As we enter the holiday season, let’s all ask ourselves: what do our customers REALLY want?
The savviest digital marketers realize that this season will bring significant opportunities to engage with customers in ways that will create emotional bonds between customer and brand; by delighting with a positive customer experience (CX) at key touch points, you can foster brand loyalty. And while the answer to what they want may be different for each customer, one thing is true no matter what: they don’t just want it around the holidays. You should be meeting your customers’ requirements and surprising them with positive, unexpected experiences the whole year through, and the holidays are the opportune time to roll out initiatives that will carry on well into the following here.
Rewarding customers’ loyalty is an effective way to further build upon it and entrench your brand in their regular purchase habits. Who doesn’t love a gift, after all, and ‘tis the season! Consider offering free shipping, free returns, or other free add-ons for repeat or special purchases. If you have a rewards system already in place, up the rewards payback for a time so that your more dedicated customers can see that loyalty pay off.
By tapping into recent digital innovations, you can further find activities and offerings that will delight your customers. It is important to be able to monitor and analyze the impact of CX so that you can adapt and segment your services to meet different customers’ needs and preferences. Platforms like our WebFOCUS business intelligence (BI) and analytics software can deliver a browser-based environment with self-service analytics that enables non-technical users to independently report on and analyze customer data. By empowering these users to intuitively access and visualize their data trends, companies are more effectively able to predict customer actions and tastes—in other words, they have more opportunities to pleasantly surprise them.
Similarly, prospective customers have a wealth of information available on choices at their fingertips and will research extensively before engaging with potential suppliers. This research phase is an opportunity to engage and deliver a positive CX. Websites, blogs, InfoApps, social media, print and online advertising, as well as try-before-you-buy options, are all touchpoints at which loyalty (or at least interest) can be built.
The most successful CX continuously delivers on expectations, adds value and supports cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, while creating an emotional bond that bolsters loyalty. Armed with the proper tools to collect, analyze, visualize, and act on customer data, digital marketers play a crucial role in ensuring that brands deliver a consistent experience and building a CX strategy that works the whole year round, not just when customers are expecting gifts.
For more information on this topic, check out our upcoming joint webcast with DMI “Delivering Insights: Leveraging Analytics for Customer-Facing Portals and Applications.”