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Marketing strategy has evolved to concentrate more upon the customer experience. Companies are increasingly finding that customer experience is the foundation upon which success is built. Loyal, satisfied customers are valuable customers. The so-called “churn” of finding new customers to replace the old, and constantly targeting new buyers as a means to increase sales is ineffective, as this often means replacing the old customers, creating more expense. Customers who have already bought your product are obviously interested, engaged customers who have proven their willingness to make purchases. However, this valuable source of profit is thrown out of the window with a negative customer experience.
An optimal customer experience strategy will satisfy your customers at every touch point in the buying process. Touch points being all the points in the customer’s journey where they come in contact with your brand, including the initial awareness of your product, any research done by the customer, interaction with a website or store, communication with sales representatives, the purchase, shipping, product quality, as well as problem resolution. Each point should be addressed and optimized for customer experience. Is the buying process smooth and easy, is the shipping process timely and reliable, do you have good customer support for any concerns after the purchase? You need well-trained, good people who want to give the customer a good experience above all else, and can easily communicate with the other departments such as sales, shipping, billing, or the factory where a product is manufactured and repaired or replaced. It is a good idea to coordinate the teams in your organization positioned at these points, in order to create a holistic, consistent experience.
Personalization and customer relationship management can enable you to understand your customer base through analyzing data, and offering products and services and advertising targeted specifically to them, thereby improving the experience and the chance of achieving customer satisfaction. Customer relationship management may be aided with software and platforms (CRM) which can help with data retrieval and analysis. This information will enable you to understand what your customers expect and want, so that you can deliver it.
Customer satisfaction is the means to attain customer loyalty, which in turn can create customer advocates. Oftentimes brand reputation is an important selling point a marketing team uses to increase engagement in products or services, and word of mouth and referral sales increase brand reputation. As more and more customers ask friends and colleagues, and do research online before buying products, referrals and online product ratings become increasingly important.
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