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Great CX doesn’t end after checkout

17th Jan 2020
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In today’s customer first, experience rich world, providing not just good, but consistently great customer service has become paramount for any organisation, In fact, 84% of consumers say customer service is important when considering whether or not to buy from a company—outranking both convenience and reputation, according to Zendesk’s 2019 Customer Experience Trends Report. But, while many companies focus on pre-purchase marketing efforts, attempting to improve and modify their checkout experience, or invest in a customer loyalty programme, marketing teams need to start taking a wider view and thinking about a joined-up customer experience across the entire sales funnel – pre, during and post-sale. And it goes beyond the traditionally marketing-focused areas.

 Empowering marketers across the sales funnel

Consumers are no strangers to great experiences. The world has evolved such that consumers are comparing you to the best experiences they’ve ever had, and therefore expect that same level of high quality experience from your brand. Marketers, however, have traditionally concerned themselves with sales-driving activity - capturing new customers or even upselling to existing ones - but have often forgotten about maintaining existing customers to nurture loyal advocates. With sales often at the front end of the funnel and support at the back, marketing has filled in the gaps in between. However, the department’s broad access to customer data has allowed marketing to take greater ownership of the full funnel in customer experience and become the glue to bring the departments together.

Marketing’s unrivalled access to data – and the insight that data brings – enables it to create highly personalised experiences that engage and delight customers. This ranges from the information they see on a company’s website, to the offers and discounts they are sent and the communications they receive after they’ve bought a product or service.

Balancing data and creativity

But, how can marketers make best use of the data available to them, while taking the time to action these insights in a creative, engaging way for customers?

1.     Look at your full customer journey – beyond purchase and into loyalty and post purchase. A lot of brands try to upsell to customers, but how do you develop a long-term relationship and keep that close engagement? One way is to identify ways to improve the customer experience, without the customer asking for it – otherwise known as proactive engagement. Nearly 90% of customers we surveyed for our Customer Experience Trends Report say they either look more favourably on companies that reach out proactively or are neutral about it. Do you capture customer preferences right at the start of your relationship, so you can then tailor your communications to that person, in a creative way, on an ongoing basis? Would you surprise them with a text about a new deal or send them a chat about their recent order? Do you use customer purchase history to tailor promotions and offers?

2.     Use data to see where you’re losing customers. Consumers can get stuck at any point in the acquisition journey. In fact, according to the Baymard Institute, there is an average of about 70% cart abandonment rate at the point of purchase. Where are the gaps in your current purchase experience and how can you fill these in an imaginative way that engages customers? Do you use live chat? Send reminders of shopping cart purchases not being completed? Offer FAQs or knowledge articles targets at point of purchase? At the same time, not all customers appreciate the same communication. Knowing what to say and how to say it can make all the difference when it comes to customer satisfaction scores and improving long-term customer value. The key here is to use the data to analyse both lost customers, and find out what’s important to existing customers.

3.     Leverage the goldmine that is customer support. In some ways, your support teams are your new marketing frontline, calling for closer collaboration between the two departments. Sharing customer data, promotional offers, and asking for customer feedback in return can help to close the loop and ensure the best possible experience for customers every time. Nearly 70% of consumers expect support teams to collaborate, so they don’t have to repeat themselves, according to our Customer Experience Trends Report. This means companies need to manage customer data across all aspects of the customer experience and ensure that a single record of the customer exists across channels, devices, and requests. But no one company is going to provide this. So how do you look at your platform, tools and technology to create that environment for your front line teams. I’m even starting to see some marketing teams give budget over to service and support teams to help engage them on promotional activity, as part of the frontline.

More and more, marketers are becoming the guardians of experience. By leveraging data, insights and working closely with neighbouring teams, we are starting to see more of a joined up, memorable experience for our customers. Ultimately everyone is fighting for a share of wallet for every consumer out there today. If a consumer has chosen your brand, then capitalise on it - nurture that customer, treat them like gold, and deliver them great experiences. Ultimately, it means you will not only increase sales, but build loyal brand advocates too.


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