A Guest Blog by Mel Evans, Customer Experience Expert
At a point where you need customers more than ever, it is critical that businesses now focus on their marketing and customer experience (CX) as a central platform to their business development.
At difficult times in business the first response is to make cuts: staff, overheads, stock, facilities, services, etc…it’s all a reaction to a downturn in sales and pretty obvious in most cases. It is important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater and to remember that anything that drives customer engagement is critical to your business’s survival and as such putting that area of your business plan under the spotlight is the best way to move through the challenging times and grow your business out of the difficulties you face.
Happy customers make for great marketing
All business survival depends on customers, and as we all know marketing spend will drive customers to the door if done well, BUT if the customer experience is poor when they come knocking, then you will not convert or retain that customer and hence your marketing spend is not maximised. Some businesses estimate that repeat customers attribute as much as 75% of their sales and therefore delighting your customers should be a number one priority, and furthermore if your customers are raving fans they will do the marketing for you! They will tell others how great you are, they will talk about your business on social media, they will leave reviews, they will provide testimonials and so on….so it seems a bit odd to think of customer experience as something detached from your marketing strategy and budget.
Build your business around the customer experience
Making your customers feel special is a key that unlocks a number of doors and that's why many of the successful brands we all know and love e.g. Amazon, John Lewis, Innocent, etc., take the customer experience and build the business around it. It’s worth noting that technology does not drive customer experience and will never replace a person in terms of empathy or experience, but can drive efficiencies throughout a business, freeing up staff to engage with the customer at the correct point in the journey. In truth, how you make your customers feel when they engage with your brand, your products or your people is central to your success and you can’t assume you know how it feels to be a customer in your world, even if your business is doing ok you probably are still missing out on revenue due to something in the customer journey that doesn’t capture them.
Four factors for business success
Business success is based on four things and CX is at the heart of all of them: gaining customers, retaining customers, selling more stuff to customers and making the customer feel so connected to your brand that they will tell everyone else. Simple!
To find out how Mel can help your business or for further advice on customer experience, please click here.