Article

Neel Sinha
Neel Sinha 3 May 2018

Redefine the Customer Experience with a Right Content Strategy

Customers are the number one priority of every company. There cannot be a business without customers of course. Customer Service and Customer Experience (CX) are two different aspects, often confused to be the same. Customer service is part of CX.

Customer experience is the interaction between the brand and the customers, from the awareness stage, including the purchase cycle and the post engagement phase. According to The Digital Marketing Trends by Econsultancy and Adobe, 22% of companies felt Customer Experience was the single most exciting opportunity for the organization, ahead of even personalization.

59% customers switch brands due to a poor experience, and 40% are will to pay, for better customer experience, according to a study by Oracle. Content marketing is at the top of the trends in 2018. A good content strategy will help the companies know, what to say and when to say it, influencing a resultant good ROI. Every step of the customer experience is crucial, so the need to build a content strategy that helps sustain attention and create a ‘feel good factor’ is a necessity. This, when done right can help companies turn customers into evangelists. According to the Oracle study, 74% of senior executives believe that customer experience can influence the customers to become a loyal brand advocate.

Five Things to keep in mind before building the content strategy   

Customer experience is not focused just on gaining new customers, but also to retain the existing ones. 75.9% of the organizations believe, customer experience (CX) is important and needs due attention. Though a majority of the companies believe customer experience is important, only 8% of customers agreed to have received great customer experience. This is in contrary to, 80% companies who believed they had a great customer experience flow. These statistics, make it essential that companies invest in building a good customer experience and run a periodic survey to know if their CX is working and is good.

The journey to redefine the customer experience with content strategy needs some preparation. The following five things need to be checked off the list, to build an effective content strategy for a great CX.

1. Create a CX Vision Board

The top-down approach to build customer experience is always advantageous. Create a CX vision board, which outlines the flow and marks the various customer touch points. Creating a vision board will also help you, prioritize the various aspects of CX. For example, the first email to the new customer is critical, and the returning customer UX on the website is also crucial. There is a need to build a connection in one case and retail the relationship in another. Creating a Vision board will help build the bigger picture, without losing focus on the intricacies.

2. Understand your Customers

An important step in building customer experience is understanding your audience (target group). Data is what comes in handy. Tailor making CX for each of the customers is impossible, so this is where customer personas are the saviors. Grouping or segmenting the customer based on demographics, behaviors etc., can help identify common characteristics and in turn help create customer personas. Customer experience can then be tailored to these customer personas. This does not only help to build CX, but also help customer service teams to deal with customers reaching out to the brand.

3. It’s all about the emotional connect - Brainstorm ideas

Writing content with an intent to connect with the audience better, will help meet the objective of customer experience. Emotional connect should be a definite goal while building a content strategy. It is not just, what you say but also how you say it. One of the main ingredients of an effective content strategy is to choose the right channels and the medium to deliver it to the customers.

According to research by the Journal of Consumer Research, more than 50% of the experience is based on emotions and in many cases, emotions are the decision drivers. A study shows that organizations that optimize to include emotional connect in their CX strategy outperform their competitors by 85%. Isn’t emotionally connect also the reason, customers become loyal advocates to the brand?

Brainstorm ideas to see how you can, use content to connect with a customer and improve the overall customer experience. This done right can be very advantageous to companies and can even influence a viral effect. For example, the Titan ads that uphold women empowerment connects with the audience and in turn made the ads viral. The emotional connect has also helped the brand retain it’s ‘household name’ status, as one of the leading brands in watches across India.

4. Include channels to capture real-time customer feedback

The need to capture real-time customer feedbacks has to be at the top of any customer experience strategy. Building a CX blindly with an assumption that it is a great one, is a recipe for disaster. Periodic customer feedbacks can be captured through automated surveys, emails and calls. It could also be part of the customer service KRA, to have a set number of outbound calls for customer feedbacks.

Do not ignore customer feedbacks in your CX strategy; it will only help you understand how you are faring and also highlight the areas you can improve on.

5. Measure ROI influence due to the delivery of customer experience

It is important to observe and study the influence of customer experience on ROI. Content strategies are built with an objective to bring in revenue, increase customer engagement and for customer retention. As the customer experience evolves, keep a keen eye to observe and monitor its influence on the ROI.

How to define the roadmap? 

Content strategies are built, mainly with a focus on improving customer engagement, brand communications and to play an indirect influence on revenue generation. Content strategy can help you redefine the customer experience, ensuring both customer and brand-centric goals are met. Optimizing customer experience throughout the customer journey can be done with content. The beauty of it is, content can be customized to suit customer personas (as discussed previously). Content gives you an upper hand, at being relatable in your customer experience.

Content strategy needs to include two main customer category – new and existing customers. The customer experience should then be tailor-made to suit these customers. Returning customers are a priority as, according to BIA/Kelsey and Manta report, returning customers spend about 67% more than new customers. It is important to build a new customer base, but it is critical to retain the existing customers.

Redefine customer experience with content strategy by incorporating the following tactics and plans:

Create Content that is relatable, social and shareable

Once you have understood your customers and built customer personas, build content around these personas to make it more relatable. In this way, it won’t end up being a ‘One-size fit all’ kind of content. When the content is relatable, it will also have a shareable factor to it. Meaning, the customer may share this content on their social media or talk about it to others. Personalizing content through the customer experience – may it be for websites, emails or any engagement, will lead to building better connections between customers and companies.

Storytelling is one of the best content strategies adopted by companies, making brands seem more human and approachable. Customer experience strongly lies in this connection companies make emotionally with their customers. CX, as it says clearly, is an experience and not just an automated flowchart. When you build a content strategy, create content that is more conversational than sales. You can influence purchases indirectly, by showing value rather than flashing just the ‘Buy here’ communication.

Stay clear and don’t complicate the experience

Content copyright that is simple yet relatable clicks right away with the audience. There is no point in writing complex content, as at the end of it if customers don’t have a valuable takeaway, the content campaign is in vain. Many content and marketing gurus stress on the need for content creation to be simple and have something valuable as a takeaway for the audience. This does not imply that complex content will not work, but it emphasizes the fact that everything solely rests on the customer personas. Simple formats can work much better than complex ones that take time to build and execute as compared to simple ones. Focus on valuable and meaningful content, then trying to make a show of complexity.

Create content that is fast and appealing

Content auditing is a great way to remain relevant. Website content specifically needs to be straightforward and have scheduled periodic updates. Website content audits, help repair broken links and realign content to be fast. A major chunk of customer experience now lies in website load time and user interface. Blend the content in it to give the best customer experience. All the elements of the website – images, content, videos, and design, etc., should be responsive and be able to realign to a desktop, mobile and other devices.

Make the content you create appealing. Video contents are in demand now, with over 53% of the audience wanting more video formats of content than any other. Leverage the trend wave and blend it into your customer experience. Use infographics, videos to tell the brand story and make the customer experience more visual.

Optimize periodically based on feedback

Smart marketer and organizations always listen to their customers. Keenly. No matter how good the content creation is and the company strongly believes it is of the highest standards, neither of it can be considered true until it has the seal of approval from the customer end. Customer experience is solely based on and for customers, so ensure customer feedbacks are taken into consideration seriously. Optimizing the content, through audits and surveys will help remain relevant and have increased engagement. No wonder, successful businesses optimize, revamp their customer experience and continuously invest to better the customer experience.

Conclusion:

Content strategies are one of the easiest ways to redefine the customer experience. It gives you the opportunity to interact more with the audience, understand the target group better and in turn build a good customer experience. Content marketing also creates an opportunity to innovate at fixed intervals and bring in newer experiences for the customers.

It is imperative to keep in mind that the consumers today are bombarded with a lot of marketing media. Businesses need to stand out from the many and make a connection. Content strategies can help you ace it, by making a relevant, personal connection with the customers and leading them to a memorable experience. When the customer experience is great and satisfactory, customers will transform to be brand advocates who will not only bring in new customers but will also stick around longer. Redefine the customer experience with a content strategy using the above simple methods. The conclusion of it all is to listen to your customer and incorporate their feedback into your content strategy.

Use content in the right way and at the right time, with varied formats to continuously engage with the audience and build a customer experience that makes your brand, a part of their lives.

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