Successful marketers must wear many hats. On the one hand, they’re charged with exercising their business savvy in order to drive growth and profitability. On the other, they’re called on to showcase their creativity and innovativeness in order to create campaigns that target audiences can neither resist nor forget.
But in addition to business acumen and creative innovation, there’s a third skill that all effective marketers should possess: the ability to provide an unsurpassed customer experience and then to parlay that into a successful marketing strategy.
Why It Matters
In today’s highly competitive, globalized marketplace, it may seem that a business’s primary mission is simply to survive, its principal focus is the increase of revenues. But that’s far from the case.
As any successful business leader knows, the core concern of any company is, should, and must be its customers. After all, without the customer, there can be no company at all. And this is the primary reason why customer experience and marketing are so inextricably linked.
When you provide a superb experience for your clients, customers, or guests, you are automatically and organically constructing your own marketing campaign. Customers are by no means shy about sharing their perceptions of the businesses they patronize.
In this era of fierce competition, your business needs strong word-of-mouth to stand out from a sea of rivals. That means that every customer should be treated as a future marketer in their own right — but how they market your company will very much depend on the experience you provide for them.
Give them a great experience and not only will you win their loyalty and their repeat business, but you’ll also earn positive word of mouth. Give them a negative experience, and not only will you lose their business, but you’ll also lose their endorsement. Even one bad review, especially if it goes unaddressed or uncorrected by you, can tarnish your company’s brand for a long time to come.
Integrating Customer Experience With Marketing
The good news is that customer experience and marketing are always already linked. You just need to know how they connect and what to do to leverage that connection most effectively.
Train Your Employees Well
Ensuring a positive customer experience begins with your employees. And that means that customer service should rest at the heart of your employee training and management policies.
Your staff needs to be trained to prioritize customer service at all times and at all levels. A central component will be helping your workers to better understand the customer experience.
This means, for example, that your staff should be deeply involved in the ongoing effort to map the journey of your customer’s experience, from the initial need that draws them to your business to the interactions that shape the customers’ relationships with your company, staff, and products and services. It also means training your staff on inclusive marketing so customers from all walks of life can feel welcomed and understood from the get-go.
Leverage UX Design
Understanding the customer’s journey also means that you and your staff must strive to experience what your clients do when they engage with your product or service. A particularly beneficial strategy in this regard would be to enroll team members in user experience (UX) design courses.
UX certification programs can help you and your staff to create, use, or market products and services with UX at the top of mind. And when you do this, you all but guarantee a superlative customer experience and the positive word-of-mouth and customer-focused marketing opportunities that go with it.
Focus on Innovation
No matter how great your product or service, nothing is perfect. That means, inevitably, your customer will have some pain points, some “friction” in their interactions with your offerings.
Providing a superb (and highly marketable) customer experience means being able to recognize these pain points and remediate them. For instance, when a pain point emerges, focusing on digital transformations is often an efficient and effective way to resolve them and enhance the customer experience. The process involves the use of technology to smooth the customer journey and improve their experience with the company, staff, or product.
Such innovations to a business process, product, or service can then be integrated into highly effective marketing campaigns in which your company showcases its responsiveness to customer news and concerns and promotes innovation as a means of brand differentiation.
After all, if your customers are experiencing a pain point, then the odds are that your rivals’ clients are as well. That means that if you are the first to resolve the problem, then you have the basis for a powerful marketing scheme in which the solution you have created can be upheld as the most attractive option for your target customer.
Successful marketers are at once artists and entrepreneurs. They are also, necessarily, carers. Indeed, a good marketer is one who can both help to provide a customer experience and integrate that into a strong, innovative, customer-focused marketing strategy. To do so, however, marketers must emphasize employee training, prioritize customer service, utilize journey mapping, and embrace transformation and innovation.