August 3, 2023
Much like Rome, valuable customer relationships aren’t built in a day.
Instead, they’re built over the hundreds of moments where your brand interacts with your customers.
Each touchpoint provides your brand with an opportunity to build loyalty with your customers and meet your business objectives.
The first challenge for businesses is identifying which of these moments matter most to each customer, at each point in the customer lifecycle.
Sure, first impressions matter - but for committed customers, so does the seventh, eighth and hundredth impression.
It’s clear the second challenge is developing a scalable approach to maintaining a consistent experience - especially when 75% of customers desire a consistent experience, regardless of which channel they engage a brand.
For those that take these challenges seriously, a community of loyal brand advocates and high long-term growth awaits.
From our experience, moments can fall into three main categories - transactional, engagement and circumstance.
Across all three categories, each moment can carry a different sentiment - either positive, negative or neutral.
Negative moments, while not ideal, presents an opportunity to recognise, acknowledge and mitigate the issue or concern so that any customer friction can be reduced. While your brand may be on the back foot in these moments, the reality is that customers can be most ‘engaged’ when they are most dissatisfied. If handled well, these moments that threaten your business could become a great opportunity to create a lasting positive impression on your customers.
In highly transactional industries like retail and supermarkets, neutral moments are incredibly common. While these moments still require a lot of effort to maintain their appearance of neutrality, the objective for businesses in these moments is to seek out opportunities to turn ‘business as usual’ into something that delivers value above and beyond established expectations. In these moments, marketers should look for ways to surprise and delight their customers.
There is a huge opportunity for brands to also make the investment into capitalising on positive moments. Here the objective is to convert the moment from good to great. Amplifying and reinforcing the value or positive encounter someone has just experienced help to reinforce customers of the extra value they’re being rewarded with.
While every moment your customers interact with your brand is critical to their overall customer experience, depending on the objectives of your business and your customers - not all moments matter as much as each other.
Once you’ve charted each interaction in the customer journey, categorising them can be helpful for prioritising the moments that are most important to both you and your customers.
89% of consumers are more likely to make another purchase after a positive customer experience, so reinforcing these positive customer moments is an important way of building loyalty. Depending on your engagement strategy and resourcing, you can implement high and low-touch amplification strategies.
Developing your social listening capability is a great low-touch way to amplify positive customer experiences. By integrating listening technology into your social communications, you get notified every time a customer has a positive (or negative) interaction with your brand.
French insurance company Direct Assurance demonstrated its investment in the amplification of high-touch positive moments through the launch of the ‘YouDrive’ program.
By connecting a DriveBox device to customers’ cars, Direct Assurance can record every journey and generate a score after each ride.
The higher the score, the lower the overall premium.
While this helps personalise the customer’s quote, it’s also a crucial tool for building relationships with customers, providing the opportunity for Direct Assurance to amplify regular positive moments when customers are rewarded for safe driving.
Negative customer experiences are an inevitable part of doing business, but the costs are significant. According to PwC, 32% of consumers will walk away from a brand after just one bad experience.
However the way your brand responds in these moments are crucial, and if handled correctly, can still lead to a positive outcome. In fact, 78% of consumers will do business with brands that have a great customer experience even after a mistake.
Services and tune-ups are all part of owning a car, but Tesla’s empathetic approach to their customer experience allows them to leverage the inevitability of these usually inconvenient moments to create a positive experience for their customers.
Instead of making customers drive to a mechanic to put their car in for service, Tesla sends a mechanic to the customer’s home. Customers don’t need to worry about the logistics of getting to and from a repair shop and can schedule the fix around their schedule.
But whether the error was caused by the customer or by your brand, teams need to feel empowered and encouraged to mitigate negative moments for your customers.
The Ritz-Carlton has famously told their teams that employees are allowed up to $2000 to fix any guest problems - no questions asked.
So whether a guest forgets their phone charger or has a booking misplaced, employees are encouraged to not only look out for opportunities to mitigate negative customer moments but also empowered to resolve them as well.
Ritz-Carlton’s upfront investment may seem like a lot, but when it takes twelve positive customer experiences to make up for just one negative experience, Ritz-Carlton has made the smart choice to invest in the long-term loyalty of their customers.
The return on their investment? 72% of customers will share their good experiences with others - that’s a pretty effective way of turning customers into brand advocates.
Identifying the moments that matter most for the customers is just the first step. Building a consistent experience across each of these moments is where the challenge lies.
Leveraging the capabilities of your entire business organisation and the full power of the right technology solution is paramount for being able to create this consistent experience at scale.
According to PwC, 40% of surveyed practitioners believe that ‘lack of ownership’ is one of the biggest challenges facing CX today.
Whether it’s a misalignment of priorities or a difference in the definition of what CX means for the business, it’s important that all business functions are united in their customer experience efforts.
Through collaboration, clear lines of ownership and sufficient resourcing - teams need to feel empowered to work together to maintain good customer and consistent relationships with their customers.
Sentiment tracking is a great way for organisations to get a view of how customers feel about their brand at every stage of the customer lifecycle.
Paired with rational action-based insights such as dwell time, purchase history, and abandon cart metrics - a rich understanding of customer behaviour can be tracked and modelled for future optimisation.
Next Best Action is the process by which technology can be utilised to help customer-facing practitioners make suitable next-step decisions based on insights, customer data and feedback.
These predictive analytics can help your team proactively engage customers in critical moments and create personalised customer experiences in real-time.
Every moment with your customers is absolutely critical.
We’re committed to helping our clients and business leaders like yourself make the most of these moments that matter.
Get in touch today.
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