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3 Hallmarks of an Engaging Customer Experience

According to Forbes, companies that provide a “superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors that lag in customer experience.” Now, who doesn’t want to bring in five times the revenue they did last year? Oh yeah, laggards. Thank heavens you’re not one of those slovenly ne’er-do-wells. You’re so committed to upgrading the customer experience (CX) at your place that you’re ready to see if it aligns with Sureshot’s top three hallmarks of an engaging CX.

#1 — A Superior CX Is Truly Personal

Think about the best relationship with a person that you ever had. Chances are the reason that relationship seemed superior to all others is because you felt seen and understood. Dr. Leon Seltzer at Psychology Today maintains that the human need to be understood is actually greater than our need to be loved. The elements of a great business relationship are really no different. It’s about making the other person feel heard and understood. Of course, when you have hundreds or thousands of customers, making each one feel heard and understood may seem like an impossible task, but with the right martech set-up it’s not.

Integrated Data Is Important

So how do you pull off the impossible? First, you integrate all of your data sources to ensure that everyone in every department, from marketing and sales to customer service and beyond, is operating from the same page. After all, integrated data sources are the building blocks of the coveted single customer view. The good news is you no longer need IT’s help to connect all your tech. Modern martech integration tools enable you to connect all of your systems, platforms, apps and tools via pre-built or easily customizable integrations.

Clean and Complete Data Is Even More Important

The next critical step you must take in order to provide a remarkably personal CX is to ensure your data not only achieves high-quality status, but maintains it. We’ve all had the experience where someone, who we thought knew us, misspelled our name or got our job title wrong. While those are easy mistakes to make in real life, they are wonderfully easy to avoid in the realm of digital marketing. This is where a data dashboard comes in handy. Once your tech is connected, a data dashboard centralizes everyone’s view of the data and keeps all of the data in a clean, complete, standardized, and ready-to-use status. This ensures that regardless of who at your company is interacting with a customer, he or she will have the right information at the right time.

#2 — A Superior CX Is Seamless

The instant gratification of mobile technology has forever blurred the line between B2C and B2B CX. Today’s B2B customers not only expect you to know and honor their personal preferences, they expect to interact with you across multiple channels without so much as a hiccup. Essentially they want the same speed, simplicity and convenience in their business relationships that they experience as consumers.

Take Inventory of Your Channel Lineup

To deliver on the fluidity aspect of CX, you will want to map your typical customer journey in detail. Note which channels you are using and compare those with customer preferences. If you have relied on direct mail and email heavily in the past, but a number of your customers have stated they prefer SMS or any of the myriad of messaging apps out there, then you need to make plans to accommodate their preferences.

Be the Customer

Next, have the members of your marketing team (and perhaps a few fresh eyes from confederates in other departments) approach each channel as if they were the customer. Ask them to list what’s working and what’s not? For example, ask them to note now how long it takes a page to load on the desktop and mobile versions of your site. According to the folks at The Gorilla Agency, every second it takes to load a page results in a 4.42 percent reduction in conversion rates. Ouch! To ensure your CX is smooth, you want to examine each touchpoint in your current customer sales cycle. This will take time, and the improvements needed will take even longer, but stay focused and be diligent. As you eliminate extra steps in their journey and foster a more intuitive and less clunky experience, you’ll find current and future customers will reward your efforts with brand loyalty. Research by the XM Institute found that customers that encounter high-quality CX are:

  • 94% more likely to purchase more
  • 94% more likely to recommend the company
  • 77% more likely to forgive a bad experience

#3 — A Superior CX Is Meaningful

Your mission as a B2B marketer is to create meaningful connections with your customers through highly personalized, seamless, omni-channel campaigns that contain information that meets their needs. Yes, it’s a big ask, but with the help of a good Content Automation Tool (CAT) you can send personalized campaigns to every person on your list. A CAT makes personalized campaigns scalable by automating the process of pulling custom content from all your connected data sources and organizing it into queues for your preferred campaign channels. Here, again we see why martech integration and data quality are so important. To ensure the campaigns you create have the impact you desire, you will want to continually review your customer segments and campaign performance and make tweaks as needed.

Divide Your Lists and Conquer

Targeting the right customers through personalized campaigns is easier when campaign lists are segmented into groups that share interests, backgrounds, needs, budgets, etc.  As you create each customer segment, don’t forget to consider the unique needs each segment has. Doing so will help you develop more compelling content.

Monitor and Measure Performance

Lastly, to determine whether or not your CX has reached superior status, you will want to track open, click-through, and opt-out rates, as well as requests for materials. These metrics will reveal campaign strengths and weaknesses and enable you to make modifications that enhance performance.