There once was a time when businesses operated and existed almost entirely in one location. That physical place was home to all customer touch points. It was the storefront, the location where employees, customers, products, and services came together.
But, things have changed.
Businesses now appear in multiple places, both in physical and digital worlds. Touchpoints are spread across numerous platforms, and the number of ways for a customer to experience a business is higher than ever. Customers don’t need to be in a store to experience a brand. They can connect with an organization through a mobile device, digital screen, or social media site.
We are living in a world where there is an opportunity to create cohesive brand experiences across a variety of platforms -- and where customers want and demand those unique experiences.
A recent study by Salesforce confirmed this theory. In their “State of the Connected Customer” study, they found that 75% of surveyed customers expected companies to provide a consistent experience across multiple touchpoints.
It’s no longer enough to provide an excellent, one-dimensional customer experience in your store.
You now need to expand your business across various platforms and find multiple ways to reach out and connect with customers.
If you don’t embrace this strategy, you risk annoying your customers, falling behind your competitors, and creating disappointing customer experiences like these:
Not Listening On Social Media
You may think being on social media is enough. But if you are just scheduling posts, you are only participating in half of the platform.
A solid social presence shares messages with an audience, and also listens to what that audience has to say.
Customers frequently voice their opinions about brands and businesses via social media. If you aren’t listening to - and responding to - their messages on sites like Facebook and Twitter, you are missing a chance to engage more deeply and learn from your audience.
Not Using Customer Reward Programs
Technology has made it easier than ever to collect information about your customers. Customer loyalty software now allows you to record and store valuable information about your customers’ habits, how often they do business with you, and how they engage with your brand online.
Collecting this data provides value for both you and your customers.
You can thank customers with rewards they love. (The Salesforce study reported that 68% of consumers say rewards influence their purchasing loyalty.) You can also collect data to better understand trends, opportunities, and gaps in your business.
Not Using Personalization
When you collect data about customers through tools like loyalty rewards programs and digital profiles, you can personalize the customer experience by giving customers and clients what they want, when they want it.
Customers actually crave a more personalized connection with brands. They want brands to create custom specials and deals for them based on their habits and user data.
The Salesforce study revealed that 63% of consumers are willing to “share data with companies that send personalized offers and discounts.” If you offer the same experience to everyone, you are missing a chance to connect more deeply with unique customer segments.
Your Brand Feels Different on Every Platform
Customers want their favorite brands to exist on multiple platforms, and they want the brand to feel the same at each touchpoint. As mentioned earlier, 75% of consumers in 2016 want a consistent brand experience.
You may be creating disappointing customer experiences if you aren’t using omni-channel marketing.
Through omni-channel marketing, you set up each of your digital platforms so they look similar, share matching branded elements, and work smoothly together. This allows you to give customers a seamless experience no matter what platform they choose to use.
Selling When You Should Be Helping
Customers are more empowered than ever before. Through mobile devices and digital platforms, they can research products and make purchasing decisions on their own. They don’t need or want salespeople to sell to them. Seventy-six percent (76%) of the Salesforce study respondents said it’s critical or very important for salespeople to be “focused on helping achieve their needs, not just on making a quick sale.”
You should provide customers with product information and demo videos that allow them to learn about items on their own.
The goal of your sales team shouldn’t be to force sales on customers. It should be to help customers when they need it. Empower, and then guide shoppers through their purchase.
Remember: your business does not just exist in one physical location or digital platform. Customer touch points are spread out across multiple platforms and spaces, whether you know it or not.
As a brand, you must acknowledge and embrace this expansion of your business’s appearance if you want to provide more appealing, useful, and engaging customer experiences. It’s how you give customers what they want and expect while establishing long-term brand loyalty and recognition.
As you went through this list of disappointing customer experiences, did you find that you could be doing more? Are you ready to implement new strategies that will wow and impress your customer base?
If so, get more tips and ideas for creating exceptional customer experiences with our free ebook, How To Provide Exceptional Customer Experiences Using Audio and Video.