Customer experience has never been more important. The way people buy has changed, but unfortunately most businesses are still trying to sell things the old way.
Not too long ago Google brought out the term ZMOT, which refers to the point in the buying process when the consumer learns about a product before the seller even knows about them.
Thanks to the internet every customer now has a voice and a wider selection of choices. Bad experiences can have devastating effects on your business.
But with so many touch points it can be hard to keep track of things. Thankfully not all touch points carry the same level of importance.
In this post, we’ll talk about 5 of the most important touch points—those moments of truth that affect a buying decision—and how you can improve them to drive sales.
1. First Impression: Brand content
In today’s world, 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase. And according to Forrester, B2B buyers will find three pieces of content about a vendor for every one piece that marketing can publish or sales can deliver.
With all the information a consumer needs just a search away, businesses need to shift to a more customer-centric version of marketing.
Content marketing enables a business to reach consumers at the point they’re actively seeking a solution to a problem. For many consumers, content is the first touchpoint they have with a brand and can strongly influence their purchasing.
Content marketing can be on site and even off site. A few examples of off-site content marketing include:
- A guest post on an industry blog.
- A video your team created and posted on Youtube.
- Social media posts on your company’s account.
To create content that’s optimized to send potential customers your way. You need to solve pain points that a lot of your customers have, but these pain points also have to align with your business.
Helpful content creates a positive experience in the minds of your customers.
2. Social Influence: Customer reviews
Online reviews strongly influence a buyer’s decision. Even if you have an effective content marketing program in place, most people will still need to learn more about your business and its alternatives. And they usually turn to off-site recommendations and reviews for this.
Consider that 85% of people trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation and a negative review can drive away approximately 22% of customers.
In today’s interconnected world people are sharing their experiences and listening to other buyers before they make a purchase. And since consumers are likely to spend 31% more on products/services from businesses that have excellent reviews, this can positively impact your business.
Even though reviews can’t be directly manipulated, you can improve them with great customer experience. To do that you have to be proactive and monitor incidences of dissatisfaction as they happen. When a negative review is already live, your best option is to acknowledge the feedback honestly, which shows that you care about the opinions of your customers.
In the long run, improving overall customer experience is the only way to ensure you get the most out of them.
3. Competitor Comparison: Your website
Depending on how familiar a user is with your company, your website can be the most critical factor in determining whether they buy from you. At this stage, they’ve likely narrowed their choices to you and a handful of competitors and are now looking for more information.
In fact, a survey of more than 200 buyers responsible for more than $1.7 billion in services purchased revealed that 74% of buyers reported their service provider’s website had “some influence” over their ultimate decision to buy services from the provider.
But unlike reviews, your website is easier to optimize. It should clearly convey your value proposition to prospective customers so they can determine if you’re the right fit.
Here are a few ways to improve a customer’s experience on your website:
- Include live chat so your visitors can get personalized service if needed.
- Implement user surveys after important events are completed on your website. For example, after a visitor signs up or completes an online purchase. This gives you insight on which parts of your website need improving.
- Lastly, make your website mobile-friendly. Mobile has surpassed desktop in terms of internet usage, so this ensures your visitors have great experiences with whatever device they use.
4. Product Engagement: Free trial
Free trials are nothing new. They’re not only a great way to market your product, but they let your prospective customers experience your solution first-hand to decide if it matches their need.
A customer’s experience during a free trial can be the difference between whether they become long-lasting customers or abandon your service. A free trial is the first time a customer is engaging with your product so your customer experience has to be excellent.
Facebook’s VP of growth Alex Schultz has talked about the importance of providing magic moments to users as quickly as possible. Magic Moments are those “aha” scenarios where a customer has an experience with your core value proposition. For Facebook, that was the point where new users saw old friends by uploading their contacts.
Every product has a magic moment.
Here are a few things you can do to get users to magic moments quickly:
- Use email automation to teach them about your most important features: They have to understand how to use the product and the value it brings them.
- Be proactive with support: Don’t just wait for users to complain about an issue because only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain. Reach out to them and ask if they need any help.
- Use behavior-based analytics: What people say and what they do are usually different. Behavior-based analytics allows you to see beyond what users are telling you into how they use your products and helps you identify the bumps along the way.
- Perform regular product satisfaction surveys: This allows you to learn which features users care about and what they would like to see in the future.
5. Ongoing Support: Community Interactions
Keeping your existing customers is easier and more profitable than acquiring new users. In order to retain customers, you have to deliver great experiences post-sale.
Great support doesn’t just reduce your churn rate. Through word-of-mouth marketing, it can also bring more customers to your business. Research by Nielsen revealed that 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family more than all other forms of marketing.
Ensuring that your current customers are happy is the only way you build a sustainable business.
This goes beyond just providing great customer service. You have to ensure that your customers feel as though they belong to a community. This is the point where they turn from customers to evangelists.
Most brands engage with their customers by hosting live events and supporting interactions through social media platforms and even email marketing.
Businesses need to let go of the old way of thinking about consumer interactions. It’s now omnichannel and user driven. Customer experience in today’s interconnected world can no longer be treated as an afterthought but as part of your core business strategy.
Create more magic moments for your customers. Get started with GetFeedback today.