Gone are the days when you could set up a call centre support desk somewhere in India or Philippines and expect the customer to be satisfied with the post-purchase support level thus provided.
Your customer today has access to more interfaces, channels, and choices than ever before. Your journey with this individual does not end with the purchase being made. That is just the beginning, more so if your business is driven by the long-term Lifetime Value goals.
81% of shoppers search online before making a buying decision. A vast majority of these also look for social validations of their decision from their peer group. If we look at B2B buying, this number jumps to 94% of customers who are researching online before making a buying decision. Can you really afford to not capitalise on this?
The web is a great leveller when it comes to providing a choice between an industry giant and a startup. It provides an opportunity for a ‘Pebble’ to compete with an ‘Apple watch’ on an equal footing and even surpass it in terms of customer experience, which is no mean feat.
So how should you be engaging with your customers in 2016?
- Listen – Really Listen
Invest in some social listening and mapping tools to better engage with your customers and prospects, across channels. Ensure that you have a real-time view of the discussion topics, complaints, and brand sentiment mapped.
- Understand who is buying and who is an influencer
It is important to clearly map out the actual buyer of the product versus the ones that are influencing the buying decision. This is because the communication with both of these sets will be vastly different. In fact, you would also want to map out your engaged customers, distinct from your advocates, distinct from your ‘ready to churn’. This will help you gauge the effectiveness of every campaign, by the target set that is exposed to the same.
- Map the preferred channels of communication
Not customers behave uniformly across the channel. Ensure that you are in a position to map the various shopper personas across all your interaction channels, to enable you to respond and communicate appropriately. Invest in a platform that has the potential to predict the customer channel of choice, to make your message much more engaging for the recipient.
- Set the expectations and deliver on it
No matter what your business delivers, the customer expects a certain Quality of Service to be delivered. This Quality of Service has been defined through previous engagement with your brand, competition benchmarks, marketing collaterals you have released, or expectations based on sector niche. Irrespective of how the expectations have been set, it is imperative to achieve or exceed the bar set, else ensure steps are taken for mitigation of post purchase dissonance
- Measure your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
What cannot be measured, cannot be improved. Live this tenet and ensure all the drivers of your business are appropriately tracked and displayed for optimisation.
We wish you success in your customer engagement objectives over the new year, and welcome you to try the future with FirstHive, today!