Seamless Customer Experiences: The Growth Hack or Impact Trail?
What draws a customer back to a brand? Is it the brand, the continuous engagement, and the customer experience it provides?
Ideally, it’s the combination of all these, but customer experience (CX) is slowly inching forward as the single most important factor in customer retention. From continuous health data on your smartwatch to banking apps that constantly monitor and message clients on the best investment options to simple grocery apps that know what you need before you do, brands are leveraging data to optimize their customer experiences. In their book ‘Connected Strategy: Building Continuous Customer Relationships for Competitive Advantage,’ authors Nicolaj Siggelkow and Christian Terwiesch highlight seamless customer experiences that offer a powerful competitive advantage as post-pandemic trends show companies refashioning the way they interact with their customers. Customer Experience is that singular touch point that can drive revenue as a Growth Hack and build lasting relationships, leaving an Impact Trail.
Steps to create seamless customer experiences
- Know Your Customer - To build a positive customer experience, knowing what excites and interests your customers is the first piece of the puzzle. Leveraging customer data to understand needs optimizing ease, effectiveness, and emotion creates desirable outcomes.
- Response-to-Desire - Siggelkow and Terwiesch introduced this concept as customers often know what they want and simply want to press a “button” that simplifies the rest of their journey. For example, buying an e-book and having it instantly delivered is a response-to-desire experience.
- Tailor-Made Offerings - Customer data on its own cannot help brands unless they break that information down to offer curated experiences. By providing a bouquet of customized offerings, consumers can choose one that suits their needs at any given point. You have already experienced this on streaming platforms that, based on your viewing behavior, make watching decisions simpler.
- Anticipate Roadblocks - Creating seamless experiences involves understanding and predicting needs and fixing problems before the customer faces them. According to Gartner’s report- Top Customer Service Trends, Priorities, and Predictions for 2023- 13% of customers receive proactive customer service compared to around 87% of customers who have never received it. Proactive customer service, which is not intrusive and cumbersome, is a simple way to boost retention and customer loyalty.
The focus of Growth Marketing has been on using valuable customer data gleaned from the various marketing campaigns and experimentations across different channels consumers frequently visit. Seamless customer experiences across these channels produce stickiness for the consumer, resulting in customer retention and, additionally, creating lifetime value. However, it becomes imperative to have a holistic plan, focusing on relevant touch points throughout the Customer Journey that will materialize into a long-lasting relationship. Identifying customer interaction patterns and preferences via surveys, onboarding programs, and social media behavior and engagement patterns helps build efficient loyalty and referral programs that reflect customer interests.
Reverse impact of cumulative experiences
Steering clear of pain points when creating customer experiences is another important way to build and maintain loyalty. Leaving an impact is essential for building brand visibility and maintaining consumer interest, but not at the cost of personalization or relevance.
For example, unwarranted notifications and unsolicited emails and messages can turn off customers, pushing them to unsubscribe and fraying the customer experience. Constant Contact, in their July 2023 report, highlighted the overall open rate for emails across industries stands at 34.46%. Optimizing those numbers requires a precise call to action that stems from a sound understanding of customer needs when trying to impress them with experiences.
In 2023, the customer doesn’t want generic or outdated content. The trends point to what’s current, competent, and customized messaging. Updating websites and apps based on recent consumer metrics is critical to maintain relevance and retain interest. Keeping the messaging simple, error-free, and with a personal touch is completely necessary to improve experiences, especially when the frequency of communications is high and is expected to generate responses of some sort.
Needless to say, the trail of customer experiences that fail to connect with customers emotionally are those not backed by data. A weak impact trail is equivalent to failing to generate a favorable emotional response, resulting in a lower Customer Experience Index ( CX Index) score. The Forrester US CX Index 2022 saw a score drop for 19% of brands, as they failed to elicit “feel-good” emotions that allow consumers to create strong brand connections. Effective CX is bolstered by an omnichannel presence for a brand that showcases relevant solutions instead of only providing a smorgasbord of options.
In conclusion, using Customer Experience as a metric of success, leaving an impressive impact trail is a 360° exercise with a firm focus on curated, continuous, and customized attention to the customer. For a brand, seamless Customer Experiences can amount to both in the long-term - a growth hack and an impact trail that can retain customers for life.
For more information, visit Precision Dialogue