Remember when you would flip through the Yellow Pages to find a new restaurant? And when you didn’t find anything interesting you had to ask colleagues and neighbors for recommendations. This research took time and usually involved some trial and error. Now, thanks to social media and technology, theentire customer experiencehas changed drastically in the consumer’s favor.
The Research Stage is Critical to Your CX Strategy
Due to the adoption of digital applications and communications, people are now forming opinions and impressions prior to ever interacting with your company. Rather than take a gamble on a company or product, many consumers are relying on the experiences of others shared online; thus making research a critical phase to the modern customer experience.
As a company, you can’t wait for feedback and reviews before acting. Create a proactive strategy to address interactions that aren’t immediately visible to your company. Some of the largest digital impacts to the customer experience include:
Reviews that are readily available in the palm of your hand, enabling customers to form an opinion about a product or company prior to formally interacting with it.
Widespread use of social media, providing an opportunity to proactively reach target customer segments with curated content.
Customers seeking companies that deliver on their diversity and inclusion promises and align with their values, thus requiring transparency in your brand and value proposition.
Amazon sets the standard for this. Reviews are easily accessible to customers and factor into a seller’s ranking. In addition, Amazon uses technology to adjust promotions and offerings based on a potential customer’s origination point, which generates warmer leads that are ready to engage in customized journey paths. Furthermore, the AmazonSmile program donates 0.5% of a customer’s purchases to a charity of their choice.
Ready to Take Action?
To attract new customers during the research phase, first assess the current market and your existing customers. Conduct competitor research to understand how others are positioning themselves in the market and identify pain points and strengths that impact their ability to convert leads into customers.
Listen to where people learn about your brand prior to formally entering your customer journey funnel. Whether you use social listening – a technology that mines what people are saying about your company – or have a dedicated CX team at the ready to monitor this, understanding these entrance points will allow you to customize and tailor customers’ experiences to simplify, streamline, and delight.
As you learn more about your customers’ values, adjust marketing tactics to drive engagement and retention. If you succeed in creating an engaged customer base, they will provide positive opinions and feedback on your product or service that new prospective customers crave as they begin their research.
Companies that analyze the interactions of prospective customers and generate insights to inform their customer experience strategy come out ahead of the game. By taking a proactive approach to the customer research phase, whether internally or with an experienced CX partner, you’ll be well poised to delight the modern customer.
Evan Struke is passionate about helping clients drive meaningful value by keeping the customer at the heart of digital delivery and transformation.
Mirinda Gardner is a consulting manager at RevGen. She is passionate about enabling great customer experiences.
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