How to be where your customers are when it matters

In a world where the battle for customers has never been more fiercely contested, it has never been more important for businesses to be in the right place at the right time to engage with them. A lot has been written about the ‘customer journey’ – the various steps a person takes on their path from problem or need to purchase solution and beyond – but it is not enough to simply know where your potential customers are. The key is doing everything possible to be visible during the “window of opportunity” when they are open to being won over.

M_BlogT_How to be where your customers are when it matters blog

Companies can no longer rely on discounts or entry-level browse-to-purchase experiences to drive up conversion rates. The modern customer is drawn to brands that care about more than just the sale, those organizations that are invested in conversations and truly engaging with their audiences. Of course, the sale is still the end goal but in the new world of customer engagement marketing, the success stories are those brands that deliver personalized messages and interact with consumers wherever they are.

So how do they do that?

  • The customer journey: 

    as individuals expect different types of engagement depending on where they are on the customer journey, it is essential brands understand the various steps and the best way to connect with them at each one.

    • Awareness
    • Research
    • Consideration
    • Purchase decision
    • Purchase
    • Post-purchase/retention
    From targeted social media advertising in the awareness phase and building trust via trade shows or expert blogs during research, to utilizing customer surveys or monthly e-newsletters post-purchase, the key is to be as visible as possible for as long as possible.
  • Content marketing: 

    the practice of creating, publishing and distributing your own content for a targeted online audience shows no signs of slowing down, with 86% of US CMOs saying content marketing is the most important area to invest their marketing dollars. An Adobe study reinforced that notion when it showed brands that marry a strong omnichannel presence with engaging content strategies may gain a 10% increase in year on year growth, 10% increase in average order value and a 25% increase in close rates.

    L’Oreal Paris hit a content marketing home run during the COVID-19 pandemic when they launched their interactive Signature Faces initiative, which uses artificially intelligent filters to allow people to test how different shades of makeup would look without having to leave the safety of their own homes. Easy to use, practical and highly shareable, the content put L’Oreal Paris firmly where their customers were – in their homes – and inspired many to purchase a product they may have otherwise left for another time.
  • Big data and analytics: 

    the days of relying on guesswork to know what customers want are over. Thanks to big data provided by customer engagement platforms, businesses have never had greater access to insights that can inform them of people’s wants, needs and the crucial moments on their path to a sale. Indeed, research and advisory company Gartner found that 85% of marketing executives believe “significantly more” of their organization’s marketing decisions will be based on marketing analytics by 2022.

    Entertainment streaming giant Netflix is a prime example of the power of such analytics. By leveraging AI marketing, machine learning and customer interaction data, it provides a curated and constantly evolving list of viewing options specifically for each viewer. This level of personalization has been a proven winner, leading to continued subscriptions, ongoing referrals and increased customer loyalty.
  • Retargeting: 

    just because a customer is disengaged, it doesn’t mean they should be dismissed. Research has shown that online visitors who are retargeted are 70% more likely to convert to a sale than those who are not. Tactics such as win-back email campaigns create engagement with such customers, with one study finding that 12% of subscribers open re-engagement emails and 45% of those continue to open subsequent messages.

    Haircare company Paul Mitchell has used playful win-back emails to great effect, with catchy headlines such as ‘We Hate Goodbyes’ and cheeky lines like “We can take a hint (sniffle sniffle)” appealing to dormant customers and inviting them to re-engage. Coupled with reminders about free product offerings and reward point campaigns, win-back emails can be an ideal re-engagement tool, which can be just as critical as engaging in the first place.
  • Omnichannel: 

    it is no longer enough to simply offer people multiple channels to make a purchase. Executing an omnichannel experience that provides a seamless shopping experience is the key. Be it online, by telephone or in a traditional shopfront, customers should be able to get what they want when and where they need it without disruption. Consumers are more digitally aware than ever and it is crucial to identify the preferences and behaviors they exhibit so businesses can tailor their omnichannel solutions appropriately.

Let’s talk about your customer experience (CX)

Having put your business in the right place at the right time to connect with potential consumers, it is equally critical to deliver a great customer experience once there. Just as more than half of customers say they will never do business with a company again if they have just one negative experience, research shows 93% are more likely to become repeat customers if they receive remarkable service.

Outsourcing has proven to be a cost-effective, low-risk tool for improving customer experience, particularly in an environment where people expect 24/7 service, rival businesses are waiting online and under-resourced companies are in danger of disgruntled customers airing their frustrations on social media and as a result impacting the bottom line.

With businesses under growing pressure to manage customer experience and omnichannel strategies, outsourcing such needs to experts delivers benefits such as:

  • Better customer service
  • Improved efficiency and productivity
  • Greater flexibility
  • 24/7 capabilities
  • Scalability.

Learn more about how business leaders are using omnichannel to create a personalized shopping experience and increase the chances that browsers become buyers.