There are no limits to the best customer experience
Irritation is the worst enemy of a great customer experience. If customers feel irritated, they’re bound to get frustrated. In the worst-case scenario, they may not return, and buy from your competitors instead. How do you avoid irritation during the customer journey?
Eight in ten US consumers feel that brands should actively show they understand them and care about them. Only then will they consider buying from that brand. This implies that it’s no longer enough to just focus on instilling loyalty; you must prove that you’re dedicated to your customers and capable of exceeding their expectations. That is one of the findings of a recent survey by digital agency Wunderman, which coined the term ‘wantedness’ for marketeers. Wantedness is the degree to which a brand proves its commitment to earning a customer’s business at every touchpoint and across the entire customer journey.
88% of the American respondents say they want brands to push their boundaries if they truly desire their engagement. 89% are loyal to brands that share their values. And three in four say that companies can set new standards by providing higher levels of customer services. So, you don’t have to think of a new product to retain your customers’ attention, as long as you provide excellent – preferably above-expectations – services.
Moments of irritation 
That sounds logical, but it isn’t so simple to do. Take retargeting, for example. Marketing teams are spending loads of money to target people that have already purchased the product or service they’re trying to sell. If they knew their prospects had already booked and rated that hotel or bought the espresso machine they’re promoting, they could offer airport shuttle services or coffee beans instead!
Align the online and offline experiences
Another important irritant is a messy omnichannel experience, i.e. when consumers have different experiences in different channels. Today’s retailers show on their websites which products are available in which stores. Sometimes, customers can even reserve those products. Alternately, customers can order a product online and pick it up in a physical store. In this way, there’s a link between offline and online and the customer can choose where and when they purchase and receive the product.
Lack of focus on the smartphone
A large portion of companies continue to underestimate the importance of smartphones, or are slow to respond to the trend. According to CBS, 72% of all Dutch people access the internet on their smartphones. 75% of people surf the internet on their tablets or smartphones. Despite these numbers, marketing campaigns often feature long texts that cannot be viewed properly on a small screen, with photos, audio and video subordinate in their designs. Thus, think carefully about when and how quickly you grasp the attention of your customers, and with which messages and in which format.
Back to basics
The secret to avoiding irritated customers? First of all, get back to basics. How does your brand add value to your customers’ lives? How can you be as relevant as possible to your customers? What journey does the customer take from orientation to sales, to product delivery and after-sales questions? What contact and what content is needed during different phases of this customer journey? How can you present these in the best possible ways?
You’ll need smart analytics to understand where the customer is in the purchasing process – and where he hesitates or leaves your store. Subsequently, you can convert this data into insights. Do you offer the right mix of channels? Do you need an app or should you organise an event? Do you manage to clearly convey what your brand stands for? If you’ve mapped out all these details, you can use them to send the right message to the right customer at the right time. The result: a consistent brand experience across all channels.
Support all customer scenarios
As there are many diverse channels, contact moments and side steps that customers take along the way, there is not a single customer journey. By supporting every step, you will offer the best customer experience. There’s a lot that can be improved here. Organisations must adopt a new approach of customer engagement that matches their brands and channels, and that customers experience as personal and relevant thanks to strong content and an excellent user experience.
Irritation prevents you from establishing a strong bond with your customers. It’s a real shame, as most companies have access to the technology, data and internal knowledge required to ensure a streamlined customer journey. Customers determine everything about business – are you doing enough with their input to improve and reinvent yourself?