Customer loyalty and conversions can’t be won with product talk.
In fact, having the best product with the best price doesn’t mean a lot.
That’s why product-centric businesses are 60 percent less profitable than customer-centric ones.
Delivering the best customer experience, on the other hand, is a major precursor of success.
This means improving everything – product, processes, people, and delivery to customers – based on customer needs to ensure personalized and relevant experience.
To make effective improvements consistently, you need a solid strategy backed up by market research.
In this article, let me walk you through five ways to design cx strategies based on what your customers want.
Create Research-Supported Customer Personas
The best first step in making an effective digital customer experience strategy is to find out for whom you’re creating that experience.
Customer persona – also called “buyer persona” – is a representation of your ideal customer that includes the goals, expectations, and needs you can help with.
This is something that will save you a lot of money.
If you don’t know what engages your customers, then you basically create campaigns for no one. You’d be sitting in your office, looking in your Google Analytics tools, hoping to see some engagement.
Having multiple customer personas helps with solving such problems as:
- figuring out how to create appealing experiences to the customers
- finding ideas for high-quality, problem-focused content
- understanding different customers’ motivations and goals
- developing different web pages and scenarios for usability testing.
Another important thing is to make your personas visual.
This is a way to concisely summarize the information about them plus you can hang it around your office to remind your employees about the needs of the customers.
This is George, a customer persona used by Tidio.
Obviously, George is a fictional character, created to represent a person who can find Tidio’s product – eCommerce chatbots – useful for their business.
The persona displays demographics, goals, challenges, and things he likes about the product, along with some relevant basic data about his business.
For Tidio, having George helps to understand how their product – live chat and chatbot software – can help the ideal customer, an online business owner.
This keeps them focused on the right needs and developing more relevant solutions.
You should have at least one, too, to share with your employees, so they can use it to create a great customer experience.
While there’s no universal formula for the best-converting customer persona, there are some must-have things you can start with.
Customer Persona Template
A template gives the necessities you need to expand to create a representation of your typical customer.
Here’s a simple customer persona template for a book store. Feel free to copy it somewhere and replace the info with your own to build a unique persona.
Customer Name: Samantha Rowe
- age: 28
- location: Worcester, MA
- education: a college degree
- current job and description: a UX designer
- family: lives with a boyfriend.
- finding new sci-fi books to read
- attending more book signing events
- finding time to read more
- keeping track of different book series and signing events.
- fast-pace reader
- uses softcover editions to keep the cost down
- buys from Authors’ websites and Amazon
- loves binge reading.
Feel free to add more sections that you feel are relevant to understand your customers better.
Find more buyer persona examples here.
How to Collect Customer Data to Create Personas
The best source of information for creating effective customer personas is your customers.
You need to survey them about their goals, motivations, etc. to understand what kind of experience they appreciate and are looking for.
And your timing couldn’t be better.
A recent PwC report says that 63 percent of customers are willing to share information with a business that offers a great experience.
Here are the best ways to collect data for customer personas.
Get Feedback with Online Surveys
Online surveys are a quick way to collect feedback on your website, social media, or dedicated survey platforms.
You can ask several types of questions:
- scale: “On a scale from 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our company to others?”
- single-choice: “Which is your favorite kind of tea? Choose one of the following answers…”
- multiple-choice: “What features would you like to have in your customer feedback tool? Choose more than one option.”
- open-ended: “Could you describe your vision of the perfect customer experience with a SaaS business?”
Here are some popular online tools that make customer data collection easier:
- Omni Convert Survey: best for online customer surveys. Can be customized and configured to appear on exit, on a scroll depth, or on load.
The report center is available to see statistics such as how many people participated and who answered what
- LeadQuizzes: best for quizzes. Popular quiz maker software for marketers to make Buzzfeed-style quizzes for websites and social media.
Carefully analyze all data and feedback you collect.
Thanks to that customer input, you can find what they’re looking for and use it to improve customer experiences.
Get Everyone Onboard
Without employees, there’s no good customer experience.
Customers agree. According to the mentioned PwC report, 71 percent said that employees have “a significant impact on their experience” with businesses.
If your employees aren’t aware of customer needs or properly trained on the new customer experience guidelines, bad things can happen.
The inconsistency in customer experience is one of them. It can easily damage brand reputation, internal conflicts, and lead to many other issues.
If, for example, customers receive consistently positive support via live chat or but awful service via social media and email, their overall experience will suffer greatly.
That’s why you need to ensure that everyone in your company understands and follows the customer experience guidelines.
Creating a culture of engaged employees is the best way to create and maintain great customer experience.
You can create this culture by:
- aligning customer goals with the interests and needs of the employees
- engage employees by educating them on the importance of the positive customer experience for reaching the company’s goals
- recognize and reward employees for delivering a great experience for customers.
To deliver that experience, your employees should also have a good understanding of the target audience.
Creating customer personas and customer journeys – we’re going to talk about the journeys next – is the best way to help them with that.
Pro Tip: make a brand promise. It’s what your customers and employees expect from your company in terms of experience. Publish it on your website to stimulate the commitment of the entire company.
Here’s the brand promise of Omniconvert for your inspiration. The mission part is the promise to the customers.
Make a promise like this to your customers and ensure that your employees follow it in every interaction with customers.
Map Out the Customer Journey
The customer journey map is a visual overview of the customer’s interactions with your company before, during, and after they buy your product or service.
Mapping it out helps with understanding what can engage and convert customers at specific stages of the journey.
Include these essential stages in your map:
- awareness. At this point, the customer hasn’t heard about your product before (they might not even know that they have a problem they can solve with your product)
- consideration. The customer is well aware of the problem and is looking for solutions to address it
- decision. The customer is trying to decide which product is the best for them and offers the most value for money
- retention. At this point, the customer chose your product; the goal now is to help them get the most value out of your product
- loyalty and advocacy. You’ve won the loyalty of the customers with an excellent experience. At this time, your job should be to keep them coming back and encouraging them to promote your brand.
Know which content to share with customers at each stage of the journey.
This is a good way to align marketing and sales plus provide a more relevant experience to customers.
Here are ideas for content for each customer journey stage:
- awareness: video tutorials, infographics, ads, blog articles
- consideration: case studies, webinars, product trials
- decision: product demos and trials, customer reviews, case studies
- retention: how-to guides, tutorials, blog articles, onboarding emails
- loyalty and advocacy: product update notifications and guides, exclusive content, early access.
To keep the journey as smooth as possible, you need to ensure that your content is readily available.
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Personalize Your Website
Website personalization is the process of creating and delivering relevant experiences to website users based on data about them.
There are three common personalization types:
- by website behavior. This means displaying website content based on browsing history
- by user type. You can show welcome messages to new visitors and thank-you pages to those who made a purchase, etc.
- by location, weather, and temperature. With advanced personalization tools, you can display products filtered by the temperature in the visitor’s area.
Website personalization can be a bit challenging, so it’s best done with special tools that automate the process.
With OmniConvert, for example, you can quickly implement the three types of personalization plus adapt website content and provide discounts based on the user’s browsing history.
The only thing you’ll be responsible for is providing specific details in all messages, transactional emails, pop-ups, landing pages, and other content shown or sent to the visitors.
Website personalization is a must-do for eCommerce stores. If you’re running an online store, you can configure OmniConvert to:
- give discounts for subscribing based on the browsing history and location
- display personalized navigational tooltips to help with the website browsing
- show relevant product recommendations according to the pages visited by the customer
- display products bought by customers from the same area.
For example, here’s a website pop-up window that offers a perk – free shipping – based on the visitor’s location.
In addition to personalizing the browsing experience, it also works to re-engage those who try to leave without finishing the checkout.
Together, these tactics can help create more relevant experiences for anyone who visits your website.
Minimize the Wait Time for Customer Support
Long wait time is one of the biggest causes of bad customer experience.
Most customers who have to wait for a long time for support leave without getting answers, which causes frustration.
Also, 51 percent of those who leave say they will never return and buy from a business even after one negative experience.
So, to stop losing customers, you need to minimize the time they have to wait for responses from your support team.
The traditional support channels like phone and emails can’t guarantee a short waiting time.
That’s why you need to consider using a live chat and a chatbot app. They make your customer support easily and conveniently available plus reduce the waiting times.
Live chat has the highest customer satisfaction rate because it connects the customer directly to a support agent and has a lower waiting time.
That’s why 63 percent of customers say they are more likely to return to a website that provides live chat support.
Besides connecting customers to support operators, live chat can also be configured to provide pre-written responses.
This live chat at Bicycleglass.com, for example, has a few pre-written welcoming messages and provides access to the list of frequently asked questions.
Having such a chatbot makes it easier for website visitors to get answers to common questions. If they don’t find what they are looking for, live chat can always connect them to an agent.
Next, chatbots are another customer support solution that’s becoming a must for online businesses.
They can be designed to address a specific purpose.
A chatbot can answer common questions from customers, welcome new visitors, share information about sales and discounts, and, of course, connect to operators.
In addition to live chat and chatbots, consider writing a knowledge base.
It’s a collection of instructions and other support-related articles designed to provide answers to common support questions.
The knowledge base here at Omniconvert is divided by the product and has a nice structure to make the search for usage guidelines easier.
Nicely organized categories by the users’ needs help to find information quickly, so having a knowledge base is a way to get help without getting in touch with support.
This specifically applies to SaaS businesses whose clients often need guidelines on how to use features, reports, etc. Having a knowledge base helps with onboarding new clients and retaining them.
Putting it all Together
Having a customer experience strategy improves your chances of getting and retaining more customers.
It does so by keeping you focused on things that your customers find relevant and engaging. Now, you know how to cover the most important areas: website, customer support, and employees.
Implementing one, however, requires everyone in your company to be engaged and contributing. So make sure you’re making proper time and effort investments.
Over to you, you know how to be strategic about this. I hope these tips will help you to get there and create a great experience management for every customer.
Need some inspiration? Check out these 12 companies with great customer experience.