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Creating Genuine Customer Experiences in the Digital Age

Contacts+ Team | May 29, 2024

Screens and virtual interactions dominate our current world, making establishing a genuine connection with your customers can seem like a daunting task. However, creating authentic customer experiences is more critical than ever. It’s the bridge that connects your business to its audience in meaningful ways, fostering loyalty and driving growth. 

Customers will pay 16% more for products and services when they’ve had a great experience, according to a PWC report. Yet, over half of customers in this same survey said that most companies need to improve their customer experience. 

This points to a major opportunity for differentiation if you have a strategy you can stick to! In this blog, we aim to guide you through developing a modern customer experience strategy that helps your brand resonate more authentically with your target market.

Introduction to the Digital Customer Experience

The digital customer experience encompasses every interaction a customer has with your brand online. From browsing your website to interacting with your social media posts and receiving personalized email content, these digital touchpoints collectively shape their perception of your brand. 

In today’s digital landscape, customers expect these interactions to go beyond and exceed their expectations, which are continuously being shaped by rapidly evolving technologies and trends.

The Power of Personalization

Personalization is the secret to making your customers feel understood and valued. It goes beyond addressing them by their first name in emails. It’s about curating experiences that resonate with their individual preferences, behaviors, and needs. This level of personalization makes it easier for customers to find and get what they need, optimizes your marketing strategies through better-targeted messages, and ultimately increases sales by speaking more directly to the customer’s desires.

Here are some examples of personalization in the customer experience:

  1. Tailored Product Recommendations: Utilize customer data and browsing history to offer personalized product suggestions. This not only makes shopping more convenient for the customer but also increases the likelihood of a purchase.
  2. Customized Email Marketing: Send emails that cater to the individual interests and needs of each subscriber. Personalized subject lines and content based on past purchases or interactions can significantly improve open rates and engagement.
  3. Dynamic Website Content: Adjust the content displayed on your website to match the interests and behavior of each visitor. For instance, showcasing recently viewed products or suggesting new items based on their browsing history.
  4. Personalized Customer Support: Use customer data to provide support representatives with a comprehensive view of the customer’s history, allowing for a more personalized and efficient resolution to their issues.

Leveraging Social Media for Engagement

Social media is powerful for building genuine connections with your audience. It’s where you can share your brand’s story, engage in conversations, and provide value through content that entertains, educates, or inspires. To create social media content that resonates, ensure it aligns with your brand identity and speaks to your customers’ interests and needs. Engage actively with comments and messages to foster a community around your brand. Take the time to create a comprehensive social media calendar that aligns your posts with your digital strategy across all channels – it’s the best way to avoid repetitiveness or rework.

Implementing Omnichannel Strategies

You’ve likely heard the word “omnichannel” before, but if you haven’t, it refers to all of the places (both online and offline) where a customer might potentially interact with your brand. It includes, but isn’t limited to:

  • Social Media Platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Pinterest are examples of different ways you can engage with customers.
  • Mobile App: A dedicated app can provide a seamless shopping experience for mobile users, offering features like push notifications, exclusive deals, and personalized recommendations.
  • Online Marketplaces: Selling on platforms such as Amazon, eBay, and Etsy can expand your brand’s reach and allow you to connect with new customer segments.
  • Email: Use email newsletters to keep your audience informed about new products, special offers, and company news.
  • SMS and Messaging Apps: Text messages and apps like WhatsApp or Messenger can facilitate direct and instant communication with customers.
  • Live Chat and Chatbots: Implementing live chat or chatbots on your website can provide immediate assistance to visitors.
  • Physical Stores or Pop-up Shops: If applicable, a brick-and-mortar presence can complement your online channels, offering customers a tangible brand experience.
  • Influencer Collaborations: Partnering with influencers can help extend your reach within specific communities or niches, leveraging their audience for brand exposure.
  • Content Marketing: Through blogs, videos, podcasts, or webinars, provide valuable content that engages your target audience and drives traffic back to your website or app.
  • Online Advertising: Utilize paid advertising channels like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Instagram sponsored posts to reach potential customers actively searching for products or services like yours.

An omnichannel strategy provides a cohesive customer experience across all channels. This approach ensures that every interaction complements the others, providing a seamless and unified customer experience. Start by understanding the various digital channels your customers use and develop a strategy that meets them wherever they are.

Enhancing Customer Support with Technology

Technology isn’t a cure-all, but it can significantly enhance the customer experience. From CRM systems that offer insights into customer behaviors and preferences to chatbots that provide instant support around the clock, utilize these tools to ensure that your customer support is proactive, personalized, and efficient. Remember, the goal is to make your customers feel supported and valued throughout their entire journey with your brand.

There are several key areas in which you can use technology to improve customer experience. Here are the main ones:

  • Omnichannel marketing tools
  • Voice technology
  • Generative AI
  • AR/VR
  • Chatbots
  • Automation

Another note about implementing technology for customer service: 67% of customers prefer self-service today, so while you shouldn’t write off live help, it’s also a good idea to empower those interested in your brand to find the answers they need and solve their problems proactively. Useful technology plus a human touch is always a win.

Building Trust through Transparency

Today’s customers value transparency. They want to know who they’re doing business with and what values guide the company. Enhance transparency by being open about your business practices, sharing your brand story, and communicating honestly about your products and services. This openness builds trust, which is foundational for any genuine customer relationship.