How to create and foster customer relationships – part two
Managing customer experience across numerous touch points is the key to providing real-time, personalised omni-channel communications and fostering long-term customer relationships.
Understanding and managing the customer journey across multiple touch points is now absolutely imperative. Today’s customer 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.
Customers do not want to read content that was designed for a website and resized onto a mobile phone. Not only should they not have to read it, in most cases, they won’t even attempt to. They shouldn't have to settle for anything less than a best-in-class experience at any point of their journey. Suffering broken conversations over time or channels, being pestered by irrelevant communications or having to repeat themselves can be terminal for a brand.
Nothing can tarnish a reputation quicker than sending irrelevant information to the customer who has a Twitter community of over a million followers and an industry reputation. Customers today have the platforms for sharing opinions like never before and the digital savvy customer isn’t afraid of online naming and shaming. One negative post that goes viral can have dire consequences for a brands value, and lead to wide scale customer defection.
Businesses are built on relationships, and now more than ever, these relationships matter. Companies are certainly coming round to the idea of customer dialogue, which is positive, but in order to build superior customer relationships, they need to be able to conduct effective two-way conversations with their customers.
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 delivering real-time, relevant content for every conversation as if that particular person was the most important customer you’ll ever have.
Companies are treading a finer line than ever before with their target markets and customer experience is often now the only source of competitive brand advantage to drive customer loyalty, enhance brand reputation and drive 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 their new landscape, the benefits will be huge.
Written by Marchai Bruchey, chief customer officer at Thunderhead.com.
This was originally posted on the Thunderhead.com blog.