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Are these customer experience mistakes making your brand irrelevant?

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Are these customer experience mistakes making your brand irrelevant?

Today’s buyers value their experience with a brand over product quality and price. So, customer experience mistakes can turn away shoppers and leave your brand in the dust. 

How can you dodge these pitfalls and ensure your business thrives?

We’ll answer that question. But first, let’s fully understand what customer experience means and why it’s crucial.

Key takeaways:

  • Customer experience (CX) is an individual’s interaction with your business throughout their buyer journey, from when they first notice your brand to the relationship post-purchase.
  • Studies show a direct correlation between CX and customer trust, business recommendation and customer loyalty.
  • Have a customer-centric business model, meaning your target buyer is continually in mind, not the service or product.
  • Engaged employees are a real asset because they are productive and suggest company improvements, all key to improving customer experience.
  • Artificial intelligence can enhance the user experience and offload some of the workloads for agents.

 

What is customer experience?

Customer experience (CX) is an individual’s interaction with your business throughout their buyer journey, from when they first notice your brand to the relationship post-purchase. Numerous touchpoints shape their experience with your brand, including, but not limited to:

  • A social media ad
  • Talking in-store with a salesperson
  • Browsing through your website
  • Receiving email alerts on sales
  • Product delivery and packaging

Are CX and customer service the same? No. Customer service is a single touchpoint of the overall customer experience and involves helping buyers when choosing a product or solving issues should they arise. While customer service falls under the umbrella of customer experience, it’s still vital in building a brand reputation.

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Why is customer experience so important?

Customer experience matters. Note several statistics that demonstrate how positive customer experiences impact a business:

  • Consumers are 2.6 times as likely to purchase more from a company after a 5-star experience compared to a 1- or 2- star experience.
  • 86% of shoppers are more likely to trust a business after an excellent customer experience. 
  • 85% of buyers are most likely to recommend a business to their friends after an excellent customer experience.

The reverse is also true. Bad customer experiences result in buyers abandoning carts, switching brands, losing trust in a brand (which negatively affects brand reputation) and sharing their bad experiences with friends and family.

4 Customer experience mistakes to avoid at all cost

Now that we fully appreciate what CX is and how deeply it impacts a business, let’s review four customer experience mistakes to either address now or always avoid.

1. Not having CX as the top priority

As mentioned, customer experience isn’t just about providing excellent support. CX is an asset that can drive real commercial value to your business. But to do that, your business process must be a customer-centric one. What do we mean?

The customer-centric business has its target audience in mind, not its service or product. Look at the following table and note the differences in the approach of a company that isn’t customer-centric from one that is:

A non-customer-centric business…

A customer-centric business…

Asks how it can make the audience like its product or service

Asks how it can make a product or service that fills a need or addresses a pain point for the target audience

Focuses on itself when marketing

Keeps focus on the customer when marketing

Is reactive to customer needs

Is proactive and anticipates customers’ needs

 

2. Not having engaged employees

Employee satisfaction is when workers are happy with their job. However, employee engagement is the next level up. Not only are these workers satisfied with their jobs and don’t plan to leave, but they are passionate about what they do. These employees are a real asset. They are productive and suggest improvements, all key to improving customer experience. 

How can you promote employee engagement? Hold monthly or quarterly surveys asking for employee feedback. Then, where feasible, address employee concerns. More importantly, let the employees in the organization know of the issue raised and how you handled it. That way, employees will feel heard and are more likely to be engaged. Sometimes the problem may mean a change in company culture and may involve training.

Are these customer experience mistakes making your brand irrelevant

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3. Not being available for your customers

You need to be available to your customers anytime and anywhere. Do you currently have any of the following:

  • A telephone number that customers can only call during certain times?
  • A “Contact Us” form as the only means of customers reaching you?
  • Visiting a physical store as the only means for shoppers to receive customer service?

If so, expand your service to make your company reachable 24 hours a day, seven days a week. How can you be ever ready to assist your customers? Artificial intelligence can enhance the user experience and offload some of the workloads for agents. Chatbots are very popular because they can handle straightforward tasks like:

  • Assisting customers in finding the product best suited for them
  • Providing immediate answers to basic consumer questions and issues
  • Automatically processing item returns

Make chatbots available across every digital channel. Then, have agents ready to handle the more challenging customer issues.

4. Not addressing customer issues

Regarding handling customer issues, ensure your agents resolve them swiftly and satisfactorily. Mistakes can happen, but how you resolve them can make or break an experience. Customers will not only drop a company after a bad experience, but they will tell their friends and family. They can take to social media or review sites to share their frustrations, reaching hundreds or thousands of potential customers. 

Use customer insights from data analytics to uncover and resolve issues before they escalate. And address issues if a customer reaches out.

Partner with Optimizely to deliver superb customer experiences

Whether planning your marketing strategy, developing your content management system (CMS) or dissecting customer data, Optimizely helps you take charge to provide excellent customer experiences. Our cloud-based solutions and our team of experts are here to streamline your business process to obtain maximum results.

Contact Optimizely today to take your CX to the next level.


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MARKETING

The Future of Content Success Is Social

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The Future of Content Success Is Social

Here’s a challenge: search “SEO RFP” on Google. Click on the results, and tell me how similar they are.

We did the same thing every other SEO does: We asked, “What words are thematically relevant?” Which themes have my competitors missed?” How can I put them in?” AND “How can I do everything just slightly better than they can?”

Then they do the same, and it becomes a cycle of beating mediocre content with slightly less mediocre content.

When I looked at our high-ranking content, I felt uncomfortable. Yes, it ranked, but it wasn’t overly helpful compared to everything else that ranked.

Ranking isn’t the job to be done; it is just a proxy.

Why would a high-ranking keyword make me feel uncomfortable? Isn’t that the whole freaking job to be done? Not for me. The job to be done is to help educate people, and ranking is a byproduct of doing that well.

I looked at our own content, and I put myself in the seat of a searcher, not an SEO; I looked at the top four rankings and decided that our content felt easy, almost ChatGPT-ish. It was predictable, it was repeatable, and it lacked hot takes and spicy punches.

So, I removed 80% of the content and replaced it with the 38 questions I would ask if I was hiring an SEO. I’m a 25-year SME, and I know what I would be looking for in these turbulent times. I wanted to write the questions that didn’t exist on anything ranking in the top ten. This was a risk, why? Because, semantically, I was going against what Google was likely expecting to see on this topic. This is when Mike King told me about information gain. Google will give you a boost in ranking signals if you bring it new info. Maybe breaking out of the sea of sameness + some social signals could be a key factor in improving rankings on top of doing the traditional SEO work.

What’s worth more?

Ten visits to my SEO RFP post from people to my content via a private procurement WhatsApp group or LinkedIn group?

One hundred people to the same content from search?

I had to make a call, and I was willing to lose rankings (that were getting low traffic but highly valued traffic) to write something that when people read it, they thought enough about it to share it in emails, groups, etc.

SME as the unlock to standout content?

I literally just asked myself, “Wil, what would you ask yourself if you were hiring an SEO company? Then I riffed for 6—8 hours and had tons of chats with ChatGPT. I was asking ChatGPT to get me thinking differently. Things like, “what would create the most value?” I never constrained myself to “what is the search volume,” I started with the riffs.

If I was going to lose my rankings, I had to socially promote it so people knew it existed. That was an unlock, too, if you go this route. It’s work, you are now going to rely on spikes from social, so having a reason to update it and put it back in social is very important.

Most of my “followers” aren’t looking for SEO services as they are digital marketers themselves. So I didn’t expect this post to take off HUGLEY, but given the content, I was shocked at how well it did and how much engagement it got from real actual people.

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7 Things Creators Should Know About Marketing Their Book

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7 Things Creators Should Know About Marketing Their Book

Writing a book is a gargantuan task, and reaching the finish line is a feat equal to summiting a mountain.

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Being position-less secures a marketer’s position for a lifetime

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Optimove Positionless Marketer Optimove

On March 20, 2024, the Position-less Marketer was introduced on MarTech.org and my keynote address at Optimove’s user conference.

Since that initial announcement, we have introduced the term “Position-less Marketer” to hundreds of leading marketing executives and learned that readers and the audience interpreted it in several ways. This article will document a few of those interpretations and clarify what “position-less” means regarding marketing prowess.

As a reminder, data analytics and AI, integrated marketing platforms, automation and more make the Position-less Marketer possible. Plus, new generative AI tools like ChatGPT, Canna-GPT, Github, Copilot and DALL-E offer human access to powerful new capabilities that generate computer code, images, songs and videos, respectively, with human guidance.

Position-less Marketer does not mean a marketer without a role; quite the opposite

Speaking with a senior-level marketer at a global retailer, their first interpretation may be a marketer without a role/position. This was a first-glance definition from more than 60% of the marketers who first heard the term. But on hearing the story and relating it to “be position-less” in other professions, including music and sports, most understood it as a multidimensional marketer — or, as we noted, realizing your multipotentiality. 

One executive said, phrasing position-less in a way that clarified it for me was “unlocking your multidimensionality.” She said, “I like this phrase immensely.” In reality, the word we used was “multipotentiality,” and the fact that she landed on multidimensionality is correct. As we noted, you can do more than one thing.

The other 40% of marketing executives did think of the “Position-less Marketer” as a marketing professional who is not confined or defined by traditional marketing roles or boundaries. In that sense, they are not focused only on branding or digital marketing; instead, they are versatile and agile enough to adjust to the new conditions created by the tools that new technology has to offer. As a result, the Position-less Marketer should be comfortable working across channels, platforms and strategies, integrating different approaches to achieve marketing goals effectively.

Navigating the spectrum: Balancing specialization and Position-less Marketing

Some of the most in-depth feedback came from data analytic experts from consulting firms and Chief Marketing Officers who took a more holistic view.

Most discussions of the “Position-less Marketer” concept began with a nuanced perspective on the dichotomy between entrepreneurial companies and large enterprises.

They noted that entrepreneurial companies are agile and innovative, but lack scalability and efficiency. Conversely, large enterprises excel at execution but struggle with innovation due to rigid processes.

Drawing parallels, many related this to marketing functionality, with specialists excelling in their domain, but needing a more holistic perspective and Position-less Marketers having a broader understanding but needing deep expertise.

Some argued that neither extreme is ideal and emphasized the importance of balancing specialization and generalization based on the company’s growth stage and competitive landscape.

They highlight the need for leaders to protect processes while fostering innovation, citing Steve Jobs’ approach of creating separate teams to drive innovation within Apple. They stress the significance of breaking down silos and encouraging collaboration across functions, even if it means challenging existing paradigms.

Ultimately, these experts recommended adopting a Position-less Marketing approach as a competitive advantage in today’s landscape, where tight specialization is common. They suggest that by connecting dots across different functions, companies can offer unique value to customers. However, they caution against viewing generalization as an absolute solution, emphasizing the importance of context and competitive positioning.

These marketing leaders advocate for a balanced marketing approach that leverages specialization and generalization to drive innovation and competitive advantage while acknowledging the need to adapt strategies based on industry dynamics and competitive positioning.

Be position-less, but not too position-less — realize your multipotentiality

This supports what was noted in the March 20th article: to be position-less, but not too position-less. When we realize our multipotentiality and multidimensionality, we excel as humans. AI becomes an augmentation.

But just because you can individually execute on all cylinders in marketing and perform data analytics, writing, graphics and more from your desktop does not mean you should.

Learn when being position-less is best for the organization and when it isn’t. Just because you can write copy with ChatGPT does not mean you will write with the same skill and finesse as a professional copywriter. So be position-less, but not too position-less.

Position-less vs. being pigeonholed

At the same time, if you are a manager, do not pigeonhole people. Let them spread their wings using today’s latest AI tools for human augmentation.

For managers, finding the right balance between guiding marketing pros to be position-less and, at other times, holding their position as specialists and bringing in specialists from different marketing disciplines will take a lot of work. We are at the beginning of this new era. However, working toward the right balance is a step forward in a new world where humans and AI work hand-in-hand to optimize marketing teams.

We are at a pivot point for the marketing profession. Those who can be position-less and managers who can optimize teams with flawless position-less execution will secure their position for a lifetime.

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