Today’s customers are much more knowledgeable and informed than ever before. Increasingly, they are leveraging third-party sources; social media, peer groups, and community sites to gain information that is shaping their perceptions about brands, products, and companies. What’s more, they’re now relying less on an organization’s content. Most customers would consider information from third-party sources more trustworthy than from companies. Even though the third-party information may be incorrect, customers still trust this source of information more because they do not have any hidden agenda or motives. Bottom line is that Marketers are their ability to influence and market to their audiences. And the big challenge is how to regain the trust and credibility of today’s customer. Here are three things to consider in starting to rebuild the trust with your customers.
Level the playing field of knowledge
As today’s customers are empowered with information and knowledge, so should business managers equipped themselves with unprecedented insights and understanding about their customers and the markets. Marketers can work with their IT groups to see what data is available and what other third-party sources of data can be leveraged. But don’t just get data for the sake of it. Seek data that will help you to better target and deliver personalized and relevant engagements that will guide your customers through the journey map. And seek ‘Big Data’ analytical tools that have the power to interrogate the entire data sets quickly, enabling marketers to interact with the data quicker, and that facilitate the natural iterative process of gaining insights and knowledge.
Customer Experience has direct impact on the financials
We know that the full value of a customer is about more than just the current purchase he or she will make. More importantly, it’s about the future purchases they will make that are based on past experiences, as well as any influences they may have on other prospective customers.
Many businesses, however, fail to make this connection and only take into account short-term returns in making customer engagement strategies. For example, if a high value customer contacts a call center with an issue, but receives poor service, then the customer is irate and feels less valued. As a result, this customer will likely not conduct any future business with the organization, or at least, minimize it. And if the customer has influence on his family or friends, they will reduce or cease doing business with that organization. You can see in this example that the bad customer experience today destroyed the future value of that particular customer.
Develop engagement strategies throughout the customer journey
It’s clear that today’s customer will engage with an organization through multiple channels throughout the customer journey. Organizations should clearly define each customer journey map and understand the interaction channels utilized throughout each customer journey map. Marketers need to ensure that customer preference and contextual information from previous interactions are carried forward and used to engage customers in the next steps. Look for integrated cross-channel customer engagement solutions that provide seamless engagement across channels — including social and mobile channels — which facilitate customers throughout the entire customer journey with personalized and relevant interactions.