You’ve heard it time and again since Walker released its famous report back in 2013:
By 2020, customer experience will be the key way companies differentiate their brand from the competition.
I think we can all agree, that prediction actually came true quite a while ago. Case in point, Forrester found in 2018 that 80% of companies said improving CX was either a “high” or “critical” priority for their business.
And, well…this makes sense. After all, if your customers enjoy the experiences they have with your brand, they’re going to keep engaging with you.
The more often your customers engage with your company, the more valuable they’ll provide to your business. A 2018 report by Temkin Group shows that loyal customers are five times more likely to make repeat purchases from a brand.
The extra revenue earned from this increased engagement and loyalty is pretty substantial: Temkin estimates that a $1B company can generate an extra $775m over a three-year period by improving their customer experience.
In case it isn’t clear yet:
Now that we’re in 2020, it’s critical to ensure your customer experience is designed to meet your customers’ expectations so that you can keep them coming back for more.
In this article, we’re going to tell you how to do just that.
5 Customer Experience Strategies to Keep Customers Coming Back for More
Okay, we have to admit something:
It was a bit misguided of us, in the intro, to say that providing a branded experience your customers merely “enjoy” is enough to keep them loyal to your company.
The truth is, in order to create the fierce kind of loyalty that truly drives revenue, your customer experience needs to go above and beyond what your customers expect from you.
To create this experience, you need to…
Know What Your Customers Want
First things first:
In the following sections, we’ll be providing some overarching ways to improve your customer experience for engagement and retention purposes. As we do so, we’ll provide a number of examples from brands that have successfully implemented these strategies in their own way.
That said, it’s vital that you implement the following strategies in your own way—that is, how your customers want you to implement them.
To figure out what your customers want from their experiences with your brand, you’ll want to analyze and assess their path to purchase.
When doing so, you’ll want to identify moments where customers:
- Engages further in their buyer’s journey as planned
- Encounters friction when trying to engage further
- Decides against taking further steps with your brand
You can then gather more in-depth feedback via testing, surveys, and other such methods, which will allow you to make more informed improvements to your CX moving forward.
While the modern consumer expects the following from their favorite brands in some form, it’s up to you to figure out the best way to deliver this value to your customers.
Provide Self-Service Options
Now more than ever, consumers want options for self-service when engaging with their favorite brands.
According to Harvard Business Review, more than 80% of consumers try to accomplish a task or solve a problem on their own before reaching out to a company’s support team.
Or, at least, they want to be able to do so.
If said company doesn’t provide them the means to do so, the customer’s overall experience with the brand is going to suffer.
So, it’s essential that you provide a robust collection of self-service options to your audience, including (but not limited to):
- A knowledge base to house FAQs and user documentation to help customers resolve their service questions and issues
- A content library full of multimedia resources on variety of topics
- An on-site or third-party chatbot powered by AI that can answer easy customer questions as well as direct them to the appropriate resource or contact for more complicated problems
By providing self-service options to your customers, you provide them more control over their experience with your brand—and their lives, as well. In turn, this sense of control will make them feel more like the hero of their journey—while still recognizing the help their trusty sidekick (read: your brand) has given them along the way.
Personalize and Individualize the Experience
Okay, so you probably aren’t all that shocked to see “personalization” on a list of ways to improve your customer experience.
Still, we really need to point out how essential personalization is when it comes to improving customer retention.
As reported by Epsilon Marketing, 80% of consumers say they’re more likely to do repeat business with a company that personalizes the overall customer experience. Moreover, consumers do three times as much business with brands that fulfill their personalization needs than with those that don’t.
Now, personalization goes well beyond the more common tactics seen today. While presenting personalized greetings, product recommendations, and retargeting ads to your individual customers are still important, you also want to consider more emerging capabilities, such as:
Dynamic Content: Automatically-curated content for individual audience members based on their interests and experience with your brand
Dynamic Pricing: Individualized pricing optimized for the individual consumer based on real-time circumstances
Interface Customization: Allowing your individual audience members to customize your site’s appearance to their liking
Think about it like this:
Your individual customers don’t care what your brand can provide the “average” customer; they care about what you can provide them. If they can always get what they came for when engaging with your brand, they’ll have every reason to come back yet again.
Like personalization, we’ve been talking about the importance of an omnichannel experience for a while now.
But, again, that doesn’t make it any less important.
In fact, we’d argue that providing an omnichannel experience to your customers is becoming essential for retention purposes. Back in 2012, PwC made a similar prediction to Walker’s: By 2020, “the need for a unified consumer omnichannel experience will be complicated by the need for nearly perfect execution.”
In other words, the modern consumer not only expects their favorite brands to provide an omnichannel experience—they expect the experience to be flawless.
The reward for providing such an experience: Massive customer retention and loyalty. As Aberdeen Group’s data shows, companies that provide an omnichannel experience see an astounding 91% year-over-year increase in customer retention.
For the customer, an omnichannel experience means more convenient and efficient engagements—and fewer redundant and friction-filled experiences. Again, if your customers are always able to get what they need from your brand whenever they reach out to you, they’ll almost certainly continue to do so.
Be Proactive and Responsive
Now, most of our discussion thus far has revolved around providing a top-notch experience to your customers whenever they engage with your brand.
If you always wait for your customers to make the first move, you’re really leaving their return up to chance.
To be sure, even your most-satisfied customers aren’t guaranteed to come back. For each of your customers, any number of things can happen between engagements that can get in the way of your retaining their business.
So, while you do want to provide a variety of ways for your customers to engage further with your brand, you also want to proactively create such opportunities, as well.
A few examples:
- Sending segmented content and offers to specific audience members
- Delivering individual offers and reminders via behavioral triggers
- Soliciting feedback, both after an engagement and as a matter of course
Notice how the idea of responsiveness comes into play: In each of these scenarios, you’re using the customer’s previous engagement data—along with everything else you know about them—to present content and offers that are highly relevant to them.
In being responsive to your individual customer’s experiences with your brand—and proactively providing for their needs before they even make a request—you’ll prove just how dedicated you are to helping them succeed. If you can clearly communicate this to each of your customers, you should be able to keep them on board for a long time to come.
Improved CX = Increased Customer Retention
If your customer experience is unforgettable and provides value to your audience at every turn, you’re going to have an easy time keeping your customers on board.
The key is to develop a framework for your customer experience that allows your audience members to get exactly what they needed from you at any given time.
To consistently keep your audience’s needs top-of-mind, you need to keep your finger on the pulse of your industry at all times.