“Customer Experience“ has redeveloped as a buzz phrase in digital marketing departments lately. Customer experience management is the intersection of many different disciplines, including: design, marketing, branding, and interactions. One of the chief opportunities frequently overlooked is the ability for customers to have digital interactions with real people in your business.
Marketing is an exercise in relationship building. Too often, the marketer gets caught up in the idea that the customer experience is just about customers interacting with a product or service. This is simply not the case. Results-oriented customer experience marketing relies on effectively communicating how the product or service solves problems through use of the product or service. This information is almost always most successful when conveyed by real people.
Turning your marketing efforts to addressing the problems and needs of customers is the foundational tenet of delivering incredible customer experience. In the offline world, one of the best customer experience catalysts is the way your sales and service team members interact live with customers. Recognizing that the internet is also a touchpoint for live customer interactions (questions, purchases, service and service, and so on) may help your company position itself for delivering better customer experiences.
There are a number of ways that you can deliver a more personal and humanized customer experience:
- Use a Twitter account to respond directly to customer questions/issues
- Use a Facebook Company Page for holding threaded conversations
- Implement chat at your company website, allowing customers to self-select and engage with your team live
- If real-time engagement isn’t possible for your business, put the names, faces and contact information for real people on your “contact us” page (contact us forms are quickly becoming outmoded in this always on and on demand economy)
You’ll notice a theme in the recommendations above: they give customers options for having two-way conversations. It’s no different than a team member greeting a customer when they walk in the front door. It’s no different than having a real human answer a customer phone call. The best digital customer experiences are interactive, and involve real people.
Note: Special thanks to Greg Siefert and The Customer Experience Blog for the customer experience model.