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Voices

4 Elements of a Successful Customer Experience Strategy

Erin Ollila
February 27, 2019

3 minute read

Imagine this: 4 individuals sit down in a conference room to build a customer experience strategy. The first one starts and says, “Let’s begin by considering ways to engage our audience.” The second shakes their head and says, “No. Converting leads is where we should focus our attention.” The third interrupts to point out that fulfilling expectations is the most important part of any strategy. The fourth sits quietly — ignoring the others — while jotting down notes on how to best nurture previous customers.

Which strategist is right?

They all are. CX doesn’t happen at one singular point in time. All 4 stages are vital throughout the customer’s journey, and all need to be addressed in any customer experience strategy. Here are 4 suggestions on how to fine-tune experience at each level.

Engage your audience

“To engage with your customers, you must first know who they are so you can cater the customer experience for them,” says Bart Mroz, co-founder and CEO of digital commerce consulting firm SUMO Heavy, in an interview for this article. He suggests gathering any demographics available, such as age, gender, birthday, location, previous purchases, and browsing habits and then using this data to personalize their experience. Next, implement tools such as chatbots to communicate with your audience in real time. Mroz continues, “Of course, personalization is not a one-and-done task. Brands should revisit their customer profiles often and change their personalization strategies based on new data and behavior.”

Convert leads to customers

The ease of shopping and accessibility to helpful tools turns a browser into a buyer. “When you compare the total retail experience to a matrix, you gain the ability to sense, see, and source ways to enhance shopper experiences across a variety of channels, as well as states of mind. Help your shoppers journey throughout the retail experience, effortlessly wherever possible, but always–always–on their own terms,” advises Alasdair Lennox, Executive Creative Director of FITCH, a retail and brand consultancy, in an interview for this article.

Fulfill expectations

Whatever promise you make to your customers needs to be fulfilled. This creates a happy customer who is not only likely to return to shop or use your product, but one who will also potentially act as a brand cheerleader shouting your praises to their social circles.

Ryan Croft, COO and Co-Founder of TransitScreen, a company that displays real-time information about mobility options via screen installations and mobile devices, says in an interview for this article, “For us, it’s really important to fulfill customer expectations to set them up to be advocates for us in the future. Because people generally have poor previous experiences with setting up hardware and can be a little skeptical, we make the process as easy as humanly possible and provide support along the way.” While installation may be a major moment for exceeding expectations for Croft’s company, other organizations may benefit from offering no-cost or same-day shipping or concierge services, for example.

Nurture your customers

Nurturing previous customers is just as important as engaging with new consumers. According to FITCH’s thought piece, The Joy of Shopping, “Shoppers want to be inspired to dream, whether they are shopping for Saturday evening‘s dinner, or something fabulous to wear on that first date.” Nurture them here by providing snackable content via sponsored social media ads, video or blog content, or targeted email campaigns based on previous purchases.

Wherever you begin developing your customer experience strategy, make it a point to spend some time with the 3 other elements at some point as well. Your customers deserve the best experiences at all stages of brand interaction.

Erin Ollila
Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform – and even transform – its intended audience. After a 12+ year career in human resources, she's jumped headfirst into digital strategy. Erin is a geek for SEO and all things social media.
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