These days, the business process is all about the customer. It’s not enough to just have a great product. Customers expect a more interactive approach with each company and purchase. It’s all about a collective experience ‒ the search, the decision, the purchase, the support, and the follow through.
The whole experience starts with The Search. Your company must be easy to find, especially online. This is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and online marketing come into play. SEO is organic, and you can build up your SEO without going outside your site. By choosing certain keywords and having those within your headline, subhead, and content, the search engines will have no trouble finding your site for your potential consumers. Mobile optimization is also a factor in whether or not search engines will suggest your site or not. Other online marketing efforts can help push your brand even further on the map with pay-per-clicks and AdWords, local search, and content marketing.
Design and graphics help with searches, as well. The alternate text on a graphic can aid in SEO, as well as allow people who don’t have the capability to view the image to understand what’s supposed to be there. We as a society are visual creatures, so a poorly designed website with no graphics is going to turn people away from your business and make the experience end at The Search, no matter how good your product is.
The next step in the customer experience is The Decision. The only way people can make a decision is with information, and that comes with content. Though design is important, content is what keeps consumers on your page. Make your information findable and functional. Content Management Software (CMS) is crucial for the continual update and editing of the content on your site; make sure to choose the interface that works best with your company needs. Updated content keeps consumers engaged with what you have to say and informed about what you have to offer, and it gives you an avenue for continued communication with your audience. If your content doesn’t give enough relevant information, visitors will move to another site that does.
After making the decision, customers move on to The Purchase step in the experience. In ecommerce, this means open source shopping cart solutions like Open Cart and Magento. They allow the most customization to give your business exactly what you need and your customers the best experience they can have. This also includes integrating your online conversions with business systems like CRM, ERP, accounting software, etc. For non-ecommerce, this means converting and nurturing leads and integrating lead capture systems with email marketing, CRM, etc.
This is, again, about content and communicating. Many websites marketing strategies focus only on upper-funnel acquisition and conversion, leaving paying customers feeling second-rate. Turns out, people tend to feel slighted if they fall off your radar once you’ve taken their money. Ironically, 9 times out of 10 one of the key selling points is “customer service.” The first move toward keeping that promise is keeping in contact with your customers. Ask them how their experience was or how well your services are working. Get their feedback on your products and your customer service performance. Show them how to use your products and services to reach their goals. Make them feel like they’ve become part of your community. Your website is the perfect platform for this, and a peek inside what it’s like to be your customer might just help you win a few more sales.
The Follow Through
Just because the Purchase and Support steps are complete doesn’t mean you’re finished. The final step is The Follow Through. While the previous steps were customer-focused, this one is all about you. Effective Follow Through helps turn happy customers into repeat customers with tactful and timely sales follow ups. Techniques like upselling, renewals, phase 2, and accessories are simple yet effective follow ups that can keep your customers coming back. You can also leverage industry news and technology updates to keep your audience interested and engaged with your brand. Your website is again a very powerful tool for this. Tools like web analytics, traffic tracking, marketing automation, lead scoring, CRM, and cross-channel digital strategies can help you find and target the greatest opportunities for repeat business. It all boils down to how well you manage your data and stay in touch. Remember, too, that making another purchase isn’t the only value you can capture from an existing customer. In many ways, reviews and referrals can be just as important to your bottom line.
When it comes to the customer’s online experience, many companies excel in some areas, but very few excel in them all. Blayzer specializes in the package deal, taking your consumer’s online experience expectations and blowing them out of the water. We want to help you target your digital strategy for holistic customer satisfaction.