Do you feel that your business employs a customer-centric approach? Here at SmartBrief, customer satisfaction is our highest priority, but we know we still have work to do. A 2020 Walker study found that only 35% of CX professionals in marketing and 21% of those in business development and sales said their departments were effective at using customer intelligence to drive improvements. B2B companies are lagging even more. Why does this matter and what can we do to improve?
CX at the heart of strategy
One-third of consumers will walk away from a brand after a single bad experience. To keep customers coming back and to ensure you are giving them the experiences they deserve, try adding these three key aspects to your CX strategy.
- Make customer interactions consultative
We hear this all the time but putting this into practice can be a barrier for many. The key to success in this area is to make sure your sales and marketing teams are working in harmony. When sales and marketing operate more like consultants who offer objective advice and add value to the buyer journey, prospects are more likely to pay attention to your messages. Dig into your prospects’ pain points and work as a team to solve those problems, even if you land on a solution you can’t necessarily provide. The prospect will be glad for realistic offers and advice, rather than being sold on something.
2. Eliminate silos to drive data insights
Rich Hein of CMSWire writes, “Using first-party data to inform your personalization programs is a cornerstone of data-driven, customer-centric strategies intended to serve digital-first consumers.” This couldn’t be more true. Here at SmartBrief we only use first-party data to ensure we truly understand who our customers are and what they need from us as a solution. However, we must use that data to inform the entire buying process. In most organizations, sales and marketing have strong insight into prospects until a purchase is made. However, the way a customer behaves after the initial sale is some of the most important data you can use for your CX strategy. It’s important to understand how the customer is using your product or solution, what the user experience looks like for them, and if there are any additional products or solutions you can offer that the customer might benefit from. Having insight into the full customer experience will often drive loyalty.
3. Remove obstacles in the customer journey
Are you inadvertently creating obstacles? These could be as simple as asking a prospect to fill out a lengthy form or passing the prospect from one team to another. The best way to eliminate obstacles is by putting yourself in the shoes of the customer. Some things we do here at SmartBrief are to test and then test some more. When you create a new form, take the time to fill it out yourself. Are you annoyed by the amount of information requested? Are you unable to submit it because a phone number field is mandatory and you only want to provide your email? Think about every process you are putting your customers through, and if it’s not something you would want to go through yourself, change it. Instead of lengthy forms, use tools like progressive profiling to help accelerate your CX experience. Make sure you are saving user information so they don’t have to continuously give the same information again and again. And of course, make sure users understand how you will be using the data they share with you.
It’s never too late to pivot to a CX-focused marketing strategy. You can start by taking incremental steps to address the three key aspects of customer experience. Are you interested in learning more about CX marketing? Download our latest whitepaper on customer experience.
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