Customers are the lifeblood of your business; attracting and engaging them, encouraging them to buy, and keeping them happy after a sale are important to the marketing process. While there are many ways to accomplish all of these objectives, customer experience automation and customer experience marketing can help you up your game.

Connect with the Customer

You can connect with customers in many ways, through online or telephone live chats or with emails and texts. Whatever channel you choose, forming personal relationships with customers fosters loyalty and motivates them to recommend your product or service to others.

What to consider when trying to connect with customers:

  • Searchability – Today’s customers are savvy and do their research. A stellar SEO strategy will put your product or service at the top of the search page and make you easy to find.
  • Reputation – Online reviews that highlight a good track record will entice others to take a first or second look. If several vendors sell essentially the same type of widget, differentiating your brand through other means is essential.
  • Customer service – It’s important to make it easy for your customers to get answers. Whether it’s a chatbot or a search screen, they won’t stay long if they can’t find what they’re looking for.
  • SMS or text messages – People carry their smartphones everywhere, so a text message is a great way to connect with them. Make sure that the text is relevant, that you have permission, and that they can opt out.
  • Emails – Inviting a customer to join your email list is an extremely popular way to stay connected with your customer. Include interesting industry and product information and links to your website to keep your customers engaged.
  • Social media – Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other social media channels can capture the attention of potential customers, introduce them to your product, and spur them to click further. Make it easy for customers to spread the word about your product or service by providing “share” links on your website and in emails.

What Is Customer Experience Automation?

Customer experience automation (also called CX automation) allows you to connect with your customers on many levels with minimal human interaction.

From automated thank-you notes to sales call follow-ups, interacting with customers doesn’t always require sales staff. Good software has a workflow with customizable automation options at every step of the process.

What are some examples?

  • Thank-you notes – When a customer orders a product or service, add a personal touch with a thank-you note or email. Include follow-up information such as the delivery date and contact information for any questions they might have.
  • Feedback for reviews – An automated thank-you for reviews shows customers you’re paying attention. Software is extremely smart now and can be programmed with automation that can be used to reply to issues or questions.
  • Chatbots – The little boxes that pop up in the corner of web pages offering help are typically run by chatbots. They can be programmed to answer all sorts of questions, plus transfer people to a customer service rep.
  • Voicebots – Similar to chatbots, voicebots use voice software to create a more interactive, personal approach. They are popular options for customer service numbers, for instance.
  • Personalized Emails – Emails tailored to customers’ roles in their company or the products they show interest in make them feel like you understand their needs.
  • SMS messaging – Sending text messages at every step of the process — from reminders to complete an order and special advertisements to shipment details and follow-up thank-you notes — is another communication option.

What Is Customer Experience Marketing?

Developing a marketing plan that focuses on the customer experience should be a primary part of your overall plan. Happy customers come back to buy more and refer you to their friends.

Successful branding makes a big difference in how a customer feels about your product or service. When your product is competing with 20 similar widgets, you have to separate from the pack, and customer experience marketing is the key.

Every department in a company — not just sales and marketing — is responsible for the customer experience. Customers can be won or lost in customer service, packaging, billing, delivery, and advertising in addition to sales and the product itself.

Say a customer orders a crockpot with all of the desired features, but upon delivery, he discovers that the plug was damaged by the manufacturer. How the company handles this situation will drive the customer’s experience and determine whether he chooses a refund or allows the company to send a replacement.

How Can You Enhance Your Customer Experience Marketing?

Your customer should be at the center of all your strategies. At every step of the way, you should be asking this question: How does this affect my customer, and how can I make it better?

  • Put yourself in the customer’s shoes – Whether your customer is the head of a corporation or the person who washes the floors, customizing your message delivery is critical. Customer experience automation can send different, tailored correspondence about the same product to each of these customers, making them feel like you’re speaking to their specific needs.
  • Create relevant content – If you’re marketing to a software engineer and you write content that’s too simplistic, the customer could lose interest. The goal is to create informative, personalized content that’s on par with a segment’s knowledge base but still teaches the customer something new.
  • Consistency among channels – Creating continuity among your departments with regard to your customer base results in comfort and ease for the customer. Your brand across departments social accounts and marketing channels should be warm, inviting, and consistent.
  • Consistency among devices – Whether your customers use smartphones, laptops, or desktops, the look and feel of your brand and experience should be flawless. Don’t make the website so complicated that those with slow internet connections grow weary of waiting.
  • Encourage feedback – Online reviews help customers feel like their opinions matter. Whether it’s great reviews or constructive feedback, take it to heart when figuring out the next direction in your marketing plan.
  • Strive to happily surprise your customer – Make sure your customer experience automation appears warm and friendly. You want customers to forget that they’re talking to a computer, and making them feel like you care can be a game-changer.
  • Create a great landing page – Sometimes your landing page is your customers’ first interaction with your company. Create a wonderful experience and they’ll want to keep clicking.

What Is the Result of a Customer Experience Strategy?

You’ll get loyal customers, who will spend more, leave great reviews and share their experiences on social media or with friends. Building a customer base and retaining its business is hard work, but it will pay off if done right.

What Can I Do Now?

Organizations have a lot of options to reach and connect with customers. Marketing automation software has infinite possibilities and options.

  • Step into your customer’s shoes and evaluate what they really need. Anticipate those needs and customize marketing opportunities using marketing software.
  • Encourage your customers to share their experiences with your product or service on your website and social media accounts. Make them feel like you care.
  • Align all of your marketing strategies to enhance the customer experience. Involve feelings, senses, thoughts and actions in everything you do to create memorable experiences that stick with customers and prompt them to associate your product with those feelings.
  • Be aware of outside sources that affect your business, like news reports, unplanned encounters with sales reps, or word-of-mouth comments. Your brand and campaign and how you react with customers can spill into areas out of your control, but if you focus on delighting your customer, that good will be reflected in those outside sources and only help your business.

Improving your customer experience is an evolving process, and not all changes will create the best results. Start with small tweaks to one aspect of your campaign and move onto the next.

If you need help getting started, explore agencies that offer marketing automation services to find the one that best fits your needs and aligns with your customer base.

Koertni Adams