When businesses promote a product or service, they focus on the key customer touchpoints when thinking about customer experience. Times like first contact/awareness of a product, purchase point, and utilizing a product or service for the first time come to mind. These are the obvious, meat-and-potatoes aspects of the customer experience marketers focus on. However, most companies overlook special opportunities or vulnerabilities in their customer experience. Specific times lend themselves to capitalizing on happy customers (soliciting reviews or establishing a long term relationship) while other moments are particularly vulnerable to jeopardizing the overall customer experience. Consider the following blind spots the next time you review your customer experience.
Most direct-to-consumer products do a good job of transitioning the customer from awareness to further investigation. This “onboarding” period is after a potential customer becomes aware (e.g., seeing an ad) and is investigating the product further. This next step, which is often a landing page on a website, should easily segue the customer from the ad to providing more information about the product/service. Contrary to B2C products, however, B2B services tend to struggle in this category. Often, there is a disconnect between B2B service providers’ websites and what they actually do. Small consulting and marketing firms often have outdated websites that don’t reflect their approach to speaking with a new prospective client. What would your B2B service say to a potential new customer if they called? Your website should reflect this, and you should review your website often to make sure your introductory language relates.
Sequencing of Communications
Most businesses utilize email marketing to solicit and retain customers. However, many simply blast advertisements to their customers after they’ve purchased, rather than carefully curating and designing a conversation. When a potential customer is looking at purchasing for the first time, advertising should offer them a great incentive to purchase. After they purchase, a discount or promotion should help to bring them back again. When they make an exchange or have product issues, customer service should be there to help. Customers need an appropriate sequence of communications to truly build a partnership with a brand.
Building a Relationship
Usually, a set of products or services is designed to build a long term relationship. An outdoors store may have a variety of camping gear designed to take beginners and make them customers for life. However, the relationship goes beyond the products and services themselves. Businesses should proactively help develop a partnership by offering information, such as helpful tools, purely informational emails or how-to assistance. In that light, customer support shows commitment to the customer beyond the transaction itself, and builds long-term loyalty. Additionally, brands should always try to establish a culture and be in touch with the personal wants and needs of customers.
A final major blind spot for businesses is the failure to seize opportunities when customers are delighted. This usually comes after a great product or service experience. What is your business doing to leverage that great experience for future purchases? Helping customers make the most of their products/services can help create passionate followers who will share the experience with others. Great online reviews result in monetary gain for most businesses, so taking opportunities of delight to solicit a positive review should never be overlooked. Additionally, getting customers to promote your product/service via social media is much more likely when the customer is satisfied and feels a connection to your product/service, and that connection deeply impacts their life and sense of happiness. Brands and companies that seize these opportunities will find themselves in an upward spiral of positive customer feedback, promotion and recycling.