There's one thing most marketers seem to agree on right now: the increased need to provide helpful marketing. But what does that mean? And how can it benefit organisations? We speak to marketers and business leaders to find out...
You don’t need me to tell you that customers, today, demand personalised experiences with the brands they engage with. Every day, we read about how marketers are findings ways to leverage data to deliver tailored communications with their customers. However, I would argue that developing a website that is tailored to a customer’s demands is just as important as personalising the communications you send to them.
Our attention spans are becoming shorter and shorter. Companies, therefore, need to develop user-friendly websites that hold customers’ attention and reel them in by meeting their demands. If a website is difficult to navigate or offers a poor shopping experience, a brand risks losing its customer base. This is especially true of returning customers, who have previously shown loyalty to a company. To keep customers coming back for more, marketers need to find ways to create optimised and tailored digital customer experiences across all platforms. But you cannot truly know your audience through guesswork – the key to understanding the reasons behind why customers fail to convert online is analysing a wealth of data.
Seeing is believing
The measurement of quantitative and qualitative data requires expertise that has, before now, been somewhat lacking in the marketing world. When a customer’s every interaction with a company is digitally recorded, and every single moment they spend browsing an e-commerce platform is automatically analysed, it is much easier for a company to evaluate the efficacy of its marketing campaign, its web layout, its website optimisation, and ultimately its entire customer experience.
Digital session replays of the customer journey are finally unmasking the greatest mysteries of the customer experience. Informed session replays of customer journeys through a website provide valuable data that is actionable and geared towards higher ROI, increased retention and better customer satisfaction.
The only way to achieve the optimal customer experience is by identifying where customers are dropping off the grid and where they are converting. Through this intimate window into the customer journey – gained through digital session replays – marketers can effectively understand the digital experience from the customer’s perspective.
This insight is especially valuable when optimising customer support functionalities online. At present, just 8% of customers rate companies’ self-service offerings as satisfactory. This leads to high levels of frustration and IT bottlenecks which serve neither businesses nor customers well. For instance, customers expect to be able to contact a professional support representative whenever a problem arises. Contact via live chat, online forms, telephone, fax and email are key. FAQs with artificial intelligence software are certainly proving their worth as effective communication mechanisms as well. If a business is able to analyse customer interactions on its website, it can ensure the provision of these essential resources.
Know your audience
In addition to creating a slick, user-friendly experience, it’s also important for brands to know what attracts the customer and what repels the customer.
First things first, a company’s website experience must factor in the changing trends and preferences of customers in the digital age – and be optimised for mobile functionality. eMarketer forecasts that over 45% of all UK ecommerce sales will be made on smartphones and tablets in 2018. Therefore, something as simple as a website not being optimised for mobile use could immediately deter returning customers from completing a purchase.
Second, it’s important to know that less is more. People simply don’t have time to scour a website for information that should be provided to them at the click of a button. Valuable information and little clutter are key to creating an online experience for the fast-paced consumer. After all, there are too many competitors out there waiting to capture web traffic from sites that don’t do a good enough job of optimising the customer experience.
Third, people don’t have the time or patience to wait. If a site takes too long to load – any more than a few seconds – it will not satisfy the customer; these negative online interactions adversely impact the website customer experience.
Keep your online customers coming back: case study
Businesses with online operations have been warned: returning customers are actively looking for the best possible website customer experience, and they aren’t afraid of going elsewhere to find it. It’s time for marketers to see what valuable information is around them – from customer data to session replays of online interactions.
There’s no need for second guessing any more. Today, there is a wealth of data that marketers can tap in to, in order to create an online experience that delights the customer, delivers the information they demand as and when they need it, and ultimately keep them coming back again and again.
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