ShipMonk.
How passionate are your employees towards meeting customer needs? Are they willing to go the extra mile to create an unforgettable experience?
Your employees are the first point of contact for a customer. When a customer sees how willing they are to go the extra mile, it creates a long-lasting impression. It’s a potent way to make yourself and your business important in the customer’s mind.
An IT and cloud computing service provider, Rackspace is one of People’s 50 companies that care in 2018. A company largely focused on improving customer experience by increasing employee engagement.
A great example of solving a customer’s immediate need while helping to solve a larger problem was described by Fred Reicheld, author of the Ultimate Question 2.0. In an interview on the Trailblazer video series, he described an instance of a great customer experience by a Rackspace employee’s proactivity to disregard rules and create a memorable conversation.
“An employee on the phone with a customer during a marathon troubleshooting session heard the customer tell someone in the background that they were getting hungry.
As she tells it, ‘So I put them on hold, and I ordered them a pizza. About 30 minutes later we were still on the phone, and there was a knock on their door. I told them to go answer it because it was pizza! They were so excited.”
This kind of personalized service delivery is uncommon for companies in the tech space but rackspace ignores the convention, going out of their way to genuinely create personalized experiences.
Do you truly listen on what your customers are saying? If so, do you process this into actionable bits to create increased customer satisfaction? Blu Skin Care does. Actress/model Zondra Wilson created the brand after years of being asked, “What do you use on your skin?”. Effectively, the question led her to believe that there is a ready market for natural, healthy and affordable skin care products.
This same attentive listening approach is what keeps Blu Skin Care thriving in a highly competitive industry. According to Zondra Wilson, founder and CEO,
“Beware of making assumptions — thinking you intuitively know what the customer wants. Effective listening and undivided attention are particularly important when face to face where there is a great danger of preoccupation, such as looking around to see to whom else we could be selling or catering to”.
It works because giving a customer your undivided attention makes them feel important. At the same time you glean actionable insights to better your service delivery. A win-win.
When it comes to what customers expect from a brand, one of the important ones is ongoing information to help their business or their lives. And while Hubspot has something for everyone who fancies marketing, sales or customer service. They produce a big long list of the latest marketing trends every year in their state of Inbound Marketing reports. They have a unique learning platform for inbound marketers with so much value-packed videos. I have received three certifications from Hubspot Academy myself, with more in the works.
There are also free usergroups and live events for Hubspot users at every level – a chance for real conversations with industry players. According to Dharmesh Shah, Hubspot’s CEO and Co founder:
“People don’t value marketing software. They value marketing success”
This works because providing useful information and thinking in terms of inbound (helpfulness) shows customers you’re not just about the quick buck but more interested in the big picture problems their business face.
Mark Kliens, team leader, Hubspot Academy says
“Not enough companies today offer education that makes their product or service more valuable to their customers. Education is a massive opportunity that almost any company can use to generate more leads, retain more customers, and help more people. Inbound marketing is precisely that.“
The great thing about user experience design nowadays is that you can have conversations with your visitors immediately they get to your page. You’re not clogging up their focus with unnecessary information. Cryton trading excels at this. It uses artificial intelligence to predict optimum buying periods for cryptocurrency. For most people, this is not important. For crypto lovers, it is.
The crypton trading website looks different from the standard website. But the point is: the focus isn’t having a website. It’s making a conversation. The focus isn’t outworldly UI/UX designs that slow down web loading speeds with extravagant designs and scroll animations, its spotlighting the main messages in conversational form.
Likeability; Customer Experience and Sales – The Connection
Unless in some unusual cases, most people would not buy from someone they don’t like (I don’t). We prefer the rather melancholy saleswoman to the grumpy old man. We relate to ads with a lot of laughter than those without. We prefer articles that make us laugh to those that seem business-as-usual. For the same reason, a runner will wear no other running shoes but Nike’s. Whenever we think of houses, our thoughts go to a particular estate agent. We might respond to one door-to-door salesperson and ignore another. In these cases, we engage with these people and brands because we like them. We like the experience these people or products create for us.
In most cases, we are buying into the experience and not the brand itself. Even top name brands who produce experience sub-par to what they are known for will bear the brunt by losing large numbers of customers.
This means that our connection with most brands or services we like is on an emotional level. Brands that connect with customers on this front, creating a positive experience, will see a surge in sales.
Using a personal relationships framework, building a likable brand (much like making a new friendship or personal connection) will likely incorporate genuine helpfulness.
While the idea of being helpful as a business might seem strange because clearly, going the extra mile isn’t an efficient business practice. But if you would like to have recurring customers, this “extra” would need to be woven into the fabric of your business. It’s what sets the hungry salesman apart from the “likable salesman”. Hungry might be good in some cases too (maybe).
But it’s simple psychology, if you’ve helped me genuinely solve a problem in a way I liked, I’d be inclined to tell someone else with the same issue how you helped me. They would be inclined to tell another, setting off a kind of chain reaction.