Do you ever objectively look at your digital marketing strategy and wonder what you’re missing? You’re doing everything right, at least you think you are. You create buyer personas and track lead nurturing. You have meticulous sales funnels and lead generation strategies. But sometimes, it feels like you’re still missing something.
It could be the human element. It’s easy to lose yourself in the metrics and analytics. And those are still mission-critical and important to your marketing efforts. But if you forget about customer experience, like the authentic engagement perspective, especially on the human level, you could be losing engagement opportunities. If only you had a customer behavior predicting crystal ball or could read minds, right?
To help you reconnect with the people that represent your target audience, and based on relevant data representing today’s average consumer, here’s what your customers wished you knew about how to effectively engage them. These nuggets of advice might be the closest thing to a crystal ball. It represents consumer preference trends, pet peeves, and purchasing decision elements. And just maybe you’ll spot that missing link you need to plug back into your core audience.
They’ve Changed. You Haven’t.
A lot has happened to your ideal customer over the last two years. People lost jobs, changed jobs, and moved. They’ve had kids, got married, or divorced. Household incomes shifted, and so did affordability metrics. They maybe even experienced a health scare at a personal level that shifted their priorities in life. Right now, your customers wish you better understood how their priorities have changed, especially when it comes to making purchasing decisions.
Because your customers have likely changed, it’s important for your engagement strategy to change with them. If you’re still using marketing strategies and campaigns from last year or two years ago, you might not be speaking their language anymore.
Restaurants are the perfect example. Customers realized the convenience of doorstep delivery and carry out service. Just because the pandemic lockdowns are no longer in effect doesn’t mean customers still don’t enjoy those convenient meal delivery options. Today’s restaurants continue to offer these services because dining customer preferences have changed.
Your Customers Value ‘Good’ more than ‘Fast’
Today’s consumers love super-quick, convenient options. But they wished you also recognized they still value good service first. If your business is promoting its unique differentiator as the “fastest” or the “quickest,” make sure you’re also promoting the quality you offer. No one will spend even the most discounted of rates for the fastest if the product or service can’t satisfy the need. Just look at Wish.com.
Customers Will Pay for Customization
Mass product and service providers still use personalization and customization to reach their customers. Don’t lose sight of that ideal. People want and insist on being treated as humans, not order numbers, policy files, or a funnel entry. And the best part about customizing a solution or a message, customers today are willing to pay a little more for that personal attention. So, make sure your email campaigns address recipients by their first names. Look for ways your sales teams can customize their pitches, proposals, and presentations, too. Every engagement should feel intended for the prospect, for best results.
They’ll Remember You If You Remember Them
This might align with the previous sentiment, but it’s a big one. Your customers absolutely hate it when you don’t remember them, their experience, or their details. Of course, most are reasonable in understanding that calling a customer service number isn’t going to put them in touch with a friend from high school. But man, do they despise having to retell their story over and over to various departments when they’re just trying to find a solution.
Companies today are realizing that the personalization effort needs to include a better way to profile existing and past customers. It’s why your insurance agent sends you a birthday card every year. It’s the same principle behind your doctor’s office sending you that colonoscopy reminder. Know and remember your customers using software, databases, and detailed notes. If you remember them, they’ll always remember your business.
Good Deeds Don’t Have to Be Big
Many of today’s biggest brands are making public changes to adapt to a more inclusive and diverse environment. People buy from brands they believe are inherently good. And they’ll be even more loyal to a brand that supports causes and positions that are of particular importance to them. But your customers wished you knew that adopting a “go big or go home” approach to good deeds, brand image, or sustainability isn’t necessary. Making small changes and supporting local communities can be just as important to your core audience. Don’t race to make big adjustments that don’t make sense to your business model right now. Having a simple company inclusion statement and volunteering at the local soup kitchen can have just as much impact.
Customers Love Loyalty Programs
If your target customer has to choose between a product with a loyalty program and one without, they’re going with the loyalty incentive option every single time. Customers wished you knew how much they appreciate member discounts, clubs to join, and loyalty extras. From traditional refer-a-friend kickbacks to punch cards for sub sandwiches, anytime there’s an opportunity to earn, save, and be rewarded, they’ll be more apt to take advantage of it.
Everyone Loves a Great Story
Do you really want to know what your customers are tired of seeing? The repetitive taglines from companies across all industries claiming “best in class,” “great customer service,” “quality,” and “professional” are no longer effective. These terms don’t carry the weight they once did because your customers have come to expect those qualities from their providers. Don’t try to tell them what they already expect you to have. What they want to hear about is your story, your company differentiators, and your unique value proposition. Instead of cramming “state-of-the-art” into your messaging, tell your origin story. Talk about the problems they’re facing and how you’re uniquely positioned to solve them. It will resonate more effectively, and, in the end, it’s all yours to tell!
They Are Happy to Share Their Experiences with You
No one has time for nagging sales calls and mindless surveys. But your customers wished they’d hear from you once in a while to check in and gauge their experience. You’ll find that when you reach out to past customers to inquire about their overall experiences, they’re happy to tell you about them. And if you incorporate follow-up strategies for every engagement, the feedback will be fundamental in how you improve your services and engagement ongoing. It’s like having a line into your target audience directly, telling you exactly what they want.
They Will Shop Competitors If You Disengage
Even if your client engagement strategy isn’t perfect, it’s still helping to connect your brand to your audience to some degree. When you stop trying to connect, however, is when you’ll run into trouble. Your customers wished you knew how much they appreciate your engagement effort, even if it’s not on point. When you stop putting out content, asking questions, or following up, you might as well just push them directly into the arms of your competition. And unfortunately, many companies assume that once a customer has purchased from them, no further engagement is required to keep them.
They Will Listen to What Other People Say About Your Brand
Another big mistake today’s companies make is assuming customers will come to them automatically. Sure, you can inspire an organic flow of customer inquiries. But not controlling your company narrative, meaning when other people dictate how your customers perceive your brand, can have devastating effects. The best way to control how the public perceives your business is by taking the reins for every public relations opportunity and managing online reviews.
People will listen to what others have to say, even if it’s wrong. The goal is to be the loudest voice, championing your brand online, and address every not-so-pleasant experience with a solution. There’s a reason customers hop on Facebook to get the attention of nationally recognized brands when they can’t get resolution via traditional customer service means. And you’ve likely witnessed a few online exchanges between businesses and disgruntled customers that left you thanking your lucky stars it wasn’t you.
Customers Expect Support When They Call Customer Support
You can have the best digital marketing strategy, the most incredible campaigns, and revolutionary products or services, but if your customer service department is terrible, you’re losing customers, guaranteed. Do a pulse check on your customer care department and see just how productive it is at providing swift solutions when your customers call. Consider offering more than one way to get help, too, so customers aren’t boxed in with one never-ending loop of automated nightmares.
Your Customers Want Frictionless Experiences
People are understanding about running into potential problems with a service or product from time to time. But they put an emphasis on doing business with those entities that offer frictionless experiences. Every step you ask a prospect to take should be easy, simple to predict, and understandable. Whether they’re opting in to receive a newsletter or moving forward with a purchase, they wished you knew how important frictionless engagements are to them. If it’s complex or requires too many steps, you might be losing them.
Today’s Consumers Want to Solve Their Own Problems
Customers today want a hybrid solution and engagement model. This means if they can solve their own problems and answer their own questions, they want to go that route. But they also want to know that when they call for help, there’s a customized solution and a human waiting on the other end. Chatbots and FAQ sections are in high demand these days. But don’t automate everything, especially when it comes to core audience engagement and problem-solving.
They Won’t Engage If Your Brand Isn’t Mobile Friendly
Consumers hate when sites take too long to load or have awkward layouts on their mobile devices. Whatever you do online, make sure it’s mobile-friendly since that’s where the majority of your customers spend their time. And if you do prioritize mobile-friendly designs, your next step needs to offer something that inspires them to stop scrolling. Make it mobile. Persuade them to pause. You’ll reach them every time.
Consumers Love Life-Hacks and Tips
As you create your content calendar, you often try to guess what your consumers want to see. You’ll use metrics to help you gauge where your targets’ interests are. You try to offer educational nuggets to help your customers make purchasing decisions. But if you ever get stuck, know that consumers, in general, love life-hacks, tips, and tricks for practically everything. Get creative about how you deliver these tidbits, using video, social media, blog content, or newsletters. And remember that you’ll almost never go wrong with a good, old-fashioned life-made-easier trick of the trade.
Customers Will Tell Others When They’re Dissatisfied
Here’s the other hard truth your customers want you to know. When they have a poor experience, they’re going to tell someone about it. It may not be you, especially if you don’t ask for feedback. But they’ll tell a friend, a co-worker, and their relatives about the encounter. Maybe not all at once either, as it could be a story shared over time. Businesses know they can’t please everyone. But not every bad experience should be a write-off. If you’re aware of a poor encounter, it will serve your brand and your customers’ interests to reach out and offer a remedy or solution. And when you fix their problem, they’ll be just as likely to share that story, too.
When you’re the customer and not the business owner, what are some things you wish your product and service providers knew? Adopting a fresh perspective from the position of your core audience can help you see areas of improvement for your company engagement strategy. Maybe some of these suggestions can help you streamline your efforts.
And as always, when you’re ready for a fresh approach to content, including blogs, articles, newsletters, and digital messaging campaigns, let Ghost Blog Writers help you craft the perfect engagement!