To sell more wine and stand out in a crowded field you need to provide your customers with a positive shopping experience. Most businesses take this to heart and in a survey of “consumer brands” 81% say they have a working holistic view of their customers? But in the same study only 37% of consumers say their favorite retailer understands them? As much as these businesses think they know their audience, their customers are saying that doesn’t match their reality. This customer experience gap is an opportunity to stand out; to be more relevant and valuable than your competition.
A recent study called The Consumer Conversation by Econsultancy highlighted this gap in customer experience. Among their findings was that consumers found only 35% of communications from their favorite companies were relevant. By lifting the quality of your customer communication you can rise above the competition. Effective ways to do this are by personalizing your messages and planning your communications around the lifecycle of your customer.
One of the best opportunities to start this conversation is when a customer has their first interaction with you. Make sure the customer knows that you want to make this the first of many transactions. A welcome message is a great way to set the tone and it might be appropriate to send a series of on-boarding messages to help your customers make the most of your services.
The primary tool that businesses use to reach their customers is email, and while a recent survey by Ascend2 found almost 90% of marketers consider it effective, it would be a mistake to ignore the opportunity to extend communication to other platforms. Your customers may prefer to receive communications on social media, an in-store kiosk, in a catalog, or even just your website.
With email the goal is to get your customer to click on the link that leads to your website. It sounds so easy when put it like that; but it can be challenging to keep the open rates high. So messages need to be tested and optimized; the subject lines need to work to get the recipient to open the message, the message needs to set up the call to action, the link needs to lead them to an effective landing page, and on through the interaction.
There are other opportunities to stand out with your communications. A retailer might send abandoned cart messages; you might send emails out if something is wrong. You might ask your customers to write a review of the product on your site, or a review of your business on a social media site. Many of these messages can be delivered as emails that are automated based on account activity, or behaviors that trigger a message, and time spent optimizing the message will be well spent.
Customer experience can be quantified as the sum of every interaction between your business and your customer. If in balance the experience is positive, a customer will likely spend more, may promote your business and could be willing to pay a premium to remain in the relationship. Mapping these key interactions in advance and being ready to show that you understand your customer will help set your business apart.