The focus of today’s marketing is not simply on messaging or building connections, rather on experience. While the phrase “customer journey” may seem like another buzzword or trend, understanding and improving the customer’s interactions with a company across all channels and touchpoints is the cornerstone of success in the digital age. By now, 89% of companies are competing mostly on the basis of customer experience, while 86% of senior-level marketers agree on the importance of creating a cohesive customer journey. Every stage – from brand awareness to consideration, conversion, loyalty, and retention – has become a small piece of a much larger picture called “customer experience”, in which the customer forms an opinion on the company.
Marketing strategies, approaches, and tools are transforming to enhance customer experience. Social media emphasizes customer engagement beyond content sharing, marketing automation includes technology for creating experiences, and marketers alone aim for personalization and customer feedback to develop complementary experiences.
This experience-oriented marketing culture will only benefit companies by increasing their social media ROI.
Adopting a customer-centric approach is just as important for B2B companies as it is for B2C. That’s why more and more B2B companies are beginning to recognize the positive impact of customer experience on revenue growth and competitive differentiation. By tailoring every part of the customer journey to the buyer’s terms, the control is placed in the hands of the customer. This, in turn, gives customers the impression that their interaction with a company is determined by them rather than the marketers or company executives.
B2B companies are learning to improve customer experience by generating empirical insights into the real needs, wants, and attitudes of customers. Hearing what customers have to say or complain about not only makes them feel valued but also serves to strengthen the relationships with them. Making marketing customer-focused rather than product or channel-centric requires putting personalization tactics to good use. Once that’s achieved, engagement will rise.
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Although the importance of customer experience is widely acknowledged, only 50% of C-level executives employ consistent measurement to map a customer journey. Examples of common customer experience measures include customer-facing workshops, customer interviews, or even customer satisfaction surveys.
With B2B customers, the journey is complex and involves multiple touch points of interaction. That’s why developing a customer experience strategy – which includes everything from assessment and segmentation of customer needs, customer journey mapping, designing brand experience, and all the way through measuring performance – will ensure that customer needs are met.
Marketers will increasingly learn what makes a good customer journey and how to make it stand out among their competitors. They can improve customer experience on social media by creating valuable content and interaction, which will not only increase engagement but also lead to higher ROI. Using a social media management platform that tracks and measures clicks and conversions will help marketers understand the performance of social content and what customers are interested in.