The role of customer experience in outperforming industry peers: Insights from Marketing Week Live 2018
Our Content Strategist, Flora Frichou, recently attended Marketing Week Live. In this event recap article, she’ll provide insights from the event and show you what the industry sees as digital trends, challenges, and opportunities facing leaders in 2018.
On the 7th and 8th of March, Trustpilot attended the Marketing Week Live (MWL) event in London.
For those of you who haven’t heard of it before, MWL is a yearly two-day event that covers everything from the fundamentals of marketing to the latest developments in technology to inspirational discussions on leaderships.
It’s a great event to go to to learn about marketing trends and what we can expect from the industry in the coming year. In this article, I’ll provide you with what the industry sees as digital trends, challenges, and opportunities in 2018.
Why customer experience is trending
Customer experience is how customers perceive their interactions with your company. It should be both usable and enjoyable from the customer’s point of view.
Today, 70% of purchasers no longer believe in ads. Trust has changed, and customers no longer want to be told what to buy. They want to know the company behind the product and behind the service, and this can only be achieved through a transparent and trustworthy customer journey.
According to Econsultancy’s data from Sean Donnelly’s talk at MWL, optimising the customer experience was named the most exciting opportunity of 2018, with 20% of companies ranking it at their top priority this year. Analytics followed customer experience, with 8% of respondents choosing it as their top priority.
Prioritising the consumer experience ensures that customers are enjoying every interaction with your business, and 50% of consumers are more likely to do business with you again in the future after a positive customer experience. By focusing on creating amazing customer experiences, you’re showing the desire for your company to go above and beyond to please every single customer.
It’s getting harder and harder to differentiate yourself from other businesses when everyone is sharing great content. But a competitive advantage is huge, and customer experience is the perfect tool to help you stand out from the competitions. Indeed, according to a report by Walker, by 2020, customer experience will have overtaken product and price as the key brand differentiator.
Providing a smooth voice search experience
Google suggested that it intends to evolve from a search engine to become an answer engine. This will radically transform traditional SEO.
Rather than providing different search results and leaving the user with multiple choices, an answer engine provides the user with just one answer. This makes finding facts much easier for the user, but makes it harder for companies to stand out and feature as the definite answer.
Small companies have an advantage - by testing and identifying profitable queries, they can focus on getting ahead of larger businesses. That’s why it’s important to focus on smaller benefit-oriented searches by rethinking the website interface and optimising them with long-tail keywords.
This makes it more likely for smaller companies to reach and maintain position 0. Position 0 is the first result, often displayed in the answer box above the other organic results. Although Google is still experimenting with position 0 results - whether they’re answer boxes, knowledge graphs or Voice Assistant results - search engines’ recent investment in voice search suggests this shift is here to stay.
Businesses that start implementing voice search into their customer experience strategy are the brands that will dominate online tomorrow, says Sean Donnelly, Senior Analyst at Econsultancy.
If you’d like to learn more about voice search, SEO, and answer engines. Check out our webinar recording “What companies should do in the face of voice search”.
Re-imagining the customer experience with artificial intelligence
Every time Amazon recommends a purchase to a consumer, that’s artificial intelligence at work. In the world of customer experience and customer service, we’re experiencing the rise of digital assistants, chatbots, and robots answering basic queries.
Welcome to the future.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence demonstrated by machines. It has the ability to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings.
According to Econsultancy’s data from Sean Donnelly’s talk at MWL, 40% of companies are planning to use AI in 2018 for data analysis, on-site personalisation, content, and email marketing.
Indeed, businesses are now turning to AI to automate repetitive tasks and personalise user journeys to build better relationships with their customers by offering a seamless overall experience.
KLM recently started using AI on Messenger. After booking your flight on their website, KLM lets you choose whether to receive your booking confirmation, check-in notification, boarding pass, and flight status updates via Messenger. This makes your travel information easy to find in a single place.
Bonus? Their AI system also lets you ask any question you may have on Messenger, 24/7. All messages are personalised and friendly, making it look like you’re chatting to another human being!
Deliver personalised content
In order to trust a company and their products or services, shoppers can go through a considerable amount of research before deciding to buy online. Shoppers can make up to 9.5 visits on a retailers site before making a purchase, and that doesn’t even take into account other sites they may go to as part of their customer journey.
This year, most industry peers will be personalising their customer experience with insightful and relevant content like offers, podcasts, blogs, videos, or even events.
Why, you may ask?
Well, personalising the customer experience to offer relevant pieces of information creates better brand awareness and loyalty, encourages customer relationships, and can elevate your business into a thought leader.
So how will you deliver the most relevant content and authentic experiences to your audience in the moment?
How will you build the personal connections that inspire customers to invest in your business? Where do you start?
Delivering the right content to the right person isn’t easy, but it’s certainly necessary. Here's a short list of tips.
- Start by getting to know your customers
- Divide your audience into groups using your existing data, and build profile types
- Develop personalisation strategies using automation
- Classify your content
- Identify which content is relevant at different of the customer journey.
Once your audience and content are both classified, delivering personalised content through the whole journey is easier.
As mentioned several times at Marketing Week Live, when you personalise the customer experience with smart and relevant content, you’re creating value for your audience, and for you too.
Building trust earlier in the journey
As mentioned by Sean Donnelly at Marketing Week Live, using Trustpilot reviews is one of the best ways to build trust and transparency at any point of the customer journey.
Star rating is the number one factor used by consumers to judge a business, making reviews a powerful tool to convert visitors into customers and to reduce customer hesitation.
Indeed, including customer feedback as part of customer experience is a way to help do their research directly on-site and make smarter choices. How? Online reviews tend to boost customer confidence and often eliminate doubt because they answer most questions consumers have as they move through the purchase journey.
In a world where word of mouth travels fast, your customers are almost certainly already talking about your business.
To deliver great experiences, it’s important to listen to the voice of the customer.
By deciding to manage your online reputation, you’re more likely to collect great customer insights, and therefore improve your visitor’s experience in the long run.
Interested in learning more about reviews as part of customer experience? Why not request a demo below…