Improve Customer Experience Over the Festive Period
The festive season brings exceptional opportunities for marketers to engage with their customers: rewarding them for their loyalty and creating exceptional experiences.
Spend increases significantly over this period, with overall expenditure totalling upward of €4.5 billion in 2017 (in Ireland).
This leads companies to significantly increase marketing spend as they compete for a piece of the pie.
So much so, that UK companies spent a record £6bn on Christmas advertising in 2017.
But while marketers pump big money into creating elaborate print and TV campaigns, many seem to forget about one of the most important things they can offer, a positive experience.
Customers will likely be looking for a good overall experience that values their time and enable them to be confident in their purchases.
However, with shops and websites being busier than ever, deliveries can take longer, and inevitably tempers can flare.
So, to avoid this take a look at your customer experience (CX) strategy and ensure that it measures up.
The goal is to deliver a positive customer experience at all the touch points where customers and prospects interact with your brand.
The most successful companies take this a stage further and aim to delight their customers: creating an emotional bond with the brand that fosters loyalty.
So how do you go about doing this?
Empower your employees
In the words of Michael Jackson, you need to start with ‘the man in the mirror’, not literally of course but for any change to be seen externally it must begin internally.
Happy customers are a priority, but it’s important to remember that in order to deliver a superior customer experience, staff must be happy too.
Over the holiday’s large numbers of additional staff are often brought on board to meet increased demand.
Getting them up to speed quickly and empowering them with information needed to provide a positive experience is of the essence. And this holds true regardless of where in the business they sit, whether it be in a customer facing role, on the marketing team or in the production warehouse.
You should try to boost the morale of the team and reward employees for their hard work. Engaging in charity actives can be a good option as it brings about that feel good factor that is so integral to the holidays.
Create a seamless customer journey
To create a comprehensive customer experience, you need to ensure that you are providing the best service possible at each stage of the journey, and for each customer.
Looking at stages in isolation can mean that you ignore other vital touchpoints. If a customer has a negative interaction at one of these touchpoints you could risk them dropping off even before a purchase is made.
Marketers have a crucial role to play to ensure that brands deliver a consistent experience across physical, digital and mobile touchpoints.
Cross-channel integration, in which customers can seamlessly move from one channel to the other with ease is sure to keep your customers satisfied as they navigate through the physical and online environments.
End to end service
This becomes especially important when it comes to e-commerce due to the retail supply chain involving multiple independent companies.
Often the biggest problems occur around deliveries and, while issues are not technically your fault, your customers will hold you responsible.
Therefore, make sure that you are able to integrate with delivery systems to access the right information and solve any issues, wherever they occur in the supply chain.
Listen to your customer
As the saying goes, ‘the customer knows best’. And while this might not always be the case, listening, and taking what they have to say on board, can be beneficial.
Your customer service team should take notice when people are dissatisfied or downright angry and find swift solutions to their problems, putting procedures in place to avoid a complaint escalating.
Analyze the issues that customers are facing and see how operations can be changed to improve the experience you offer.