In the past, brands have measured the success of marketing campaigns based on return on investment, which provided insight into whether a substantial return was made on the amount of money spent on advertising and marketing.
Today, brands in all industries are facing new challenges. There has never been more feedback online, and the expectations have never been higher. For a business, online customer support is no longer an option. Customers are demanding more, and they want answers at their fingertips. In this digital and social media age, where customer experiences are laid out on the table for other customers to see, companies want to understand how engagement and experience are affecting customer relationships, and they are using feedback to measure it.
There has never been more feedback online, and customer expectations have never been higher.
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Customer Loyalty and Customer Experience
Before you can begin to measure customer loyalty to improve experience, it’s important to first understand your customers. Customers are looking for an emotional experience, so it’s important to know what motivates them and what will get them engaged with your brand.
If you consider a target audience, such as baby boomers or millennials, each generation has their own expectations about how a business should operate. Brands which pay attention to their audiences’ values and priorities are more likely to succeed.
This conclusion is evident in recent findings from global information company Nielsen. For example, the company reports that millennials’ values include green living and sustainability. Millennials are more likely to choose companies that practice eco-friendly standards.
On the other hand, according to Synchrony Financial, baby boomers tend to choose companies based on customer service, while millennials are more likely to use technology to help with their in-store experience.
How do you understand your customers? You listen to them. You listen to them on social media, in online reviews, and in the store.
ROI versus ROE2
Return on investment (ROI) is a term that was first used by marketers in the 20th century to measure the impact of advertising on awareness and sales, writes Andy Frawley, CEO of Epsilon and author of Igniting Customer Connections. Today, however, he argues that marketers want to know how the effect of their marketing on building customer relationships. Frawley dubs this metric “return on experience x engagement,” or ROE2 .
Frawley writes about the success of Starbucks and how the company truly understands ROE2 and uses technology for effective customer engagement. “Enabling customers to accumulate rewards via a mobile app or loyalty card and cash them in for a free drink of their choice is a brilliant use of ROE2, as is the coffee retailer’s tie-in with iTunes in which any customer can download a song for free,” he writes.
Focus on the Customer Experience
To get a complete picture of what the customer experience looks like, it’s essential that brands first pay attention to critical elements within the customer experience. These elements include:
- High-Quality Product or Service: If the product or service offering is not of high quality, the customer experience will never be positive. Brands should always provide a solution or something of value to customers to help make their lives better.
- Convenience: Modern shoppers demand high-quality amenities. For example, the widespread integration of complimentary Wi-Fi in major stores like Starbucks, Target, and Walmart provides rewards for the customer and the company. Customers who are given these incentives tend to stay longer and buy more. On the other end of the spectrum, brands benefit from more sales. According to a report by DeepBlue Communications, there are several benefits for retailers that provide in-store Wi-Fi, including the ability to convert browsers into buyers.
- The In-Store Experience: Successful brands ask questions about their services and products. These questions include:
- Can customers find products with ease?
- Are floor agents available to answer questions? Are the employees friendly?
- Are new technologies in place to help customers and employees save time?
- What will motivate customers to become loyal?
These questions can be answered by listening to the unstructured feedback online. As I said earlier, feedback is everywhere. It’s in social media, online reviews, and in the store. It’s important to have a system in place to analyze and manage customer feedback.
One way to manage feedback is to utilize software that helps organize and analyze the customer feedback found online. Tools exist to save you time when it comes to aggregating, replying to, and analyzing online reviews. Research has proven software that manages reviews can save your brand hours each week while providing unique insights into the customer journey.
The Net Promoter Score
In order to know how loyal your customers are, it’s important to use a method to evaluate what elements of the customer experience are working or not. The net promoter score is one such tool brands can use to measure how likely it is customers will return to a store. The net promoter score is used to find out if past customers are likely to recommend the business to their friends or family.
It starts with the question, “How likely are you to recommend us to your friends and family?” When customers respond to the question, you can divide the customers into the following categories based on their response.
- Promoters: Devoted customers who will support your causes and be your brand advocates.
- Passives: These customers are satisfied customers, but they will not go so far as to promote your brand because of the temptations of your competitors.
- Detractors: Customers who are dissatisfied with your service or product.
Customers answer on a scale of zero through 10, with zero through 6 being the detractors, 7 and 8 the passives, and 9 through 10 the promoters.
As customers demand more, one way to stay ahead is to focus on the customer as a person. After brands understand their customers, they must measure the effectiveness of their customer experience in order to remain competitive. This is not a one-time process—companies must constantly listen to their customers and measure their feedback to stay ahead of their expectations.
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