6 Actions You Must Take in Customer Experience in 2023


Why This Research is Important to You

Six of the 12 Key takeaways

Six Actions You Can Take Next

The Research Authors and Methodology

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Why This Research is Important to You

Customer Experience Is The New Competitive Battlefield.

This is urgent for any brand, business, organization, and leader competing in a market that is increasingly reliant on digital ecosystems. We are living this new reality day-to-day, from online interactions and chatbots to mobile ordering, social media, ratings/reviews, digital payments, help requests, and so much more.

What Does the Research Tell us?

The best option for a sustainable competitive advantage is developing loyalty, advocacy, and frequency through superior customer experience. But what does that mean and look like today?

Customer experience has taken on a heightened urgency as more companies compete in a digital ecosystem or have customer touchpoints that blend in-person and digital. This is an expectation not a trend as more and more interactions shift to digital, and the complexity, transparency, and impact of these interactions highlight the increasing focus on getting them right to delight customers.

This study revealed that very specific emotions and actions create the most positive memories that lead to repeat purchases and brand advocacy—as well as what customer experiences to avoid! Getting customer experience right not only drives a clear return on investment for organizations, but as the study found, Americans think it should also directly impact CEO pay!

Do you believe customer experience should affect CEO pay?
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Six immediate takeaways:

1.  The Secret Ingredient for Challenger Brands of All Sizes

Every challenger brand is looking for a way to compete against better-funded, better-known, and more established brands. This is true in every industry from low-tech manufacturing to services businesses and cutting-edge enterprise technology. But how does a challenger brand truly deliver results above its size, tenure, and limited resource?

In our research, one of the most interesting discoveries was that 85% of Americans—eighty-five percent! —said that customer experience can make a small company win their business from a large company. At a time when resources are tight, every interaction matters, and competition is only growing, it turns out that one of the most powerful, influential, decisive, and too often overlooked strengths a smaller company can deploy to beat larger incumbents is delivering great customer experience.

The clear message: customers are saying that if you’re looking for a way to win them now, customer experience is the overlooked and highly influential area to focus on.

85% of Americans said that customer experience can make a small company win their business from a large company

2.  Consumers Say CX Should Affect… CEO Pay!

An eye-popping 72% of Americans say CEOs should have their pay affected based on customer experience. 72%! Wow. That is a huge number and very telling of not only the importance of customer experience to consumers, but also the underlying feeling that the customer experience should be elevated in terms of importance, value, and accountability to the very highest levels of an organization.

Interestingly, the question was asked to create the opportunity for the impact to be positive or negative. Americans aren’t saying that customer experience should only be punitive for CEOs, but rather that customer experience is so important it should positively or negatively affect CEO compensation to make sure it has the right level of attention and urgency within an organization.

72% of Americans say CEOs should have their pay affected based on customer experience

3.  The Gateway to Word-of-Mouth Recommendations

One of the most influential ways to drive all-important referrals, recommendations, advocacy, and more is to focus on digital experience. Why digital experience? Because so much of customer experience is now interacted, primarily or in the customer experience journey, through technology.

In fact, a whopping 76% of all Americans will recommend a brand, service, or company to a friend simply because they had a good experience using their website or mobile app. This is a big clue and should be a priority for any organization that can immediately benefit from more referrals and word-of-mouth support.

4.  Speed of Service Has Increasingly Become a Top Priority.

Expectations about the speed of service have evolved rapidly over the last decade. These expectations have been fueled by the ubiquitous usage of online ordering, COVID-accelerated adoption of rapid delivery, Amazon Prime, and an increasingly “instant everything” mindset towards interactions in general.

Is your company meeting your customer's expectation in terms of speed?
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What does this mean for customer experience and customer expectations? A lot. Why? Because Americans have become conditioned to pushing a button—or even speaking to Siri or Alexa—and having something delivered right to where they are, whether that is home, at work, or on the go. Our data found that 47% of Americans would be willing to pay up to 30% more if immediate service was guaranteed. That is almost half of America saying they are willing to pay materially more for guaranteed immediate service.

5.  The Impact of Online Ratings and Reviews

We first dug into the importance of rating and review sites by asking America how much online ratings and reviews influence their view of a business, product, or service they have not tried.

Millennials, significantly more than any other generation, most valued online ratings and reviews of businesses, products, and services they have not yet tried. However, in a surprising twist, there were two generations that valued them less than the others: Gen Z and…Baby Boomers.

Yes, the bookend generations both currently value online ratings and reviews less than Millennials and Gen X. This could be due to Gen Z still emerging as consumers and Baby Boomers not coming of age with the Internet, but either way, it is an interesting twist for companies seeking to leverage ratings and reviews, particularly in reaching Gen Z as they emerge.

74% of younger millenials vs 55% of Genx Z say ratings and reviews are critical to their major purchase decisions

6.  Exploring The Views Of Customer Loyalty Programs

The customer reward and loyalty programs that Americans are most satisfied with vary dramatically by generation.

Gen Z is significantly more satisfied than other generations with quick service and fast casual loyalty programs (Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, etc.) and beauty reward programs (Sephora, Ulta, etc.). While Millennials also rank quick service and fast casual loyalty programs as tops for them, they are also significantly more satisfied with coffee rewards programs than other generations.

This presents an interesting dynamic where the younger generations overlap in the top two types of reward and loyalty programs, yet they each rate them very differently from one another!

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The Six Actions You Can Take Next

1.  Understand the customers you serve.

Take a deep look at the generations that are represented in your customer base. Through customer research, you can identify your most important customer segments and their generational trends, and understand what truly matters to them.

2.  Start listening to your customers.

Feedback from those who matter most: the customers who are living your experiences are some of the most impactful data you can leverage to improve CX. Implementing a thorough voice of the customer program and developing feedback-based action plans will quickly address hot issues with your customers.

3.  Take an honest look at your current customer experience.

Perform an audit on your own or hire a CX expert to take a comprehensive look at all of your customer touchpoints. Having a holistic view of your CX will help create priorities and a go-forward plan for addressing critical needs and strategic changes over time.

 4.  Get your digital customer experience in order.

78% of Americans will become advocates for your brand solely based on the experience they have with your digital CX. Upgrades in the areas of better personalized and more relevant emails, better scripts for chatbots, easy-access ways to reach customer service the way the prospect/customer prefers, or more robust FAQs with topic search can be done relatively quickly, creating a sustainable competitive advantage, and will have a significant impact on customer advocacy and loyalty. Your goal is to reduce friction at every point in the customer’s digital journey.

5.  Create a long-term CX roadmap that strongly considers Gen Z.

Generation Z is the generation least satisfied with the current state of CX. Creating a long-term plan that evolves your CX to best meet their needs will not only capture a new generation entering the marketplace but will improve experiences for older generations as well.

Download the Full Report

The full State of Customer Experience report contains significant additional information that can be transformative to your view of customer experience and the path your organization must take to be successful. Download the full report here.

The Research Authors

This research and findings were conducted and published as a cooperative project between Experience Dynamic and CGK, the Center for Generational Kinetics.

Experience Dynamic (XD) is a collective of companies committed to customer experience. From the first touchpoint through the full life of your customer, Experience Dynamic helps solve complex problems to fuel meaningful engagements that drive results for your brand. With both LaneTerralever (Marketing & Digital Experience) and Convince & Convert (Content Marketing & CX Strategy) as part of the collective, Experience Dynamic guides clients through transformational CX change.

The Center for Generational Kinetics (CGK) is the leading research, speaking, and retained advisory firm focused on generational change, key emerging trends, and behavioral insights. They have led more than 100 custom research studies for clients around the world. CGK’s team leads original research to solve important consumer, employee, technology, and emerging trend challenges. The firm uncovers new and unexpected, statistically accurate insights for innovative, market-leading clients.

Research Methodology

The national study included a total of 1,500 U.S. participants ages 16-75, including 1,000 U.S. participants weighted to the 2020 U.S. Census for age, gender, geography, and ethnicity. In addition, the study included an oversample of 250 Gen Z participants (ages 16-26) and an oversample of 250 affluent participants (annual household income of $100,000 or more). The margin of error is +/-2.53 percentage points. The national study was conducted online from July 28, 2022, to August 8, 2022.


The information in this article and research document can be referenced by the media, in whole or in part, as long as this document is cited as the source of the information. In no way does this document provide an endorsement of any product, service, company, or individual.

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How to Create a B2B Client Experience For Gen X Customers

It’s becoming harder and harder to differentiate your business based on products alone. 

Therefore brands need to focus on the customer experience, both today and going forward.

And if you own a B2B business, it appears that satisfying Gen X (those born between 1965 and 1981) customers may very well be crucial for your bottom line.

Why so?

Because these are your key decision makers.

Gen X accounts for more than half of leadership roles globally, according to Global Leadership Forecast.

In other words, if you want a company’s leader to like your B2B product or service, you need to optimize your client experience for Gen X.

Why Does Client Experience Matter?

All generations of Internet users are becoming more and more aware of the vast buying possibilities the Internet provides, so they will leave your site if they feel lost or overwhelmed.

In the B2B sector, where buying journeys are longer and more complicated, often consisting of several touch points and proactive follow-ups, providing a smooth client experience (both on- and off-site) is even more crucial.

How Are Gen X Customers Different?

All generations have different browsing habits, and Gen X is no exception. In fact, this is probably the most interesting generation because it combines the savviest traits of the preceding (baby boomers) and following (millennials) generations.

This generation was growing up alongside the internet. They are as comfortable online as they are offline. Unlike baby boomers, they adopt multiple devices easily and tend to embrace new technology quickly. Unlike millennials, they understand web privacy and security. They are a perfect generation to bridge the gap between the two before-after-internet generations.

There are multiple studies that have identified key browsing behaviors that are unique for Gen X:

  • They take cybersecurity and privacy very seriously. They wouldn’t open a suspicious email, they never use corporate emails for social media and they always make sure their passwords are secure.
  • According to Appgate, Gen Xers like to learn how to fix a problem instead of being taught how to do it. 
  • They easily switch between devices. They spend more time on all devices than millennials do: 9 hours per week on PCs, 21 hours per week on smartphones, and 4 hours weekly on tablets, on average.

Gen Xers like to learn how to fix a problem instead of being taught how to do it.
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How to Create a Better B2B Client Experience For Gen X Customers

Build knowledge bases

As this generation prefers autonomy and self-reliance when fixing a problem or finding a solution, you need to build detailed wikis, FAQs or knowledge bases for them to interact with independently. Make sure you answer every possible question your clients may have and structure your Help section the way those answers are easy to find.

Don’t follow up immediately after a demo trying to convert them. Instead, email your deck and a link to that section for them to research. Gen Xers are great at digital research, so let them browse your site and play with your product first. 

Keep your Help always fresh and updated. Make sure you audit it quarterly to update screenshots, remove mentions of discontinued features and fix broken links. Repurpose your most popular articles into videos and downloadable assets.

This effort will also speed up your internal processes too as it will allow your teams to quickly locate and link to answers whenever your potential customers have them.

Customer-driven content marketing has many other benefits, including:

  • More long-tail rankings (and hence better client experience for voice search users)
  • Better control of your brand-driven search (as you will have a URL optimized for any possible question people may be asking about your product or company)
  • More retargeting possibilities (as you can retarget all those readers through ads on Google and Facebook)
  • More return users as people will keep finding your content whenever you search (this builds brand recognizability and ultimately increases your conversions).

It’s also a time-consuming effort as your team will keep discovering new questions (and writing articles to answer them) and auditing existing content to ensure it is up-to-date. So make sure everyone knows that it’s an ongoing task.

Let them know your platform is secure

Include security in all of your sales materials and demos. Explain how you protect the data and privacy of your users.

Obviously, make sure your site has a secure connection and all your sales materials and downloads are hosted on secure URLs as well. Site speed is also important, so spend some time diagnosing and optimizing your page load time.

Personalize your emails well as this generation ignores or flags emails they don’t recognize. Don’t add them to your email lists without consent: They treat their privacy seriously, so they may never deal with your company if you don’t. By all means, adjust your email marketing strategy to avoid privacy scandals.

Mobile matters

Gen X customers are notably keen on using mobile devices. Understandably, optimizing your mobile site and/or app is important for pleasing this generation of decision makers.

Increasing numbers of Gen X consumers interact with businesses primarily only on mobile devices. That means your mobile site experience needs to be just as simple and intuitive as it would be on a desktop computer.

Make sure your mobile site and/or app is tested on multiple mobile devices, and there is a QA process in place for every major device software update.

Monitor and measure your customers’ satisfaction

Use technology to see where customers are coming from and what they’re doing. This includes using Web analytics tools to show you what drives customers to your site, where they come from, which ones are coming back and what they’re doing on your site. 

Most web analytics platforms include detailed demographics information allowing you to see which devices your site users prefer and which countries and cities they access your site from.

Measure how satisfied customers are with your customer experience. There are many ways to do this. Customer surveys are the number-one method. Make sure to diversify your customer satisfaction survey questions to get a deeper understanding of your current and future customers.

Additionally, start measuring customer loyalty, average purchase amount, conversion rates and the number of returned purchases will give you a clearer picture of what’s working and what’s not.

Finally, there are powerful b2b tools for internet marketing tools that can connect all those data points (web analytics, customer satisfaction surveys, heatmaps) into one helpful dashboard for you to monitor everything effectively.

Most importantly, stay forward-thinking!

Don’t assume that today’s client experience will work tomorrow. Keep your eyes on the future and keep up with retail and technology trends so your business is poised to change along with customers’ shopping behaviors.

The post How to Create a B2B Client Experience For Gen X Customers appeared first on Convince & Convert.

Did you miss our previous article…

When Your Brand’s Customer Experience is Underwhelming — What To Do

Managers are Routinely Unaware of How Customers Actually Rate Their Customer Experience.

It’s a startling fact. We know 80% of organizations believe they deliver a “superior experience” to their customers; however, only 8% of customers feel the same way. We’ve shared the top five most common reasons Why Brands Believe Their CX is Better Than It Really Is and sadly, one or more probably apply to your organization. (Pause and let that sink in.) Whether this is a new revelation to your CX initiatives or a long-known fact, there are steps you must take to turn the CX ship around. And the first step to solving any problem, is to acknowledge it.

Identifying the recurring causes of a poor customer experience are probably something your organization is already tracking. Is that data widely shared with all the teams who can impact change? If not, do it immediately. Every additional customer lost to a poor experience is brand and revenue damage that could likely have been avoided.

 80% of organizations believed they delivered a “superior experience” to their customers; however, only 8% of customers felt the same way.

Pro Tip: Quantify your CX performance data and supplement it with anecdotal stories to complete the narrative. Add in the human elements to make the stories more impactful. Share your current state and desired future state — with time frames — to all internal team leaders who touch any aspect of your organization’s customer experience. From this beginning, process improvement plans can be created and implemented.

No organization intends to provide poor customer experience (possible exception is the U.S. Internal Revenue Service) so how and why does it happen? What are the root causes that matter in your situation? 

Visit our article and quick self-assessment on the 10 Pillars of Customer Experience Your Customers Care About Most to help you learn and hone in on what is really important to your customers.

Use the Four T’s of Customer Service Triage

Convince & Convert has created processes to help assess and improve organizations’ digital customer experiences. One of the process improvements we developed is the Four T’s of Customer Service Triage. Once you know which areas of the customer experience needs help, use this as a framework to focus on where to implement process improvements and change management. While CX encompasses more than just customer service, it is often the decision point for a customer’s ultimate satisfaction or lack thereof.

4 T's of Customer Service Triage

#1: Time

Speed is everything. The time to resolution is the most critical factor in preserving a customer relationship. As Jay Baer explains in his top-rated keynote, Time to Win: Grow Your Business by Satisfying Consumers’ Need for Speed, you can pick two of the three: quality, price, or speed and one of them better be speed.

Continually increasing customer expectations confirmed in this proprietary research, this new reality will have you rethinking your own answer to the “how fast is fast enough?” question. 

What is the time expectation-to-resolution for your audiences? What sets those expectations? How quickly does your organization respond to an email? Chat inquiry? Wait time on hold? Product returns or exchanges? Social media post? For each channel in which your audiences may voice dissatisfaction, your response time has an outsized impact on the ultimate resolution. 

In customer experience, in the minds of your customers, “Rapid Response = We Care”

#2: Tools & Technology

(Yes, that’s 2 T’s but we only counted it once)

We often see customer experiences and customer service hampered by inadequate tools and technology. These tools are force multipliers an organization must use to leverage these key business elements:

  • Your personnel
  • Data, used for personalization
  • Data, used for measurement and reporting
  • Response time
  • Time to resolution

In your specific circumstance, you have your own set of unique requirements, pain points, and resource constraints. High-volume call centers need very different ticket management software than one person answering the phone for a local plumber. There is a plethora of chat and chatbot management software options that allow vastly different degrees of data capture, CRM integrations, automation, ticket management, data collection and analysis. Your organization may have specific needs regarding legal compliance, medical privacy, finance, or any manner of customer privacy concerns.

This is not the place to begin recommending any particular tool or technology platform to supplement your specific needs within your industry nuances. What is appropriate is to emphasize tools and technology are essential investments intended to yield a return over time. But just owning a tool does not make one a skilled carpenter. The tools need to be used with skill and precision. And that leads us to…

#3: Training

In your organization, who is responsible for providing exceptional customer experiences? (Pause, really answer the question before reading further.) 

The correct answer is everyone! Anyone who touches the product or service you deliver, anyone involved in the messaging and communications with your audiences, anyone involved in fulfillment or customer care, they all need to be trained on how to deliver exceptional customer experiences.

The reality is, most of the people in your organization have had little to zero training in customer service or what it even means to deliver exceptional customer experiences. Sure, they are all committed to doing a good job, but how can they do a great job? How can they surprise and delight? What cross-functional process changes could be made to streamline and accelerate progress to higher customer satisfaction, retention, and revenue? These are not net-zero decisions. Teach, assess, refine, and improve at each critical point in the customer journey. Then do the same at each non-critical point too.

Pro Tip: Begin with a broad-reaching internal survey/quiz to assess what level your customer experience team (almost everyone) scores on a variety of customer experience scenarios and solutions. No need for trick questions but get a real understanding of the current state of employee confidence, individual empowerment to “fix” an issue, the internal hierarchy of your organization, and their points of friction in getting to rapid resolutions and exceptional customer experiences. The results may surprise you. If you’d like Convince & Convert to help you implement such an internal assessment, drop us a note.

#4: Temperament

I have great empathy for anyone who works or has worked in a customer service call center. Or been a food server. Airline ticket agent. Or dealt with the public in general. The public can be (is):

  • Brutal
  • Overbearing
  • Rude
  • Frustrated
  • Incorrect
  • Ignorant (different than incorrect)
  • Demanding
  • Unreasonable
  • Loud (yelling)
  • Oblivious to the role the CS person can or cannot fulfill
  • Appreciative of your assistance

I admit, I have at a few times in my adulthood been guilty of most of these. And if you are honest with yourself, you may have as well.

The point here is that not everyone is wired to deal with such drama. Granted, we’ve all encountered CS professionals who are dang good at their job and truly improve the customer experience. And that must be some combination of training, company culture, and personal temperament. Excellent customer service requires an inherent empathy for the customer and genuine desire to help.

“Excellent customer service requires an inherent empathy for the customer and genuine desire to help.”

These are the individuals you must value most and use as examples for others to follow and mimic. If you have one, or a bunch of them, good! Figure out how to replicate that. If you don’t have that in your organization, something must change. Yes, George may have been employed there for 20 years, but if he is gruff on the phone and abrasive to everyone, it’s time to change.

Flight or Fight? Do This Next:

If you really feel your organization’s customer experience cannot be salvaged, do this:

  1. Update your resumé and up your professional networking game. Reach out and make new connections and start to work those for new employment opportunities. If your organization’s CX/CS problems are systemic and you are not able or willing to implement change, look for a more comfortable workplace.

If you really feel your organization’s customer experience can be salvaged, do this:

  1. Refer back to this article on the 10 Pillars of Customer Experience Your Customers Care About Most and determine where your most important pillars are. (To-do steps are at the end of the article.)
  2. Overlay the four T’s for CX/CS Triage from above across your most important pillars.
  3. Create internal visibility, awareness, and understanding of what specific areas need to be improved first and get buy-in from every potential stakeholder who will be involved in the process.
  4. Get outside assistance. If your issues could have been solved internally, they probably already would have been. Outside guidance, awareness of the latest tools and technology, training workshops, help implementing change-management, unbiased perspective, these are all good examples where it is not only ok, but also smart, to solicit some professional assistance.

Pro Tip: The steps in this article are clearly reactionary to your current state. They do not address a new look at surprise and delight, Talk Triggers (infographic), or our Ultimate Guide to Customer Experience. We have knowledge to share. Learn and share with your colleagues.

If you have thoughts, questions, or ideas to share, we are here to help. We always enjoy the conversation.

Check out our entire CX series.

Part 1:  The Two CXs You Have to Deal With — Customer Experience vs Customer Expectations

Part 2:  The Audience Experience is More Important than Customer Experience

Part 3:  Why Brands Believe Their CX is Better Than It Really Is

Part 4: Great Customer Experience Starts with Great Employee Experience

The post When Your Brand’s Customer Experience is Underwhelming — What To Do? appeared first on Convince & Convert.

3 Essential Elements for Delivering Exceptional Experiences

Today, the importance of delivering high-quality experiences to customers as they encounter and interact with a brand cannot be understated. In fact, a whopping 85% of marketers who participated in a recent Ascend2 survey said that delivering an exceptional customer experience is an extremely important part of their strategy. 

Businesses of all sizes and industries have learned that improving customer experience can improve growth, loyalty, and efficiency. But with customer expectations on the rise, the threshold of success has become increasingly difficult to meet and exceed. Only about one-quarter (27%) of marketers would describe their strategy to improve the customer experience as very successful, or best-in-class compared to their competitors. 

So what contributes to an exceptional customer experience today and what is getting in the way of successfully improving the customer experience? Below we will dissect some recent data from our Building Better Customer Experiences research to give you three essential elements to build better experiences for their customers.

Only 27% of marketers would describe their strategy to improve the customer experience as very successful.
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Essential Element #1: Service with a Smile 

The customer experience is created through every touchpoint across all channels and should be associated with far more than just customer service, but ensuring that customer issues are resolved effectively and efficiently is the most essential element to delivering exceptional experiences according to 57% of marketers surveyed. 

success elements for customer experience

Customer preferences on methods of contacting a business vary greatly depending on many factors such as whether or not they are contacting on behalf of another business (B2B vs B2C), the specific issue they are attempting to resolve, and even by generation. Businesses can prepare for this by providing multiple channels for communication, customer self-service options, and predictive customer service capabilities. 

Businesses could also benefit greatly from focusing on enabling the employees who provide these experiences. Ensuring proper training and coaching for service agents on technology and workflows, as well as improving employee access to product and service knowledge are reportedly the most important ways to empower employees to provide exceptional experiences according to 45% and 41% of marketers surveyed, respectively.

Essential Element #2: Keep it Real(Time) 

Real-time engagement is essentially being where your customer needs you, whenever they need you, in a relevant way. This can mean a wide range of automated and live interactions and feedback mechanisms across all channels. 

Connecting with customers in real-time can improve trust and loyalty with your brand, building retention and directly impacting your bottom line. 

Whether you engage customers via chatbots, in-app or on-site guidance, social media responses, or videos, it is the strategy and data behind these interactions that create exceptional experiences. This is why creating and prioritizing a strategy is reportedly a top priority for 43% of marketers as they work to improve the customer experience. It also ranks at the top of the list of greatest challenges to a successful customer experience, but creating and optimizing a strategy to use data, create personalized and real-time interactions, and build successful customer experiences is critical.

Creating and prioritizing a CX strategy is reportedly a top priority for 43% of marketers.
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CX priorities for improvement

And speaking of personalization… 

Essential Element #3: Get Personal

Offering personalized experiences is a critical element to successful CX according to 40% of marketers surveyed. Delivering tailored messaging and interactions across channels requires accurate and relevant data, and that data needs to be contributed to and accessed by various adjacent teams throughout your organization (e.g., marketing, sales, customer service, operations, etc). 

Interestingly, less than half (41%) of those surveyed report an extensive ability to use and share data and information across teams at their organization. 

ability to share information

When a full view of customer and prospect data isn’t accessible across teams, organizations will have a difficult time catering to the specific needs and preferences of individual customers. Personalization should be based on a full and accurate picture of the customer, rather than a fragmented look at one element of the customer’s journey with your brand. 

What does this all mean?

The importance of delivering an exceptional customer experience is undeniable, and regardless of target audience, it is important for businesses to acknowledge that CX is built across multiple channels and encompasses a wide range of tactics and strategies. 

To learn more about building better customer experiences, download the 14-page Ascend2 research study.  

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The 10 Pillars of Customer Experience Your Customers Care About Most

Got an appetite for all things CX? Check out our entire CX series.

Part 1:  The Two CXs You Have to Deal With — Customer Experience vs Customer Expectations

Part 2:  The Audience Experience is More Important than Customer Experience

Part 3:  Why Brands Believe Their CX is Better Than It Really Is

Part 4: Great Customer Experience Starts with Great Employee Experience

If Customer Experience is Everywhere, Where Do You Begin?

First, let’s acknowledge it really is everywhere. Every potential point of interaction with your brand and each potential customer is a CX opportunity, or shortcoming. That’s a lot to address and it absolutely spans multiple departments in every organization. 

As a starting point, we’ve identified these 10 Pillars of Customer Experience and in this short self-assessment below, you can quickly see where you’re strong and where you have opportunities for improvement.

Pro Tip: Share this with your colleagues and learn how they see things.

As we’ve covered previously in our “The Two CXs You Have to Deal With” article (a must read!), we limited our list to these 10 essential pillars of customer experience. These are not in a rank order that applies to all organizations, so as you delve into each, begin to think how each pillar compares to the others in your organization’s specific circumstance. 

10 factors of customer expectations

At the end of this article, we give you the specific next steps to determine the precise rank order that is right for your organization, regardless of what your colleagues might think. 

They are (and again, not in rank order):

  1. Advertising to consumers
  2. Content they consume
  3. Digital experiences in which they interact or observe
  4. Non-digital experience in which they interact or observe
  5. Communication from the company
  6. Company representatives with whom they communicate
  7. The products and services they purchase
  8. The customer service they receive
  9. Friction, or lack thereof, throughout the customer journey
  10. Brand reputation and expectations

Let’s see how you rate in each of these 10 pillars with a quick self-assessment.

Your 10 Pillars Quick Self-Assessment

For the following customer experience pillars, rank yourself from Poor (1) to Excellent (5).

1.  Advertising to Consumers

We’ll start with advertising for two main reasons; most companies advertise in some form or other (with rare exceptions) and for those who do, it is one of the most visible and monitored sets of metrics. Advertising expense is a direct cost and failing to have your CX buttoned up within the sphere of the advertising—the promise made vs. reality—is a waste of money plus a suboptimal CX. That’s a double hit. How well do your advertising messages and promises align with the customers’ journey and experiences?

[Score 1-5 points]

2.  Content they Consume

When a consumer engages with your content, there is already some level of expectation. Your content is positioned to offer something of value, right? Will this content inform or help make a purchase decision? Does it answer an essential question along the consideration journey? Will it entertain? Across your content library, how effectively does your content support a superior customer experience?

[Score 1-5 points]

3.  Digital experiences in which they interact or observe

We differentiate digital experiences from non-digital (#4 below) for the simple reason they are so vastly different. Although similar to content consumed (above), digital experiences extend beyond just consumption; it includes engagement and interaction. Do online forms, quizzes, calculators, games, chatbots, digital assistants perform as consumers expect they will? Do audio, video or virtual reality improve the consumer experience in a meaningful way? Are the right type of digital experiences being provided as well as meeting and surpassing your consumers expectations?

[Score 1-5 points]

4.  Non-digital experience in which they interact or observe

To the extent your organization relies on some level of human interaction, does it meet the needs of the customer? In person interactions (e.g., retail, events, phone conversations, packaging, samples and orders received, etc.) are amongst the best opportunities to deliver a great — or disappointing customer experience. Recent research from Experience Dynamic and the Center for Generational Kinetics confirms more than any other experience tested, Americans are the most satisfied with the customer experience they received when purchasing something in-person over the past year.

How are your in-person customer experiences measuring up?

[Score 1-5 points]

5.  Communication from the company

Consumers don’t have a lot of patience for their time being wasted so it is imperative that your company’s communications—brand building, operational, and transactional—are thoughtful and achieve a specific objective of importance to the recipient. Are your communications relevant? How do you know? Are they timely? Delivered at the right frequency? What are the communication intervals the consumer is expecting?

The stakes have been raised by thousands of other brands across all industries which means customers’ expectations are higher than ever. How well does your company deliver on outbound communications? How timely does your company reply to your customer’s inquiries and complaints? If you’re not consistently delivering same-day replies, you have work to do.

[Score 1-5 points]

“Great organizations strive to deliver great experiences.”

6.  Company representatives with whom they communicate

We feel for you if you have a call center. There are books on that topic but for our purposes, think broader than just the help desk. Consider how executive management conveys the company’s ideals and values. Are your salespeople truly serving their customers’ needs or too focused on their own agenda? What about people out in the field making service calls or interacting at trade shows and conferences? All of these are points of contact that should also be priorities in improving the customer experience.

[Score 1-5 points]

7.  The products and services they purchase

Apple perhaps sets the bar in customer delight with their product design, including their super-slick packaging. And while no product or service is immune from shortcomings or an occasional quality control issue, the bottom line is your product/service has to meet or exceed each customer’s expectation. What does your company do to go the extra mile, and add something unexpected to provide a differentiated customer experience that is better than expected?

[Score 1-5 points]

8.  The customer service they receive

You probably already record calls for training purposes, track customer resolution times, and overall satisfaction levels. Those are table stakes. Today’s top-tier customer service teams are empowered to quickly resolve issues ranging from reversing charges, replacing products lost in transit, exchanges, and refunds.

Data tells us what may begin as a poor customer experience can be reversed by great customer service afterward, resulting in an even higher level of brand loyalty. Customer service is not a cost center; it is a customer retention process that leverages the investments made in every part of the customer journey. How do you rank your customer’s customer service experiences?

[Score 1-5 points]

9.  Friction, or lack thereof, throughout the customer journey

Every potential touchpoint in every customer’s journey must be as friction-free as possible. How much friction still exists in your customers’ experiences? You must find those and reduce them, with the goal of zero friction at each point of interaction. How long should a customer wait on hold? The best answer is zero seconds. How many clicks on your website are needed to find, compare, purchase and check-out? Today’s e-commerce expectations are shaped by the best-online retailers regardless of what industry you are in. People now expect seamless online and offline experiences. You must regularly conduct your own friction assessment across each channel in which your customers engage with your company with the goal of identifying the areas in most need of improvement.

[Score 1-5 points]

10.  Brand reputation and expectations

Answer this: What does your brand stand for? Does it convey? Now survey your management teams and staff. What do they tell you? Now, ask your customers. Any disconnects there?

Often, there is a gap between the brand promise and the reality the customer experiences. In all points of communication, your team must set the expectations, realistically, and be able to meet or exceed those expectations. To do this, you must have a continual information feedback loop—not just an annual survey—but an ongoing streamlined process for monitoring brand reputation and how well your organization is meeting ever-changing customer expectations. Start with a comprehensive social listening program tied into customer service for active reaction and response.

[Score 1-5 points]

80% of organizations believed they delivered a “superior experience” to their customers; however, only 8% of customers felt the same way.
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Add Up Your Score for the Customer Experience Pillars

Total your score (Score up to 5 points for each pillar).

50 points total is possible only for those who believe they are truly delivering an excellent customer experience in all 10 of the CX pillars.

*drum roll*

Your Total: [Score Sum]

Pro Tip: No one scores 50. Just ask your customers.

Looking beyond these 10 pillars of customer experience, we’ve also provided insights into the top ten Top 10 Obstacles to CX Program Success to help you along the way.

What Next?

Do this:

  1. Rank your CX pillars. List each of these 10 essential pillars and rank them in order of how you think your customers value each, most important to lesser important. Ask your colleagues involved in CS and CX for their rankings too. We’ll bet you a taco you won’t all agree, and that’s ok. (We love winning tacos!)
  2. Survey your customers. Next, you must validate your assumptions. Rapid deploy a lean, focused survey to recent customers (you’ll need several hundred responses to be statically valid) and compare their customer experience priorities to yours.

Spoiler alert: If your survey was written, executed, and analyzed properly, the customers’ priorities trump yours.

  1. Prioritize our organization’s CX pillars. Take the top 2-4 most important from the customers’ response list and assess how well your organization performs in those specific areas. This may require cross-department cooperation depending on how your organization is structured, so you’ll need to formulate a plan to get the required stakeholders on board. You’ll need their participation to effect any meaningful change management.

Pro Tip: One final, extremely important insight we’ll share. Based on the latest research study and data collected from Convince and Convert, Experience Dynamic and The Center for Generational Kinetics (GSK), your audience’s priorities will likely vary greatly by age. In a nutshell, the CX expectations of Gen X consumers are NOT the same as for Boomer or other generational audiences. The savvy CX executive must know this, adapt plans and processes, and deploy resources accordingly. This is not a one-solution fixes all problems scenario.

If you have thoughts, questions, or ideas to share, drop us a note. And if you want to take me up on that taco bet, definitely drop me a note!

The post The 10 Pillars of Customer Experience Your Customers Care About Most appeared first on Convince & Convert.

Did you miss our previous article…

Satisfying Your Customers Need for Speed Today written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Brett Martin

Jay BaerIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Jay Baer. Jay is a customer experience and digital marketing pioneer, expert, advisor, researcher, and analyst. Jay has written 6 best-selling books and founded 5, multi-million dollar companies. His very popular twice-monthly newsletter is at

Key Takeaway:

How fast is fast enough for today’s demanding consumers? Your customers are deciding to buy from you today (and every day) based on how fast you are (or aren’t). In this episode, I talk with Jay Baer, a customer experience and digital marketing expert, about his latest study: Time To Win. This national study of more than 1,900 consumers is a deep dive into the critical correlation between speed and customer satisfaction, loyalty, purchase propensity, and more.

Questions I ask Jay Baer:

  • [2:01] What was the methodology for The Time To Win research study?
  • [3:10] Is the major hypothesis here that the faster you can respond the better?
  • [4:11] So I call businesses today and I find myself giving them a pass because I know it’s hard to get help today – are you suggesting that I’m an outlier with this mindset?
  • [5:01] How do you see the differences in the need for speed in your communication with new prospects that are coming in via lead gen and with those who are already existing customers?
  • [7:18] Is there a specific response time number you should respond in?
  • [11:54] What generation was the least patient generation?
  • [12:59] The typical small business owners are out there saying they have so many channels to keep up with to respond to clients, customers, or prospects and that it is hard to keep up – who’s got time for all of that?
  • [14:23] Could you also make the leap and say you could charge more if you responded faster?
  • [16:05] Do you run the risk of that being off-putting?
  • [17:08] Does speed fall into the building trust?
  • [19:19] What role does automating speed play?

More About Jay Baer:

  • Sign up for his newsletter — The Baer Facts
  • The Time To Win Research Study

Take The Marketing Assessment:

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

John Jantsch (00:01): This episode or the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Content Is Profit hosted by Luis and Fonzi Caho, brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network. Discover the secrets and strategies of how your business can achieve the frictionless sale. They talk about frameworks, strategies, tactics, and bring special guests to bring you all the information you need in order to turn your content into profit. Recent episode, The power of just one big marketing idea and How to get it really brings home this idea that instead of chasing the idea of the week, really lock in on one big idea to differentiate your business that can make all the difference in the world. Listen to Content Is Profit wherever you get your podcasts.

(00:55): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Jay Baer. He is a customer experience and digital marketing pioneer, expert, advisor, researcher and analyst. He’s written sixth bestselling books. Couple you’ve probably heard me talk about here on the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. He’s also got a great popular twice monthly newsletter. Go get it. It’s called The Bear Facts, and you can find We’re gonna talk about a research report that he just participated in compiling on consumer patients and business responsive. I have no patience, so I can’t imagine what this is gonna be about. But it’s called Time to Win 2022 Consumer Price Patient Studies. So Jay, welcome back to the

Jay Baer (01:43): Show. Thanks so much, John. Great to be here as always.

John Jantsch (01:46): So you’ve really, you know, it used to just be enough to be a mark, an author, speaker, and consultant. You’re like a pioneer and expert research or an analyst. I mean, I’m,

Jay Baer (01:55): My mom’s an English teacher, so I just said, gimme a list of adjectives or Simi, and I work with that.

John Jantsch (02:01): All right, so, So time to win research study, Just what was the methodology? What were you trying to compile?

Jay Baer (02:06): Yeah, so I’ve been really interested in speed for a long time, as I know you have as well. In all of my books, there is at least one section about speed and how speed is a competitive differentiator in business. This is the deepest dive I’ve ever done though. I said, I’m gonna do a whole research study on speed, responsiveness, and consumer patients. The thesis here was the pandemic has changed our relationship with time. That when you take a bunch of things that used to be offline and you move ’em online, naturally online, you think things should happen faster. And five minutes of waiting online feels like an eternity offline. You can probably get around it. And so the thesis was that we think differently about time now because of the pandemic and the research bore that out. I partnered with Stats Social, talked to 2000 American customers, ages 18 to 65, normalized to the census. It’s good research. You know, it’s plus or minus, it’s two and half percent. You know, this isn’t a 200 person, you know, research, this is a real deal.

John Jantsch (03:00): So, you know, I’m, we all have anecdotal stories, right? If we called three contractors and the only the one that called us back , or the one that called us back first, it’s the ask price. It’s like, you know, if you show up, you got the job. But is, I mean, so essentially, I’m guessing the major hypothesis here is that, that the faster you can respond, the more you’re gonna get.

Jay Baer (03:20): Yes. And that is true. 53% of consumers have hired a company that responded first, even if they were not the least expensive. So, so that anecdote rings mathematically true in this research. So clearly there is a business imperative to be first in a competitive scenario, but there’s also a bunch of other economic consequences of being faster and slower than customers expect or anticipate. So we documented all of those in the research. So there’s big attitudinal shifts amongst consumers. There’s big, you know, likelihood of spending money or not spending money in loyalty as well. So all the things that businesses care about, making sales, making repeat sales, average order size, consumer psychology, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Each and every one of those is impacted by a business being faster or slower than customers anticipate.

John Jantsch (04:11): So, you know, I call businesses today and I find myself, Oh gosh, they didn’t answer the phone. God love ’em. But you know who nobody can get help anymore. I’ll give ’em a pass. I think you’re suggesting that I’m an outlier.

Jay Baer (04:23): Mathematically, you are an outlier, and this is one of the most interesting statistics in this time to win research study. The time to is that 83% of consumers expect businesses to be as fast or faster than they were before the pandemic. So this notion that, oh, labor shortages, supply chain force, pelan, fire, you know, flood tsunami, it’s okay, we understand they don’t care anymore. Like it’s been a couple years and I think consumers are like, you know what, like you’ve had two years to sort it out and we feel it for you, but I still want it right now. Sorry.

John Jantsch (05:01): So I spend a lot of time, you know, really talking about this idea with lead generation. So, you know, somebody goes out there and they click on something or they click on that little chat bubble. Yep. And they want to, you know, they wanna get ahold of somebody very quickly. But you specifically are focusing as much on customer experience maybe after somebody’s a customer as well. I mean, how do you see the differences in those two elements?

Jay Baer (05:23): Yeah, we actually broke it down by customer journey scenario. Yeah. So in the research we say, Okay, how much is speed and responsiveness important to you? When you’re finding out about a product, you’re sort of in the research phase. How much is it important to you when you’re getting an appointment? How much is it important when you’re paying for something? How much is it important when you need help, have a question, et cetera. And so across, I think we looked at six or seven different nodes in the customer journey. It’s crazy. Speed is important in all of them, right? There is no scenario under which speed is not important. And in fact, two thirds or more of customers say that speed and responsiveness is important or very important in every single step of the customer journey. Two thirds of customers. Now, there are scenarios when it’s even more important.

(06:11): So if you need help, like something is broken and you’re like, I need you business company person, you know, contractor to fix this leak of in my plumbing, then it’s even more, you know, important. Then it’s upwards of 83%. But it is actually really interesting, John, I thought that we would see a greater difference that people would say, Look, when I’m just in research, I’m just like, Right ITing the tires. Like what sweater do I wanna buy? It’s not that important for it to be fast. Nope. Super important then too. It’s important all the way across the line. And I think part of that is just the world we live in now, and the fact that our expectations around speed and responsiveness have just changed a lot. I mean, five years ago what was, you know, fast then is slow today.

John Jantsch (06:55): Yeah. And I really get that about in the presale environment because I mean, we may not go to ourselves and say, I’m gonna try out this company and see how fast. Right. But we are trying them out. Right? Absolutely. I mean that’s, it’s like if that’s the experience when I haven’t bought anything, you know, that’s what I can expect it to be after I do. Right. Or worse , maybe after I do for a lot of small business owners. I mean, Well, let me ask a set up question to this first. Is there a number, I know it depends, but like, is 15 minutes , like the new threshold, you better respond within that amount of time? Yeah,

Jay Baer (07:25): It’s a great question. It actually depends, as you might suspect on channel, because consumers have a different expectation for response time based on what they’re using to interact with you. So, so we actually asked about website chat versus phone versus text message versus social media, et cetera. And generally speaking, people expect a reply within four hours for everything except for email contact us form, and an online review. Everything else is within four hours, so in some cases faster. But if you can say, Hey, we’ll get back to you within four hours across the board, unless it’s sort of a contact us form. And even then it was kind of surprising we asked about this, you know, the contact us form is usually like the redheaded stepchild of contact mechanisms, right? Like every business has one, but people figure, well, if they’re using that, they can’t be that important, right? Uh, turns out 67% of customers expect businesses to reply to a contact us forum within 24 hours. And that doesn’t happen very often.

John Jantsch (08:30): Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I have clients that 50% of their leads come in through that vehicle

Jay Baer (08:35): Still. Yeah. But, and they probably, you know, respond, responding two or three days and it’s like, what if you could shave that down for like six hours?

John Jantsch (08:43): No, Jay, they’re clients of mine. I mean, we have an automatic response that goes out immediately. It sends them to tax.

Jay Baer (08:48): Oh, clients of yours. Yeah. You gotta figure

John Jantsch (08:50): It out. It does. There seem to be a correlation between the gravity of the purchase. So in other words, if I’m buying a a $29 thing, maybe there’s one need for speed as opposed to this is going to be a long term significant, you know, months over months investment.

Jay Baer (09:04): Great question on the purchase, on the research and purchase side. No, actually, because whatever you need at that time, whether it’s socks or a car, you

John Jantsch (09:11): Need that. That’s important.

Jay Baer (09:12): Yeah. You need that thing right now. That’s why you’re doing this at all. Now, there’s definitely a little difference in, in urgency if your car is broken versus your sock has a hole in it that, you know, there’s a, there’s an implication difference there. But ultimately, if you are in the mode to go get a thing or you need help, you want that help. Now, nobody ever says, You know what? I’ve been thinking it’d be fine if you guys did that more slowly. Nobody ever says that.

John Jantsch (09:38): Right? Except to the brain surgeon

Jay Baer (09:43): , right? Yes. And it’s funny you say that. I’m actually, I’m writing a speech about this research, about the research. It’s one of the things I talk about. It’s like the lesson in this research is not that speed is inherently better. It mostly is, but there are circumstances when you can be too fast. Right? Nobody wants the fastest tattoo artist in town, you know, and we’ve all experienced, you go to like a Mexican food restaurant in particular, and you order enchiladas and the enchiladas come back in like 90 seconds. Or like, how is there like an inch aada machine? Like there’s no way this can be a good enchilada. So there’s a point at which

John Jantsch (10:16): I always actually assume some, I always just assumed somebody else sent those back.

Jay Baer (10:20): Right, exactly. I didn’t want these. Give ’em to John. Yeah. So you can be too fast. But I don’t wanna belabor that point because for most businesses and most scenarios, Yeah. You know, we’ve all heard that the old saw good, fast, cheap. Pick any two, right? When I will tell you, having done this research is fast, should be one of ’em. And then you decide whether you want to be fast and good or fast and cheap, but it should always be fast.

John Jantsch (10:41): And now a word from our sponsor, marketers are a key part of business. Uh, funny, I would say that, right? But that’s because we own the conversation with our customers and having tools that help us have meaningful conversations with our customers at scale, all while maintaining a personal touch is our white whale point solutions can be easy to set up, but difficult to manage and maintain, and all of a sudden you find yourself with disconnected teams and data leading to poor customer experience. Yikes.

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(11:54): All right. So I know that you did some ranking by demographics mm-hmm. . And the most concerning finding it was that baby boomers are the least patient generation.

Jay Baer (12:04): Isn’t that fascinating? There’s a few things in here that, that definitely differed from my preexisting expectations when I started this process. And one of those is just that John, that baby boomers are the least patient and Gen Z, the youngest Americans, or the youngest adult Americans, I should say, are the most patient. I didn’t see that coming, but then I thought about all the baby boomers I know, and I’m like, Yeah, actually that does kind of add up. And I think it’s sort of, for the younger folks, I think they haven’t necessarily been disappointed enough, or maybe their time isn’t as valuable because maybe they’re not in their professional life yet, they don’t have kids. Or maybe they’re just so used to being disappointed by business, um, that they are like, Yeah, I didn’t expect much anyway. But the baby boomers are the least patient. They expect a response time within four hours, more so than any other generation. I

John Jantsch (12:52): Think we don’t have as many weeks left.

Jay Baer (12:54): That’s it. Maybe that’s it. It’s like, I don’t got a lot of time. I gotta get this yard mode now

John Jantsch (12:59): . Exactly. Exactly. All right. So the small typical small business owner out there saying, Yeah, I get that, that, you know, but I’m now responding to Facebook messenger, to Instagram dms to Google wants to own my chat. Now I got that dang chat bubble on my website because somebody told me I should, I got voicemail, I got email, I got forms. I mean, how do I respond? I mean, who’s got time for all of that ?

Jay Baer (13:23): Yeah, I think you’ve gotta, you’ve gotta make the time.

John Jantsch (13:26): Yeah.

Jay Baer (13:26): It, it’s not about whether or not you have the time. You do have the time. You’re just using that time to do something else. And I think what this research indicates pretty cleanly is that it is an investment and it’s an investment worth making because there are material economic correlations between responsiveness and spending, between responsiveness and customer loyalty. There are things that you’re doing today and your small business that take up your time. And I would ask you to spend some time with this research and then consider are those things that you are doing instead of being faster when you respond to customers worth doing, are they making you money or saving you money at the same level that just being faster would, And I would argue that in many cases the answer is no.

John Jantsch (14:10): A hundred percent , no question. Like 80% of what we do, right? Yep. Is less important than focusing on this. Is there a correlation? I think there is, because you talked about as important speed being as important as price. Mm-hmm. . So could you also make the leap and say you could charge more if you responded faster? Oh,

Jay Baer (14:27): Absolutely. Dramatically. So two thirds of the customers say that speed is as important as price. That’s a pretty giant number. Two thirds. Yeah. Say speed is as important as price. And so we ask people like, would you spend more money if things were faster? And absolutely they would. And it’s pretty staggering. Now, this is not doable operationally for everybody, but we ask people like, Okay, what if you didn’t have to wait? Right? So what if you had this magic scenario where, you know, everything was instantaneous and people would spend dramatically more o on that, in some cases, as much as a hundred percent more. They absolutely love this idea. It is, as I talked about in the research, it’s the idea of like the bus, the Disney fast pass, right? That’s one of the greatest inventions ever. Like, you already paid Disney, but what if you don’t have to wait in line?

(15:22): How much more would you pay the answer a bunch? And so I actually think it, it’s a, it’s an interesting thought exercise for almost all businesses to say, Well, could we offer a parallel service where we do the same thing we’re already doing, but we just do it faster? You, you sort of jump the line, right? I mean, if you’re an attorney, yeah, if you’re an accountant, if you’re certainly an auto mechanic, if there’s a lot of businesses that could actually unfer all that kind of concierge class service. And this research shows that you would have very little price resistance.

John Jantsch (15:57): It’s interesting. I mean, you think back to the days of like printing and whatnot, you know, it’s like you wanted in two days, it cost this price you wanted in a week, You know, it caused this price. Do you run the risk of that being off putting? Like why don’t you just deliver it that fast anyway to everyone?

Jay Baer (16:11): Yeah. You know, it’s a real, that’s a really interesting question. I think there was a time when you would’ve run that risk. Yeah. But I think there’s enough businesses and enough categories of business that have now tried and succeeded in some kind of first class get faster framework. Like, like, you know, even Uber does it now, right? They, they have this new thing where, yeah, you can get your car in six minutes or for an extra 20% we’re bringing the car in three minutes, right? And so th this idea is becoming popular enough that we start to see it more and more, and then the more and more we see it, I think we get to the point where we don’t feel bad if it’s presented to us as an option.

John Jantsch (16:53): Yeah. The unfortunately, the jokes on us on Uber, because it’s the same car. Oh,

Jay Baer (16:57): For sure. Yeah. All it is purely, it is an absolute just pure naked profit play, but good on . Smart.

John Jantsch (17:05): All right, so, uh, let’s talk about another factor. Trust. Does speed fall into the building trust category?

Jay Baer (17:12): Huge. It, it does up to a point, right? So if you can be as fast or faster than customers expect at whatever stage of the customer journey we’re talking about, it builds trust because the implication is, wow, they really have their act together. They were able to call me back, email me back, you know, get me a car, whatever the circumstances are as good or better than I thought. That builds trust. However, going back to our previous example, when you are too fast, when you are instant enchiladas, when you are any tattoo in 20 minutes, when you are, you know, hey, I do LASIK in three minutes on your eyes, it, it actually reduces trust. So there is in literally every business, there is a point when you can get too fast. Like even in a professional services capacity, like if you’re looking for an accountant and like, like to have an appointment to come in and talk to you about your services, I’m like, great, what are you doing in the next hour? You’re like, Wait a second, this firm is not very busy. And yes, that’s really fast, but how can they be that fast? Right? It starts to, you start to really question the whole enchilada, so to speak. So yeah, you want to be, I call this John the right now, The right now is when you are slightly faster than customers think you should be. And then it’s like the magic, you know, warm portage, right? You’re like, Oh, perfect. But when, when you’re too slow, obviously it’s a problem. And when you’re too fast also a problem.

John Jantsch (18:41): Yeah. So, so the lesson to the accountant is that even if you have nothing going on, tell ’em it’ll be a week after next Tuesday.

Jay Baer (18:49): Ab I mean, literally, yes, that is the lesson. That is absolutely the lesson. But I will say, you gotta figure out what that is, right? So this is kind of what the speech is gonna be about when I get it finished. This idea of the right now is you have to figure out what that is in your business and for your clients. There is no blank. I can’t say, I can’t say, you know what you should do? If someone calls for an appointment, you should give them an appointment in 48 hours. I can’t tell you that. What I can tell you is give you a recipe and a methodology for figuring out what the right now is in your business.

John Jantsch (19:19): So I was gonna go to automating speed as really the next, and that really is a, this is a part of it, right? Yeah. Because I think that sometimes if people sit, think you’re sitting there waiting for that message, you know, and it’s like, okay, now I’m gonna reply, right? That, that nobody believes that’s actually going on. That’s, And so if our automations don’t factor the right now, that that can be equally as damaging, right?

Jay Baer (19:42): We have to understand that there is a difference between response and resolution. Ideally response and resolution are one, but we understand in the real world, that’s not always the case. And so a quick response and a slow or non-existent resolution is better than a slow response and a non-existent resolution. But at the end of the day, your problem is still not solved, right? So it really does take two to tango there. And that’s why businesses, when they think through the customer journey, they have to say, Okay, how fast can we reply? But then how fast can we get them what they need? And in some cases there are, those are parallel tracks, not one track.

John Jantsch (20:20): And that might look like the text, a message that comes in on a weekend that just sets the expectations.

Jay Baer (20:24): We got your message. Got it. We

John Jantsch (20:26): Got, we got it. And it’s gonna be Monday. That’s it.

Jay Baer (20:28): , Yes. Yeah, absolutely. Well expect, I mean this whole research, if you look at it, is really driven by expectations we have. We ask lots of questions in there about what do you expect or anticipate? How fast do you expect or anticipate? So one of the reasons why I think customers are kind of up to here with the excuses based on labor and supply chain is that most businesses are terrible about messaging it. They don’t set expectations. Well, , there’s like, we don’t have enough workers. It’s gonna take a while to get a burrito. You know? And it’s like, yeah, you can say that in a way that makes more sense to the customer. Yeah,

John Jantsch (21:00): There are definitely are a lot of hastily written notes on walls

Jay Baer (21:03): And restaurant. It’s always napkin,

John Jantsch (21:04): Please stop abusing our employees. It’s

Jay Baer (21:07): Just not very well done. I mean, make it, you know, shoot a video from the owner that heartfelt explains with some level of detail what’s going on. And then have a QR code that goes to that video like do it, you know, message it better. There’s a restaurant here in town who doesn’t have Turkey. They can never, they never have Turkey. Now it’s like some sort of mythical Turkey shortage. You’ll give you a chicken for free, you can’t possibly get Turkey. And every time I ask, Where’s the Turkey? We don’t know. We can’t get Turkey anymore. And I’m like, what are we living on Mars? We don’t have Turkey anymore. What’s going on?

John Jantsch (21:34): talking with my friend Jay Bear and it’s the time to You can actually dig into the survey, right? Jay?

Jay Baer (21:43): You bet. There’s the survey. You’ve got infographics, videos, a lot of key facts and figures that you can pull out to help implement this in your own business. And I hope that you do because being faster will make you more money. I can promise you that. Well,

John Jantsch (21:55): Well, I am doing a webinar tomorrow on this around this topic. I’m gonna steal some of your staff. Please do to Jay. All right, I shall. I will give you credit in four point type in the corner. Thank

Jay Baer (22:04): You. As it industry standard, thank you.

John Jantsch (22:06): As is industry standard. Jay, it was awesome as always for you to stop by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast and hopefully I’ll run into you. Are you gonna be at Marketing Pros?

Jay Baer (22:15): Uh, I’m not gonna be there this time. I was there last time, so I try and alternate to your, but I’ll see you down the road somewhere.

John Jantsch (22:20): Yep. Yeah, absolutely man. Next time I’m in Indiana or so, Appreciate

Jay Baer (22:24): It.

John Jantsch (22:24): All right, take care, bud. It. Hey, and one final thing before you go. You know how I talk about marketing strategy, strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that, what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It’s called the Marketing Strategy Assessment. You can find it @ Check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That’s just marketing I’d love to chat with you about the results that you get.

This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network.

HubSpot Podcast Network is the audio destination for business professionals who seek the best education and inspiration on how to grow a business.

Did you miss our previous article…

Research: 5 Insights on Improving the Employee Experience

A top priority for marketing professionals is analyzing and improving the customer experience. We talk to customers, pour over the data, build the necessary technology stack, use customer journey mapping, build feedback loops, and more. 

But what about improving the employee experience? 

Improving the employee experience involves all departments and leaders in an organization. Marketing, HR, finance, operations, sales, customer success, the C-suite, and more are part of the strategic challenge of improving the employee experience. 

In recent months, Ascend2 and our research partners have performed various studies that have revealed helpful data on the state of the employee experience and how to improve that experience. Here are 5 key findings. 

Finding 1: Employee Experience Matters

Time is Ltd and Ascend2 conducted a study to determine the state of the employee experience and its impact on the evolving workforce. In the report, HR leaders overwhelmingly recognize that employee experience and well-being drive productivity, effective collaboration, and more. 

Employee experience matters. Nearly all (94%) of HR leaders surveyed consider employees’ experience at their organization to be important, with over two-thirds reporting that it is extremely important.

And here is an important reason why it matters. Poor employee experience is leading to high turnover. Turnover rates are up, and a majority of HR leaders think that trend will continue. Over 75% of respondents experienced an increase in turnover in the past year, and nearly one-third report a current turnover rate of 16% or higher.

poor employee experience and turnover

Nearly all (94%) of HR leaders surveyed consider employees’ experience at their organization to be important, with over two-thirds reporting that it is extremely important.
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Finding 2: Connection Between Employee Experience and Alignment

An important aspect of improving the employee experience is the alignment of departments. In the research study, The RevOp Difference, by the Pedowitz Group, the alignment of marketing, sales, and customer success departments was analyzed to determine the top benefits of alignment. 

The research highlighted that companies should not overlook the benefit of an improved employee experience when striving to align teams. As companies struggle to find and retain talent, improved employee experience will be critical to keeping the talent needed to meet revenue goals and other key goals. 

top benefits of team alignment

When teams are aligned, it allows organizations to:

  • Achieve organizational unity
  • Effectively use resources
  • Understand and meet goals
  • Be more agile in making adjustments to plans
  • Improve planning
  • Reduce frustration
  • Improve overall efficiency

48% of marketing, sales, and customer success teams that are fully aligned far exceed their revenue goals, significantly more than those that are not fully aligned. When teams are successful, that dramatically improves employee satisfaction and experience – and as a result, revenue and growth is positively impacted.

Finding 3: Employee Experience Starts at the Top

72% of executives feel strongly that their current workplace dynamics (meeting culture, work environment, etc.) are sustainable for the next three to five years… 

BUT only 42% of those in non-executive roles — managers, directors, and VPs — feel the same. 

That’s a significant disparity in perception of what’s sustainable. So how can executives get a clear picture of the true employee experience to better align goals to the needs of their workforce?

  • Accurately gauging meeting efficiency should be a top priority. 46% of HR execs say meeting culture is a top challenge in the workplace, but only 33% say they struggle to measure meeting efficiency. 
  • Taking control of collaboration tools is critical to success. 77% of execs strongly agree that the pandemic has made tools that support effective communication more essential, but 61% also find that managing this technology is a top challenge. 
  • Retention starts with onboarding. 88% of execs report a higher turnover in the last year, but only 41% say that a top objective for improving the employee experience in the year ahead will be improving recruitment and onboarding. 

46% of HR execs say meeting culture is a top challenge in the workplace, but only 33% say they struggle to measure meeting efficiency.
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Finding 4: Insights Into the Employee Experience Will Be Critical to Success

With more remote work, the influx of technology that keeps us connected all the time, and a culture that has accepted instant gratification as the norm, it is no surprise that 37% of HR executives saw a significant decline in employee productivity during the pandemic.

If team leaders were given the means to discover the nature and scope of this problem, would this help improve productivity? A whopping 93% of survey respondents say “yes.”

93% of HR leaders agree that providing data-backed insights on collaboration and communication would help managers improve productivity.

benefits of team alignment

Which areas are most difficult to measure when it comes to the employee experience?

  • Employee satisfaction: 45%
  • Employee productivity: 41%
  • Meeting efficiency: 38%
  • Employee engagement: 37%

Finding 5: Red Flags Regarding the Future 

HR leaders recognize that employee experience and well-being drive productivity, collaboration, and more. However, the majority still fall back on antiquated HR objectives like improving employee satisfaction and company culture. 

There are major red flags in HR leaders’ responses when asked how they will improve employee experience in the coming year.

  • Red Flag #1: With turnover rates expected to rise, it may be a red flag that only 32% of HR leaders are focused on recruitment and onboarding processes as a top objective for improving employee experience in the year ahead.
  • Red Flag #2: Less than one-quarter (24%) of those surveyed report improving employee engagement is a top priority for improving the employee experience in the year ahead.
  • Reg Flag #3: Improving employee satisfaction is the top objective for improving employee experience. But, employees expect more concrete solutions and are resigning at a much higher rate.


Improving employee experience is a collaborative effort, filled with challenges. But the benefits to your organization when you make a difference are felt throughout the organization. Your marketing improves. Revenue grows. Frustration is minimized. Turnover decreases. The benefits are many and long-lasting. Take time now to prioritize improving your employee experience in the year ahead – you will not be disappointed in the results.

The post Research: 5 Insights on Improving the Employee Experience appeared first on Convince & Convert.

Did you miss our previous article…

Great Customer Experience Starts with Great Employee Experience

If you only get three things from this blog post, one would be, you can’t fool your customers if your employees aren’t happy. 

We recently did a project for a company in San Diego where the company was not delivering on their brand promise, and then expecting marketing to try to solve it by papering over it.

You can’t have employees that are grumbling and grumpy and don’t like their job and still deliver an excellent product with excellent customer experience. You can probably deliver a mediocre product and a mediocre customer experience, but without that true employee journey being as good as it can be, you’re not going to get there. You’re not going to get their above and beyond, their creative thinking in their free time because they love their job. Their passion is going to be missing.

This is not a Human Resources responsibility. What we are talking about here is a positive employee experience on a day-to-day basis, which HR does not have any control over. We’re not talking about the annual retreat, and how fun is that sexual harassment training, and do we all get bonuses at the right timeframe. This stems from something in the workplace called Team Alignment and Psychological Safety.

What Does Great Employee Experience Have To Do With Great Customer Experience?

Absolutely everything! Here’s a simple definition: team alignment is the team’s ability to work together and learn from each other. As researchers have tried to study and measure this trait, they have settled on the term “psychological safety” and defined it as having four key domains or areas that can be assessed:

  1. Attitude to risk & failure: does the team see failure as a necessary byproduct of growth and innovation? Or is it punished and avoided at all costs?
  2. Open conversation: do team members feel comfortable expressing concerns and reservations as they work together? Can they learn from one another and hear constructive feedback in the spirit it is intended?
  3. Willingness to help: Does the team have a spirit of being “in this together” and do they easily pick up slack for the benefit of the whole? Does this shake out fairly or do some team members take advantage of others?
  4. Inclusivity: Does the team work hard to ensure all perspectives are represented, even from those who are not always first to speak?

The Benefits of Psychological Safety

People want to come to work at a place where they have these four qualities so they feel included. They want to know they can fail in front of each other without repercussions. 

Can I say to my boss, “I think that’s a terrible idea. It’s probably going to flop and or I want to try this thing that might flop.” Are you going to punish me for it? An environment rich in psychological safety fosters attitudes of “I like the people I work with”, “I feel trusted and respected, and I can get my job done.”

So again, not HR stuff, but middle manager kind of stuff. This is what makes teams work well together. The pain points of misaligned teams, people who hate coming to work and they’re not working well together are plainly visible. When you fix it, it works.

If you ask a CEO, what makes people stay, they’ll spit out a list about salary raises and bonuses and PTO all these HR things. And if you ask people, in a lot of exit interview surveys, for example, why do you leave? They talk about all the things about psychological safety. 

Sure, employees need to have benefits, a good salary, and baseline advancement opportunities, but those aren’t the ante for staying in the game. After that, employee experience and employee satisfaction are the above and beyond things. If you look at the research about employee satisfaction and why they stay at their jobs and employee engagement, it really comes down to “I like working on my team.”

Asking your employees to start going above and beyond for your customers requires you to start going above and beyond for your employees.

From Employee Experience to Customer Experience

You can see we’ve connected the dots from Team Alignment to Employee Experience. Now we can connect the next dot from Employee Experience to Customer Experience. Happy employees make happy customers. If you care about CX, you must care about employee experience; if you care about a positive employee experience, you must care about team dynamics. These can be measured through this concept of psychological safety.

From Employee Experience to Customer Experience

Employees are not going to be able (or willing) to do more, unless they’re getting more, and these are low costs. There isn’t a capital investment necessary for people to feel like they can have open conversations on their teams. It’s about setting an expectation with managers, holding them accountable, and finding ways to qualitatively survey your employees monthly or quarterly in an anonymous way where they can tell you whether or not they feel good about these four qualities.

Don’t employees always want more? Yes. There will be individuals that are satisfied at a lower bar. Then, there will be individuals that are never happy and will leave no matter how awesome you are. But what we’re trying to do is get that bell curve where most employees feel safe and heard and challenged.

Taking Customer Experience from Good to Great

When we think about what makes a customer experience go from good to great, it’s about a bunch of soft skills. It’s about listening to your customers. It’s about focus grouping; it’s about taking the time to journey map where there might be pain points that they’re not telling us.Moderate or mediocre average CX comes from solving known pain points, while excellent CX comes from uncovering unknown pain points. That takes the effort of digging for problems that did not present themselves to you.

If you’ve got employees that feel like they understand their mission and the mission of the company culture is aligned to CX, tell them:

“We trust you to innovate. We’re not going to slap you on the wrist. If you dig up a problem, it’s not necessarily going to be your problem to solve. We’re going to be in this together.”

Can we guarantee improving the employee experience is going to improve the CX? I don’t know that one could guarantee that. However, I can guarantee you can’t get to a good CX or a great CX without a great employee experience.

Great CX is digging up problems that your customer is not telling you about. Employees aren’t going to dig for problems without a level of comfort that comes from a good employee experience.

Great CX Is Digging Up Problems That Your Customer Is Not Telling You About.

Great CX is about taking up problems your customers maybe haven’t told you about yet. 

The real crux of this problem is that no employee is going to go looking for problems if they’re afraid it will make more work for them. They have to know whatever work comes out of it will be distributed fairly. We want our employees to be motivated to go above and beyond and to really have that sense of “CX is my job”. Great CX requires every employee to feel, “This is my job”, regardless of their job title, or where they sit in the organization.

Whose Job is Customer Experience?

The best CX has all-in employees who take CX as their job very seriously. 

Think about the stores that provide a great customer experience, and anyone on the floor will help you. You never get an attitude of, “Oh, that’s not my department” kind of thing. Think about how this translates to an individual’s motivation: “What motivates me to make CX part of my job?” 

Daniel Pink’s book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, provides a framework of autonomy, mastery and purpose. Those are the things that get individuals up in the morning to change the way they’re doing something.

A lot of companies will never achieve great customer experience until they go through this painful process of internal change management. It has to be done at many different managerial and operational levels, culture on down, and everything all-in to change the course of that massive ship. Until that gets done, all the new software, all the new training programs to make their CX meaningfully better is going to fail.

If a CEO heard a high-priced consultant prescribe that medicine, a very likely response would be, “You’re absolutely right. We need a companywide two-day retreat. We’re going to hire the best Human Resources culture trainer to do a thing.” No, no, no. That is not what you need. 

Set Up Psychological Safety for Great Employee Experience

It is a bottom up, almost like one-to-one combat kind of thing. Survey all the teams that work together, find the teams that are not working well. Go to that manager and work on team alignment and say, “These qualities you didn’t score high on, let’s talk about it and train on the ones that are the worst.” 

Be open to setting these expectations. Say you are open to failure, and that you’re going to have open conversations like these. Bottom-up solutions that don’t come down from above. 

Ask questions like, “How is this working for you?”, “How does this team feel to you?”.Your employees will tell you. Honestly they’re dying for you to know these answers. Undeniably they will tell you, if they have a safe place to do it. Thus try an anonymous survey or some other mechanism. And if they think something’s going to come out of it.

Isn’t Psychology Safe the Same Thing as Trust?

We bring this up again because people ask, “Isn’t that just trust?” No. 

The Difference Between Trust and Psychological Safety

Trust is typically between two individuals. I can trust you, but when you and I go to the UX team meeting, if there’s a trust dynamic in that room where everyone can trust each other and enjoy having coffee together in the conference room. 

The way the team operates is its own personality; it’s a culture of that little team. So, think of the trust element of a team dynamic as opposed to all the different individual dynamics.

What Next?

  1. Take a hard look at your organization, across all departments and assess — really use a process that gathers unbiased data — to assess the degree of whether each team’s dynamics are broken or running like a well-oiled machine.
  2. Use that knowledge to formulate a plan to improve the areas in the worst shape, with an open mind to determine what degree of change management is probably required. This isn’t easy.
  3. Create your UX task force (much better word than “committee”) to establish their group’s culture, process, goals, expectations, and accountability. Publicize this internally for all to see. Remember, CX is everyone’s job!
  4. If needed, seek guidance and outside expertise at any stage of the process. Great CX is not a destination, it is a journey that has the potential to surprise and delight your most disgruntled customers. This flows to the bottom line.

 Enjoyed this article? You may also be interested in:

The Two CXs You Have to Deal With — Customer Experience vs Customer Expectations
Why Brands Believe Their CX is Better Than It Really Is
The Audience Experience is More Important than Customer Experience

Jenny Magic is a Strategist with Convince and Convert with additional expertise in Strategy & Team Alignment, a true “Marketing therapist” for teams with big goals and a top-rated speaker & workshop facilitator.

Something about Jenny’s LinkedIn and the Fearless Organizations. Her upcoming book is titled Fearless Organizations.

The post Great Customer Experience Starts with Great Employee Experience appeared first on Convince & Convert.

digital customer experience

The digital customer experience (DCX) is a core component of every business’s marketing, sales, and customer support strategies in 2022 — or at least it should be. Customers expect a DCX that allows them to seamlessly move across channels and platforms to interact with a brand.

Companies that execute DCX well experience higher customer satisfaction, retention, revenue, and brand loyalty. In this article, we’ll tell you exactly how to do it. The sections that follow will cover:

  • The definition of the digital customer experience
  • How to align your DCX with the buyer journey
  • 6 best practices for optimizing your brand’s DCX

Let’s get started.

Quick Takeaways

  • The digital customer experience includes every digital channel: websites, mobile apps, IoT devices, social media, voice-activated devices and more.
  • Customers are 3.5X more likely to purchase again from a company after they have a positive experience.
  • You can align your DCX strategy to the buyer journey with targeted content, an intent-based website, and tailored communication channels.
  • Responsive design ensures a seamless web experience on any device.
  • Brands powering their DCX with an omnichannel strategy retain customers at more than double the rate as those that don’t.

What is the digital customer experience (DCX)?

The digital customer experience (DCX) refers to the way your customers experience your brand across all digital channels — desktop, mobile, tablet, owned apps, social media, voice-activated devices, IoT devices and more.

The DCX is an extension of in-person interactions customers have with your brand and today is often the primary way customers discover and interact with brands. It impacts customer satisfaction, is an essential part of building strong customer relationships, and is important to controlling your overall brand perception.

It’s also a standard expectation from the modern consumer. In fact, consumers no longer see digital channels as separate from more traditional channels (if they ever did). Instead, as technology has become more integrated into our everyday lives, consumers have expected brands to adjust their overall experience accordingly.

Today, consumers want an absolutely seamless experience across channels. They want to be able to pick up where they left off on one channel and continue on another. They want to have personalized experiences with services and product recommendations tailored to their needs.

From a brand’s perspective, it all comes down to one thing: making customers feel good when they interact with your brand. In fact, customers who rate their experience as positive are exponentially more likely to trust, recommend, and make additional purchases from that brand.

Customers who have a positive experience with brands are exponentially more likely to trust, recommend, and re-purchase from that brand.

Image Source: XM Institute

Technology today makes it possible for brands to provide this hyper-personalized experience to consumers at scale. Still, it’s not as easy as simply adding digital communication channels and expecting the experience to level up on its own. To build a mature DCX that’s seamless for the customers, brands need to rethink their strategy from the ground up.

That starts with the buyer journey.

Aligning your DCX with the buyer journey

Defining the buyer journey

Launching a true digital customer experience changes your buyer journey and impacts the way people move from awareness through to purchase. Any time you’re creating a new DCX or updating the one you already provide, it’s important to revisit your buyer journey and align it with your marketing channels, experience platforms, and other customer touchpoints.

In its simplest form, the buyer journey looks like this:

The buyer journey (in its simplest form) includes the awareness, consideration, and decision stages.

Image Source: HubSpot

First, identify which touchpoints occur throughout each stage of the buyer journey. Then, build a strategy that both makes your DCX positive at every stage and facilitates a seamless transition to the next one. Here are three ways to do it:

  • Target digital content to different customer segments
  • Build intent-based website
  • Tailor communication channels to different customer needs

Targeting digital content

Your digital content is often the first experience future customers have with your brand. But not all content is created equal in the eyes of consumers. The most valuable content to them is content that meets their individual needs — which depends on their current stage of the buyer journey.

For example: someone exploring a new problem they’re experiencing needs different content than someone who has already evaluated solutions and wants to make a purchase. It’s up to you to create content for users at every stage and make sure it gets to them effectively. This is done mostly through keyword research and content marketing.

Build an intent-based website

Your website is equivalent to the storefront of the past. It’s the digital representation of what your brand has to offer its customers. One way to ensure it helps to create the best possible DCX is to build your website with buyer intent in mind. In other words: can users find website content that helps them fulfill their current intent.

That intent could be to:

  • Get more information about your brand and offerings
  • Contact a customer support representative
  • Sign up to receive emails or subscribe to your blog
  • Browse products and make a purchase

These are just a few examples. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to building an intent-based website because there is no one-size-fits-all brand or customer. The key here is to research your customers.

Know the questions they ask at each stage of the buying process. Use website analytics to learn how people interact with your site. Create a site structure and navigation map that allows customers to easily find the information — and take the action — that corresponds with their stage of the buyer journey.

Landing pages are one example of a really effective intent-based website strategy that makes sure users land on the right page at the right time.

Tailor communication channels to different customer needs

Which communication channels are your customers using — and when? Knowing this enables you to optimize every channel for the best possible digital customer experience.

For example: when customers have questions about the pricing of your product, they may turn to your website chatbot more than any other channel. If that’s the case, you want to equip your chatbot to answer this question exactly the way you intend, providing accurate and helpful answers that keep users happy and moving along the buyer journey.

On the other hand, current customers who encounter technical issues with your product may content customer support via email. If that’s the case, you need to have a strategy in place to be sure customers receive a prompt response that helps them resolve issues quickly.

There are two things to note here: one, you can (to some extent) control the channels customers use for different types of interactions by guiding them to those channels wherever possible (your website, in welcome emails, etc.).

Second, the most-utilized channels really depend on the brand and the traits or behaviors of its customers. This may or may not be able to be controlled. An older demographic may simply lean toward email communication vs. in-app or chatbot interactions. In that case, don’t fight the inevitable: optimize your DCX to align with clearly indicated preferences.

Best practices for optimizing the digital customer experience

We know now that an optimized DCX requires research and strategy building unique to each brand. That said, there are best practices working across industries, customer demographics, and brand niches that you should be sure to implement as part of your plan:

Use responsive design

More than half of the world’s internet traffic is now happening on mobile devices. Today, 61% of users have a higher opinion of brands whose sites are optimized for smartphones and other mobile devices. Responsive design is the answer. It alters the look of your website depending on the device for optimal viewing and navigation.

Here’s an example:

Example of a website built using responsive design to optimize the digital customer experience..

Image Source: inVision

Execute an omnichannel marketing strategy

Remember: customers view their interactions with your brand as one whole experience — not a separate set of touchpoints. Implementing an omnichannel strategy ensures that customers can move seamlessly from channel to channel without losing information or progress on a particular action.

For example: if a customer creates a shopping cart on their desktop, they should be able to log in later from your app to access the saved cart and finish their purchase.

Organizations that implement a strong omnichannel strategy retain 89% of their customers (compared to only 33% for those who don’t).

Brands with a strong omnichannel strategy retain 80% of their customers, compared to 33% for those that don’t.

Image Source: Invesp

Be data-driven

The ability to provide an optimal digital customer experience depends largely on what you know about your customers. A data-driven approach to DCX means leveraging tools like Google Analytics and other data tools through your email marketing platform, social media sites, and mobile apps to measure and analyze customer behavior.

When you know how customers behave on your digital channels, you can learn more about their preferences and continually refine your strategy to improve their experience.

Personalize, personalize, personalize

Customers value personalization. A vast majority — 80% — of consumers say they want a personalized experience from brands. According to McKinsey, it’s one of those things customers take for granted until a brand gets it wrong. When they do, consumers don’t hesitate to leave for a competitor.

Personalize whenever possible throughout your digital customer experience. Use personal information in communications (like names in emails). Customize product recommendations to user preferences. Train customer support reps to access historical information and remind customers that they’ll use it to help them. All of these actions (and others that are similar) help build a more positive DCX and strengthen your customer relationships.

Maintain high availability

Customers have higher expectations than ever about brand availability. Many customers even expect 24/7 support in some form or another. Digital channels provide the tools needed to do it. Be sure your DCX includes resources customers can access all the time to get their questions answered (for example: an FAQ page or an AI-powered chatbot) and clearly communicate when real human support is available for those who need it.

Collect (and use) customer feedback

Digital channels and tools have also made it easier than ever to collect and utilize customer feedback to continually improve your DCX. Simple rating systems (like a 5-star rating scale) or more involved feedback platforms (like customer review sites) both provide opportunities to read what customers have to say about your brand.

Be proactive about collecting customer feedback by asking customers to rate or write about their experience. Minimize the impact of negative feedback by responding quickly to negative comments or ratings and helping those customers resolve outstanding issues.

Finally, put processes in place to actually review customer feedback, identify trends, and use feedback to improve the DCX.

Create high-value content to power your DCX

Your content is a foundational part of your digital customer experience at every stage of the buyer journey. The team of writers and SEO experts at Marketing Insider Group can deliver you optimized, ready-to-publish content every week for one year (or more) to power your strategy.

Check out our SEO Blog Writing Service or schedule a quick consultation to learn more and get started today!

The post How to Provide a Remarkable Digital Customer Experience appeared first on Marketing Insider Group.

innovative retail marketing

Innovation has always been integral to marketing. As technology continues to develop and offer endless opportunities for reaching consumers, retail brand managers should be considering how outside-the-box thinking can impact their ROI. As current marketing trends center on customer experience, here are some ideas for how retail brand managers can increase their loyal customer base through innovative strategies.

Use Innovative Strategies to Make Connections at Point of Sale

At stores like Walmart and Target, you can often find a small digital display promoting a certain product. At gas stations, you can watch ads on a tiny screen as you pump gas. At Walgreens and Kroger, you might find a smart screen doubling as a cooler door, providing a real-time inventory display with dynamic merchandising integrated, much like the online experience.

Each of these options uses imagery and smart screens to catch consumer attention. The typical six-second ad becomes a way to deliver content to users in the seconds before they make an in-store purchase. Cooler Screens, the company behind the Kroger and Walgreens smart screens, provides a digital media and merchandising platform for physical retail that not only showcases ads — it also delivers data to brand managers and helps stores manage inventory. Identity-blind sensors detect consumer presence and interaction with the coolers. Brands can choose between full-format ads, banner ads, product filters, and product attribute callouts. They can quickly measure what’s working and what’s not.

With marketing options like these, brands no longer have to rely solely on packaging and shelf placement to influence buyers. Contextual marketing, such as a pop-up ad that suggests a certain beverage based on the weather, allows brands to provide responsive, localized marketing in brick-and-mortar locations and at the point of sale.

There’s a delicate balance between implementing new strategies and overburdening consumers with gimmicks, so make sure that whatever solution you choose, it works in favor of the consumer’s seamless and efficient shopping experience.

Personalize the Brick and Mortar Experience

Amazon just opened their first in-person Amazon Style store, giving consumers the chance to browse clothing samples on racks and scan barcodes on items they’d like to try on in their size. Inventory is stored in a warehouse behind the storefront. It’s sent to dressing rooms when requested by a shopper via their smartphone. Touchscreens in the dressing rooms suggest further items the wearer might like. This allows consumers to view a greater variety of products than in a store that needs to keep multiple sizes of each item on the floor. It also gives shoppers access to the personalized experience they’re accustomed to online.

Amazon has an unusual depth of resources to create this integrated shopping experience, but other brands can still take notes. In fact, this principle has been in place for years. Grocery stores send coupons based on past purchases; many stores accept online returns at physical locations; and order-ahead grocery shopping exploded thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

QR codes have existed for years, but they also exploded thanks to COVID-19 in an attempt to curb physical contact. Suddenly, you had to pull out your phone to scan a code for a restaurant menu or check in at a hotel. Most phones started including QR code scanners as part of their cameras and browsers, rather than forcing users to download a separate app. This tech resurgence provided marketers with a potentially inexpensive way to personalize the in-person shopping experience.

Ask yourself: How can your brand create content specifically for brick-and-mortar locations? How can you connect with consumers as they use IoT devices and shop in stores that carry your product?

Get Creative Influencers On Board

Influencer marketing isn’t new, but as free-to-use platforms including Instagram and TikTok continue to grow, it’s becoming a harder-to-ignore part of brands’ core retail strategies. Users with large followings build trust with their followers and recommend favorite products, while they also share stories about their daily lives. This model allows influencers, and thus, brands, to build trust with consumers. Advertising takes on a personal recommendation feel, and influencers create content that they know will resonate with their audiences. Brands often provide discount codes to influencers, leading to purchasing spikes when the influencer shares the code.

Brand managers looking to grow a loyal following should consider how influencer marketing can factor into their retail strategy. Do you need to encourage customers to look for a product on shelves? Do you want to build a cult following for a certain product? You may need to reach out directly to the influencer or go through their management company, but either way, this is a huge part of the future of content marketing.

To think even further outside the box, it may be worth including influencers in your brand’s R&D strategy. Many influencers only promote products they can personally vouch for; otherwise, they risk losing the trust of their followers. Sending samples and getting feedback while developing new products means that influencers can hype up products before they even hit the shelves, and makes them more likely to take an ownership attitude when creating content about a product down the road.

Consider the Context

Here’s what you, as a retail brand manager or content marketer, should be thinking about as you consider innovative strategies that could work for your product.

  1. What medium can you use to share your content?
  2. What context will consumers experience around your content?
  3. How can you turn your content into part of the retail shopping experience?
  4. How can you use traditional packaging and other marketing strategies alongside more innovative options?

As you explore how you can use innovation to your advantage, be sure to experiment, test, and adapt. Watch your consumer base respond. With some out-of-the-box thinking, you may earn some new loyal customers.

The post Innovative Marketing Strategies That Are Being Used To Disrupt The Retail Industry appeared first on Marketing Insider Group.

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