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How customer experience is a key differentiator in driving customer loyalty, enhanced brand reputation and substantial revenue growth

by on July 23, 2013 in Advertising, Apps, Ecommerce, Email Marketing, FaceBook, Google, iPhone, Lead story, LinkedIn, London & South East, Media, Metrics, Mobile Marketing, Mobile/Tablet, Online Advertising, Online Video, Pinterest, PR, QR Codes, Retail, Twitter

The key to a healthy brand is…

Personalised & relevant information are the pillars of customer loyalty and brand health.   Guest article by Marchai Bruchey, Chief Customer Officer at Thunderhead.com.

The face of customer engagement has changed. For many years marketers have focused their energies on pushing customers to a destination, in many cases a website, call centre or high-street store. But in this age of the customer, the emphasis has evolved and is more focused on the journey than the destination.  www.thunderhead.com

It isn’t just about what journey you want to take the customers on, it is about meeting and adapting with their needs on the way; rather now it’s about engaging with the customer when they want, where they want and how they want.

The future of companies building relationships relies heavily on their ability to offer effective communications with consumers across a variety of channels at any one time. However, building an engaging relationship by delivering the right information at the right time, to the relevant device, whilst at the same time incorporating customer profile information – all of whom have different expectations and needs – is challenging and represents one of the biggest tests for companies today.

The customer is very much in the driver’s seat

We live in the age of the consumer, where the customer is very much in the driver’s seat – gone are the days where customers would accept the status quo.  There’s now a need to balance what you need to sell, more with what customers are actually looking for.

It is difficult to reach an audience that has little tolerance for mass market messages or push advertising, unless you can make it fast, easy, relevant and of a language they can understand. Identifying a shift in the customer-brand landscape is all well and good, but actually being able to adapt to it, and address the new landscape to meet the requirements of internal marketing, as well as those of the customer is far easier said than done.:

It’s about realising the full potential of integrating back-end (scheduling software) and front-end systems (point of sale systems); and most importantly it’s about engaging in real-time with relevant content for every conversation and making each individual feel like they are the most important customer to the brand

With more and more consumers looking to digital, success will be determined by the ability to engage customers more consistently and relevantly across digital touch points and multiple channels. The customer of today wants personalised, contextual and relevant information at every stage whether they are talking to someone on the phone, or interacting via the web or an app. This will require companies to know their customer’s preferences, behaviour and interactions like never before.

Nothing can tarnish a reputation quicker than sending irrelevant information to the customer; it is recognised that a customer who receives poor customer service will tell between 9-15 other people of their negative experience and one negative post on social media that goes viral can have dire consequences for a brand’s value, and lead to wide-scale customer defection.

Marrying opportunity, engagement and servicing

Building customer relationships goes beyond the letter in the post, email, Facebook and Twitter channels though: it’s about the whole customer journey; it’s about maintaining a consistent, intelligent conversation across all touch points while marrying opportunity, engagement and servicing; it’s about realising the full potential of integrating back-end and front-end systems; and most importantly it’s about engaging in real-time with relevant content for every conversation and making each individual feel like they are the most important customer to the brand.

Companies are treading a finer line than ever before with their target markets and customer experience is a key differentiator in driving customer loyalty, enhanced brand reputation and substantial revenue growth. These areas represent huge challenges for organisations, but with every challenge there is also opportunity, and for those companies that can evolve to the new landscape, the benefits will be huge.

www.thunderhead.com

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