Creating a Customer Experience in 2017
How people shop today, when compared to a decade ago or longer, has evolved in ways beyond comparison. For those of us who grew up in the 70’s or 80’s, how can we forget the excitement that came when a catalog came in the mail from our favorite store?
Do businesses still send out catalogs? It’s rare, and in most circumstances only when a customer requests. The preferred method of shopping, by most standards, is online. One look at the success of Amazon confirms this.
Let’s visit some of the trends in reaching the target market. 3 key areas will be our focus, those being:
– Customer experience versus customer service
– Business use of blogging
– Usage of keywords
The New View on Customers
Anyone that worked in a retail setting a decade or longer ago, without question, was “pounded” with the company’s expectations on customer service. The emphasis then, and still with some organizations, was on greeting the customer quickly and providing “exceptional service”.
A shift has been underway for some time to creating a positive customer experience. This goes for all businesses, regardless if they have strictly an online presence or they have retail “box stores”. What is the difference between an “experience” and “service”?
A customer experience is all encompassing within the company. It touches every aspect, from the time the consumer takes notice of a certain product or service offered, to the interactions, all the way to often overlooked aspects such as the physical facilities or website design.
On the contrary, customer service has a focus on the transaction itself. With the emphasis on the point of sale, and communication shortly before and after, it leaves out all the areas covered in the customer experience.
Bottom line is this – a focus on the “experience” leads to lifelong customers. Relationships are formed, and the entire organization benefits.
This is one of the more effective ways for business owners to drive traffic to their site, and it is one of the most often overlooked. Blogs provide each business with a way to build on the customer experience.
Yet, many fall into the traps that come with the apparent ease of blogs. The savvy entrepreneur is cognizant of the need for consistent, quality content. They avoid boring product descriptions and liven up even the most mundane subject matters.
Use visuals that are appeasing to the eye. Spend the necessary time ensuring your headlines
capture the attention of your audience and engage them to read further. By viewing your website as an “employee”, and treating it as such, your brand can shine 24/7.
The Yellow Pages are a distant memory, as each of us whips out our phone to search for whatever it is on our hearts and minds. For example, if someone is searching for the best dance shoes for their upcoming lessons, you want your dance accessories company to be at the top of the search engine results.
Keywords are the link between you and your target market. When your customers are online, the competition is ready to pounce. This is another area where you can improve the customer experience, by making it easier for them to find what you have to offer.