Remember when we talked about going beyond just business networking? With the fast-paced world right now, every business should be connecting with their customers more than ever. And connecting you sure did.
But even if you’re a behemoth of a company or a fledgling startup, knowing the way you improve consumer interaction is key to repeat business. Here are Customer Experience trends that might help your business starting this year.
Understanding Your Customers Buying Process
For sure, by now, you have already pinpointed your niche market. Let us just review what we all know.
A customer’s want or need to buy starts with a need or problem he wants to solve. Maybe s/he needs more cooking oil for that weekly dinner. Or that expensive laptop for his multimedia needs. For whatever reason, you have defined this customer profile already.
Afterward, out of all the choices, the customer decides that your product is the best fit. This is as simple as it gets.
Getting to Your Audience
But the problem lies in between. How do your prospective clients get to pick you? Heck, how do they even know that you exist?
Historically speaking, advertising media like newspaper, radio or TV are the way to go. But this tends to cost a lot. With the Internet today, we are allowed to advertise relatively cheaper and more effective. If you choose it, the world is now within your reach.
Google and Facebook have algorithms to specifically target your exact audience as long as you defined them well enough. But how do you make these advertisements compete better with the rest of the world?
Engagement is the answer.
Search Engine Optimization: The Age of Engagement
In online advertising, everything is all about engagement. The pages with the most active, dynamic, and organic following will win. This is especially important with Google rankings.
In other words, this FB pages or websites can be seen more if they are more active and relevant to the target market.
Example. Let’s say a dog food company wants to increase their rankings in the search engine. To do this, they built a blog to showcase different articles that may be useful and unique to the dog owners.
This is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in a nutshell. You want your website on the first page when they search relevant keywords to your business.
If you want more customers, SEO is a must for 2018!
Technology-Assisted: Focused on Customer Relationships
Technology tends to dampen social relationships with your customers. I mean, it’s hard to build a lasting connection with just a poster or unemotional text blast from a seller.
That’s why building a personal connection is an edge from other business. It’s the year of “humanity”. A setup where your customers feel that you care for them. But how do you do that with thousands of people inquiring about your business?
2018 is the proliferation of chatbots and robotic assistants. These are programs that can mimic a conversational tone (with high accuracy) even when interacting with customers. Globe Telecom has even started with it already.
But for those that absolutely need human interaction (and those with less budget), robotic assistants can provide a degree of automation as to the common answers alongside integration with people for the hard-for-machine ones.
In our age, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning is the new frontier. Your agents can be more efficient as ever with their help. A tag team between AI-efficiency and the heart of human interaction. This may be the glimpse of future.
Frictionless Engagement And Seamless Ecosystems
The almost ubiquitous connectivity made customers as demanding as ever. Almost everyone instantaneous results and answers. The businesses that will thrive, marketing-wise, are those with seamless ecosystems in place.
For example, it is not enough that banks provide loans for cars and real estate. They can integrate their system to connect their customers to reliable car dealerships or real estate agents.
Another example is personalized engagement. With the help of technologies above, your front-end and back-end employees can be trained to do more than just their side of the fence.
Every single employee can now assist a customer to an ultimate sale or after-service solution. With this, the customer doesn’t need to go thru multiple transfers per department because we now can do the other way around. We can assist the customer personally as he goes through every step of the process.
And for sure, you can think of other things to stretch out valuable service to your customer. In simple terms, if applicable, you always aim to add more value to them. If you go the extra mile every single time, repeat customers and word mouth will come in naturally.
A Thin Line Between Experiences: Digital Stores vs. Physical Stores
We think of digital stores and physical stores as mutually exclusive experiences. But with mobile devices in virtually everyone’s hands, the line is almost non-existent.
Has this happened to you? You’re looking for an item you wish to get in a physical store. After you found a possible option, you search for reviews on the Internet. If convinced, you buy it on-the-spot. If you need some more thinking, you ultimately go home and buy it thru online sellers.
These two realms are now too intertwined that we should remember it when making our business and marketing decisions.
Fighting Against Data Security Breaches
We all know the infamous Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal. The data of millions of people were leaked and used for a certain group’s political agenda. Even though this may not be related directly to your marketing efforts, getting involved in such scandal will hit (if not totally kill) the reliability of your brand.
Without trust, your sales will plummet. Protect the fruits of your labor. Make sure to secure your customer’s data to avoid such risks.
Concise Open-Ended Feedback: Capturing the “Voice of Customer”
Ultimately, the trend this year is knowing relevant data about your customer. Our customer demographics sometimes evolve. And as business owners, we should spot when a trend is happening.
This year, the trend goes to concise open-ended feedback. You want to get their feedback as hassle-free as possible. And open-ended feedbacks give out the detailed and personal thoughts of your customers.
But ever had so much feedback not used? Design such short feedback forms for those areas you want to really change. What’s good is that there are now hi-tech programs that can analyze the data from the collected open-ended feedback. How nifty is that?
The world is a dynamic place. Marketing trends will eventually evolve further as the time passes. Let this list be a starting point. Let us all ride the wave to a more prosperous business this 2018! Good Luck!