A decade or two ago, customers were hunting for fabulous products. But, it’s no longer the case. Today, they look for unique experiences and emotional connections with a brand. Why have things changed?
Over the years, the boost of e-commerce and the rapid influx of choices into the market has made “buying the right product” an overwhelming task. For each product or service, the array of options is endless, and acquiring a product from abroad is no longer an exhaustive task. So, what customers are specifically looking at present is a buying experience that stands out from the rest and a brand they can rely on.
The Importance of Focusing Beyond 4Ps
The long-known concept of marketing mix entails four elements, such as price, product, place, and promotion. If you need to target your audience effectively and achieve the desired results, you have to implement these 4Ps strategically utilizing a variety of marketing tools. While this is a fruitful method to some extent, it leaves out as an essential focus. The marketing mix is implemented from the brand or the seller’s point of view as opposed to the customer’s point of view, and this can lead to product-market gaps. This is why you need to pay attention to a strategy that eyes the market from the consumer’s perception.
The Chase after Experiences
With a study predicting that customer experience will overtake price and product in the near future, it is clear that customers are hungry for experiences. The modern customer who has the opportunity to connect with brands via multiple sources is increasingly watchful about efforts taken to grant them a seamless service. They need more than impressive promotional materials and sales pitches.
Customers are more attracted towards a brand that understands their requirements perfectly, treat them with courtesy, and acknowledge their importance. Today, it’s all about how you add value to their lives with informative content, personalized services, and special treatment. This means that brands must increasingly focus on creating emotionally-appealing, positive, and engaging interactions with customers if they need a loyal client base.
But, this doesn’t imply that product or price is not important. Instead, brands should deliver a fabulous product at a competitive price coupled with a high-quality experience if they want to win the hearts of customers.
Individual Touchpoints Vs the Entire Journey
As the field of CX is being redefined by great experiences as opposed to a great marketing mix of 4Ps mentioned above, it’s no longer about single touchpoints. That is to say, fabulous touchpoints don’t necessarily guarantee you a fabulous customer journey. But, this doesn’t mean you deny touchpoints.
If you want to guarantee an impressive customer experience for your clients, you have to look at the series of touchpoints or interactions that define the entire journey. You have to consider multiple channels and multiple viewpoints to improve CX. You must take a holistic approach to ensure that customers embrace the entire buying journey optimistically.
The Task of Engaging Your Customers
So, it’s clear that CX no longer ends with a simple purchase. It’s about an impact that lasts beyond the purchase that drives customers to come back again. So, companies have to look at ways in which they can connect with customers from the moment they encounter the brand.
An article on Entrepreneur sums up this concept beautifully based on a personal experience by the contributor as he visited a restaurant when it was about to close. The staff had implied no rush and treated him just as they would treat any other customer during other hours and made him feel extremely comfortable. The experience of him being ushered into the restaurant by the manager who fully understood his situation and the overall pleasant encounter with other employees struck him more than the product itself.
Going the extra mile to ensure customers go through a comfortable buying journey will reward a brand in manifold ways. Customers will be reluctant to leave you and stick you through tough times – like the COVID-19 pandemic, for example. This is because you step down from being a mechanized brand to a one that’s more humanized, understanding, and empathetic. That’s what customers are chasing after, and that’s what they are hungry to experience.
Ida Salonen is Feedbackly’s Customer Success Manager. She’s an energetic team player with a curiosity for researching and writing about CX and EX. She’s responsible for ensuring that Feedbackly’s customers have everything they need to create winning experience strategies.