Innovating Trend - Customer Experience Marketing in 2018, guest blog by Digitawise
Thursday, December 28, 2017Lauren Macdonald
The emergence of smartphones, social media, big data, and cloud has fundamentally changed how brands interact with their customers. Instead of churning out bland sales pitches, marketers have shifted to building lasting relationships with their client base. According to a recent study by Econsultancy, a large percentage of consumers don't mind spending more on a product as long as they receive a better customer experience.
So, how will customer experience marketing define 2018? What trends should companies watch out for in the coming year?
Understanding Customer Experience Marketing
Customer experience marketing is all about crafting a marketing strategy that promotes engagement between the customer and your brand.
In contrast to traditional marketing where the primary focus is on product value, quality and selling price, customer experience marketing aims at creating lasting relationships that lead to better understanding of customer needs and expectations. On their part, satisfied customers become a brands ambassador.
Customer Service and Customer Experience Marketing
Customer service is the act of delivering a service to a customer. It may start with a phone inquiry and end when the customer finally whatever item they were purchasing.
Customer experience is the sum of interactions and experiences that a customer gains by relating to your brand. Customer experience helps turn an ordinary buyer into a loyal customer.
Why Adopt Customer Experience Marketing Strategy?
To increase revenues
Treating customers with decency compels them to spend. A valued customer will also be reluctant to switch to competing brands.
According to researchers at Vanson Bourne, investing in customer experience leads to a 20 percent average increase in a company’s revenue base. Some companies experience as much as 40 percent increase in revenue growth.
Besides an increase in revenue, it also costs relatively less to serve repeat customers compared to trying to prise off new potential clients from competitors.
To boost customer retention
Brands that build lasting relationships with their customers create a base of loyal buyers that aren’t swayed by marketing forces. The loyalists provide a constant flow of revenue into the business, and this contributes to the long-term success of a brand.
Increases engagement with buyers
A good marketing blueprint should encourage customers to share their experiences regarding the product or service on offer. Through such engagements, marketers gain a better understanding of the needs and expectations of their customers and their target market at large.
Marketers can leverage on the resulting information to create a marketing strategy that can help them beat the competition.
A loyal customer is ten times better than a one-time shopper. Repeat customers do not only spend more, but they also help in marketing a brand through word of mouth. In essence, a business that succeeds in creating a community of loyalist has succeeded in creating a loyal army of marketers.
Customer Experience Trends to look out for in 2018
1. Voice search
Voice search is undeniably fast and smart way to search for anything on the internet. It is thus ideal for companies looking to delight their customers with a quick and hustle-free search tool.
ClickZ estimates that there will be a 50 percent growth in the number of smartphone users who will solely rely on voice search apps, such as Google assistant, to research on topics and products of their interest online.
2. Conversational branding will be on the rise
As 2018 rolls in, many of the world leading brands will invest more in conversational systems to ease cross-channel marketing. Aside from helping pass the marketing messages, conversational systems collect essential data that marketers can use to refine their customer-centric marketing endeavors further.
3. Mobile first marketing will gain momentum
Mobile will remain a dominant channel for accessing information, interacting with brand representatives and even making purchases online.
But with the rise of Ad blockers, marketers will be forced to rethink their marketing messages to please the mobile user. In place of outright selling, marketers will need to craft copies that do not only delight the users but also deliver the message.
4. Emotionally engaging experience will be on the rise
As brands have gained a better understanding of the customer, marketers will work towards personalizing messages that appeal to the emotions of the users. Such a message should foster closer ties that lead to long-term engagements.
5. Messaging support will have a significant impact
As the New Year dawns, Brands will seek to leverage on mobile-based messaging applications such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Kik to deliver delivered unique customer experience.
These tools will make it easy for customers to leave feedback, post queries and even market their favorite brands by sharing marketing gigs with acquaintances.
6. Brands will embrace customer journey mapping
Customer journey mapping is a process of mapping out customer experiences right from the time they first interact with a brand up until they exit the loop. Customer journey mapping helps marketers to zero in on critical gaps in their marketing strategy that may hamper delivery of tailored customer service.
In 2018, organizations will increasingly leverage on this tool to refine their marketing goals, gather essential data on customer behavior and, ultimately, use the observations to develop marketing strategies that truly caters for the needs of the customer.
7. Companies will adopt a proactive customer service
Internet of Things (IoT) allows marketers to gather data on customer behavior whenever they interact with a brand. Marketers can then use this data to improve the customer experience before the consumer raises issues.
By making the first move, brands shield the customer from a potentially harmful user experience. The customer feels indebted and will often replicate by marketing brand to their acquaintances.
8. Chatbots will gain prominence
The coming year will see more businesses invest in chatbots to decongest their customer service department. Since Chatbots are programmed to deliver simple responses, they can serve a large number of users compared to a human being.
The fast service keeps impatient customers happy, and the chatbot saves on operation costs as they directly replace the human labor.
9. Augmented Reality (AR) will gain prominence
A few years back, it was impossible to buy items such as perfumes online since there was no room to test the products out. Fast forward to 2017 where applications such Sephora’s Visual Artist are helping users to experiment with varying colors of lipstick albeit through a simulation interface.
As 2018 dawns, business will leverage more on AR applications such as Wayfair to bridge the gap between them and their customers. AR will help companies to save on costs of establishing numerous branches since consumers can test for the products online and then receive their same from whichever location.
Customer experience marketing is a powerful tool to win over today’s picky consumer. Giving customers a service that caters to their needs makes them emotionally attached to the brand. In the long run, helps propel a company to the top regardless of how stiff the competition is.
Article by: Stav Sarandiev, CMO, Digitawise.