The importance of customer experience in marketing

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Date: 14 July 2020

Hand gives five star rating as product feedback on a tablet computer

For many, the term customer experience is more of a buzzword than a serious pursuit. That's a major problem. Consumers are unlikely to engage with your company's products or services if they don't feel that the overall experience is right for them. The better their experience, the more likely it is they will convert from sales lead to customer.

85% of consumers say they trust online reviews nearly as much as a personal recommendation from a friend. Another study showed that 94% consumers wanted a company to have at least a four-star rating before they will give it any custom. With that in mind, it's obvious that customers who share a negative experience online could do a great deal of damage to your company's reputation.

Investing time and money into your product and service should therefore never be viewed as a waste.

Building customer experience and dumping old campaigns

At one point, advertising gurus talked about the four Ps of marketing. These were:

  • Price
  • Promotion
  • Product
  • Place

Experts who've watched recent restaurant trends have noticed these becoming less and less important. Companies with a reasonable price who promoted their product and who were conveniently located usually did well. That's why so many fast food chains were able to outperform almost every other segment of the market for decades.

Web shopping throws a spanner into that equation. Firms that provide a great customer experience might be able to charge higher prices because consumers are more concerned about receiving the right kind of treatment. Pay close attention the next time you see advertising for the restaurant industry. Words like 'premium' have replaced terms like 'convenient', even for companies that are promoting food delivery services.

Restaurants want to let the world know they have some degree of value. No matter what kind of company you have, you should start to phase out your old promotions and follow this trend. You also need to improve your existing image.

Improving your image by improving the overall experience

Slick marketing campaigns can only do so much. Consumers will see through ads that promise an excellent experience when they know the truth is anything but. If you claim you're going to improve your online shopping experience, then you really need to rework your website. Listen to feedback from customers and work to address the issues they have raised.

Listening and responding to customers can help you build your reputation and boost customer loyalty. Consumers will feel that you really care about their needs, instead of treating them as just another lead in a marketing database. Over time, positive customer feedback will start to improve ratings too.

It can take more than ten positive reviews to make up for one negative online review. Once you've actually fixed the problems customers have raised, you might want to explore some ways to remove bad Amazon reviews. There are several legitimate ways to do this.

There's also a good chance that bad reviews have been left about your company on other sites. Over time, some of these might vanish on their own. Others could potentially get buried. For instance, negative eBay reviews will become a lower percentage of your overall rating once you start to generate more positive reviews. Bonanza UK works in much the same way, so sellers on that site could focus on volume sales to increase their feedback rating.

If you have your own social media presence, then you also need to keep an eye on what people are saying about you online.

Listening and responding to your customers

Look at every bit of feedback as an opportunity to respond to your customers. If someone makes a negative comment on Twitter, then this is an excellent chance to apologise and state your position. It's even better if you listen to your customer's voice and fix whatever went wrong their end.

Keep monitoring social media feeds for anything people are saying about your brand. You might want to watch RSS or Atom streams so you can see exactly what complaints people are making about your brand and address them straight away.

Granted, there will always be some people who are simply out to cause problems. Make sure you reply to them nonetheless, because others might come across their reviews over time. Be cordial but explain that you could have addressed their issue if they had contacted you directly.

By replying on social media in this way, you're demonstrating to future customers that you always aim to deliver the service they expect and take their opinions seriously. You also get an opportunity to promote your brand at the same time

Putting together a social media strategy that helps to promote your business as an experience as opposed to merely a brand isn't always easy. However, it'll make much more sense if you take the time to address each complaint individually.

Once you have a list of common problems, the final step is create a list of actionable tasks that will help prevent the issues from arising again.

Site maintenance and improvement

Recent studies show that 86% of buyers will pay more if they get a better experience. That means even a few minor improvements to your site and regular maintenance could represent a major new revenue stream. If you're using a framework that you can maintain yourself, then this might even be an essentially free way to draw in new consumers.

While these statistics aren't suggesting you can simply start hiking prices, it does indicate that consumers are getting tired of poor customer service and want to get something better.

Copyright 2020. Featured post made possible by Philip Piletic

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