Today’s consumers adeptly tune out the thousands of ads and brands aimed at them daily. But companies still need to attract the mindshare of ad-weary prospects. Fortunately, an excellent Customer Experience (CX) can help you rise above the fray by freeing people’s attention from frustrations and redirecting it to your unique strengths.
People want to work with companies that suit them perfectly. And with unprecedented variety in products, services, and information today, they don’t have to compromise. To capture their attention, find your ideal customer and demonstrate how well you meet their needs.
Find your niche
Rather than trying to attract everybody, focus on optimal prospects. Build your product, support, and communications around what’s important to them and you’ll stand out against the noise.
Stand out in the industry
Make waves by going beyond the typical CX in your field. Consider creating a different vibe, embracing social responsibility, incorporating technology like augmented reality (AR) for a better online experience, or using artificial intelligence (AI) for better contact center interactions.
Alternately, find ways to add value outside core products. For example, a company targeting new parents might share advice on saving for college, offer a chat line for questions about newborns or send coupons for a free massage.
Once you’ve defined your identity, stay consistent across the entire CX. If marketing is young and hip but customer support is tedious and cumbersome, you’ll lose any mindshare you’ve earned. All customer-facing departments must work in concert to avoid a company with multiple personalities.
Address a current need
People pay more attention to offers that solve a problem they’re dealing with right now. Use market research and data analytics to estimate when prospects are most likely to need your product. New home purchases, for example, often motivate other spending. Or someone who’s had a computer for more than 3 years is probably ready to upgrade.
Let your current customers recruit new ones
People are more likely to trust a peer review than any other marketing. Encourage existing customers to tell everyone how much they love you. Glossier, a skin care and beauty products company, generates 90% of its income from an Instagram account in which real women use and review the products.
Hold social media contests to whip up your fans, implement a referral rewards program, or share customer interviews. Encourage product reviews by making it easy and fun to leave comments.
Jump on the bandwagon
Capture new customers by partnering with someone they already love. In 2016, Taco Bell rode the momentum of Snapchat filters by launching a special Cinco de Mayo lens. They got a record 224 million views in a day.
In a crowd of people, our attention naturally bends toward faces we know. Build on that human connection by introducing prospects to real people at your company. Use video chat on the website and respond to emails with a short video of a smiling, friendly agent. Feature employees in location-based marketing so people who walk into a retail outlet see familiar faces.
Free Customers’ Attention
Retain loyal customers with a CX that requires almost no attention to all. Like the wait staff in a high-end restaurant, if you serve them quietly and efficiently in the background, they’ll focus on how delicious the food is.
Make it easy to work with you
Anything that’s confusing or complicated distracts customers from enjoying your products. So wherever possible, simplify the CX. For example, use natural language search on the website. Offer chats for instant help and serve up dynamic content based on customers’ past activities.
Use an end-to-end customer view to uncover any obstacles driving customers away. The Gap, for instance, realized that people ordering clothes online were concerned about fit. In response, the company introduced its Dressing Roomapp that lets people use an AR version of themselves to “try on” clothes.
Empower problem solvers
No company can anticipate every problem, but the faster they’re solved, the better the experience. Since front-line employees are the first to hear about issues, they need tools like a 360-degree customer view and the latitude to make customers happy on the first contact.
Turn marketing around
Many promotional offers serve first-time buyers only; try giving something free to current customers as a thank you. Think outside the standard points program. Consider offering seminars or free trials of a partner service like fresh meal delivery, sample boxes, or audio books.
The fight for customers’ attention will never end. Whatever tactics work best for you, wrap them in a process of field research, assessment, and review that keeps track of your ideal prospects’ shifting needs. The closer attention you pay to them, the more attention and loyalty they’ll bestow on you.
Author Bio: Chris Ryba, PMP, is the Director of Professional Services at VHT. As a seasoned technology professional with over 20 years’ experience in the IT/Telecom industry, Ryba has been actively involved in formulating processes, procedures and guidelines intended to streamline project lifecycles from post-sale integration kickoff through production deployment. In his current role, he manages a team of 10 employees comprised of both Project Managers and Integration Engineers.