By Oliver Jaeger, Vice President of Global Marketing & Communications, e-Spirit Inc. in North America
So far, 2015 is living up to expectations in living up to its name of year of the more – more online shopping, more connecting with customers through websites and social media channels, and the ever-growing blogosphere. In short, there will be more opportunities for companies to connect with and keep the attention of their target groups. Customer retention will be just as important customers as acquisition as companies battle to win and keep the loyalty of an ever more demanding audience.
The task of winning the hearts and minds of your target groups is really much easier than it sounds, though. It comes down to taking care of the details and using trusted tools. But first, the details. Here are five steps to ensure that you excel in exceptional customer experience for you, your company, and your target groups:
Create an all-inclusive content strategy
As you look forward, ask yourself if your content strategy is running on all cylinders. Are you telling your story and offering your products and services in the same way regardless of the channel? Are all marketing activities being coordinated across all departments? Is your marketing content siloed from your sales content, for example, with marketing content writers unaware of what your sales folks are producing? The days of running marketing campaigns that are separate from websites and other channels is over. Customers will notice and wonder why there is a disconnect.
Maintain consistent messaging
Will customers pull up your website on their smartphones and be just as pleased as they would be on their laptops or desktop computers? Or would they get a different, perhaps less enjoyable experience? Sure, it can be hard to keep everything consistent, especially if your company has content creators spread out around the globe or contributing content in a wide variety of languages. But if you take advantage of Web content management tools, it can be much more doable. It’s also important to maintain a consistent layout, including colours and fonts. These seemingly small details don’t go unnoticed.
Serve up exciting and fresh content
Give your target groups a reason to visit your website often. In other words, have text and images that draw them in regularly. An e-commerce site that lacks visual appeal doesn’t lead to loyal customers. Neither does content that isn’t personalised to those who’ve visited in the past. It also goes without saying that customers want content that’s valuable to them, especially if it goes to their email inboxes. Content should also be fresh. No six-month-old news or sales on the homepage.
Embrace social media
Face it, it’s not going to go away; so as the adage goes: if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. And who wouldn’t want to anyway? Social media in all its many colourful forms presents a wealth of opportunities for companies to engage in ways that harken back to the small town shopkeeper, except now you can converse with your customers on a global basis. If you’re already on Facebook and Twitter, resolve to explore some new channels this year. If you think that’s not a good use of resources, take a look at Starbucks’ Instagram account – nice photos and 3.62 million followers.
Chart a better customer journey
Some would say I’ve outlined a tall order that would take a lot of resources to be successful. But the reality is you only need a powerful Web content management system (CMS) to serve as the hub of your content strategy in order to achieve success. Having a Web CMS serve as the hub of your content strategy helps you in three ways: it ensures that you deliver the right content to the right people at the right time, it helps to simplify content creation and distribution in one location, and it serves as the integration point for best of breed technologies.
As we head towards an ever more digital year to come, companies that will succeed are those that adopt or continue to actively embrace all that the Internet offers with a marketing strategy that draws and keeps customers and turns them into brand ambassadors. An integrative Web CMS that easily uses current and future best-of-breed tools has the benefit of not only making the coming new year bright, but in being around to give your customers exceptional digital experiences for many a new year to come.