Delighting Customers – Is Customer Experience the Biggest Digital Opportunity?
According to data insight firm, innometrics, 38% of marketers do not think their business can deliver an exceptional customer experience. As a digital marketer, I find this fact quite disheartening. The very reason for my huge passion for digital is because of the opportunity it offers to join together a fantastic brand experience across all channels.
Luxury & premium brands have been getting their customer experience right for a long time – and more recently, tech giant Apple has created an almost cult-like following. This isn’t just the brand’s aesthetic appeal that creates such a bond, but instead the hugely positive way that customers experience the brand. Starbucks, Apple, John Lewis and heritage luxury brands all share one glaring thing in common – their extreme attention to detail when it comes to their offline customer experience.
The new customer landscape
The advent of technology has given brands a far higher level of intimacy with their customers. Brands have access to their customers in totally new ways, with people walking around with branded apps in their pockets and giving brands the chance to communicate directly to their personal inbox. This level of consumer affinity demands respect – just because you can put your brand on your customers wrists, doesn’t mean you should.
Social media has also turned brand communications into a totally different beast. Before, brands only really had a one way conversation with their consumers via TV, radio and print advertisement. Now brands need to have genuine, real-time conversations with their customers and build a two-way rapport.
All of this unexpected engagement has caused the customer experience to fall by the wayside. Buzzwords such as ‘Big Data’, ‘Social Media’, ‘Content Marketing’ and ‘Growth Hacking’ have been too heavily focused on, leaving the customer to experience a brand through convoluted digital channels.
The new role of a brand
As consumers become increasingly more intimate with brands, successful marketers will build a very specific connection with them in return. This connection needs to cross multiple channels, and be consistent at every touchpoint. From walking into a store, to receiving email communications, brands need to focus on delivering the most engaging, consistent and remarkable experience possible – with digital being the key to keeping everything together.
We as marketers must use the power of digital to offer value back to our customers and engage in relevant brand discussions. We have the tools to build quickly, measure easily and most importantly, rapidly learn about our customer. A brand is no longer a logo, slogan and identity, it’s a living, breathing entity that communicates with customers at every touchpoint. With great power, comes great responsibility.
We owe our customers the best experience possible.
By Joe Davine