In the past few years, marketing has seen the rise of many new trends – big data, social networking, mobile, digital marketing, experiential marketing, analytics to name a few. While these factors have led marketing into the future, what has become central to delivering exceptional customer service is a thing from the past – enhancing customer experiences.
The most successful brands today have shifted their business positioning from product focus to experience focus. They have realized that whether the channel is digital or real-world, what a customer remembers is how a brand or business made them feel. However, a great customer experience is not always about creating a wow factor, but primarily about value creation via emotion – showing that you care and thus exceeding expectations.
That said, in today’s competitive environment, brands also have to hold good on their promise of delivering faultless and seamless customer-company encounters. There is a saying that is relevant especially now – A happy customer tells a friend; an unhappy customer tells the world. Digitization has also changed how businesses communicate and what consumers expect. More so, it has given them an open platform to express opinions, feedback and preferences. In order to deepen the customer-company relationship and build the brand image, businesses need to listen to the true voice of the customer. They need to use tools such as analytics or sentiment analysis to identify data, interpret the accurate meaning of it, and use the insights to proactively improve current and future experiences. Maintaining the edge will also mandate investing in CRM improvements and technologies to stay consistent across touch-points – from social media to call centers to face-to-face interactions.
In this context, marketing, after having understood the consumer, needs to set the tone of what kind of experience the company will deliver. Not just for a one-stop interaction but in a way so as to foster customer lifetime value. While design and creativity are still the marketing pillars for devising customer experience, it has also become more about keeping it personal, relatable and emotional. The role of marketing is no longer only about influencing consumers through messages but more about connecting with them via sincere, smarter services.