Customer experience matters. It may even matter more than any other success metric. A Walker study once predicted that by 2020, customer experience would take priority over price and product as the key brand differentiator.
Standing out from a crowded market and connecting with your customers requires compelling content that makes people feel closer to your brand and eager to engage with you. Content marketing and customer experience entwine. Having a strong vision for customer experience will better align your customers with your brand, while good content allows brands to meet customer needs better. One simply cannot happen without the other.
Empower your approach to content marketing by giving your customer experience strategy a tune-up:
Analyze your mission + vision
When was the last time you dug into your mission, vision, and values? Forging customer-focused content requires a thorough understanding of all three. It also requires a standalone, customer-focused vision. Some of the most beloved brands like Chewy, Trader Joe’s, and Zappos build their brand’s core values based on adding extra “wow” to their customer experience strategy.
To build a vision for your own strategy, use the values and objectives embedded in your company culture. Ask yourself these questions to find inspiration for your customer experience and fuel content development:
1. What technology, people, or processes are needed to maximize our customer experience strategy?
2. What gaps exist between customer expectations and experience?
3. How good are our internal processes at supporting customers?
4. Which tools are essential to improving customer experience?
5. Are we offering an innovative customer journey?
6. What promises are we delivering?
7. What’s the customer getting out of this?
8. How do we reward those who are loyal to us?
Know your audience
You can’t make content that benefits your customer experience without truly understanding your audience and what makes them tick. This is where buyer personas become a marketer’s BFF. Beloved customer-centric brands like Warby Parker were built solely on their exemplary buyer personas.
Buyer personas are a representation of your target customer’s preferences and behaviors as they interact with your company. Personas are essential to effective content creation, product building, and every aspect of the customer experience.
Start by profiling the types of customers your team interacts with regularly — or hopes to. This is a great way to understand the customer journey, dig into feedback, and evaluate customer needs. Use this insight to create buyer personas that look and feel human. In-depth knowledge of your audience ensures you’re deeply familiar with them. It also means you know how to tailor content according to their needs at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
With an increased demand for more personalized experiences with customers, you need to know even more about the target audiences you’re engaging. If you already have set buyer personas, revisit them to flesh things out as much as you can. You can find excellent buyer persona examples and templates here.
Listen to your audience
Buyer personas can only get you so far. The success of your brand requires being in tune with what your customers are saying and feeling. Assumptions won’t cut it. Ask your customers what you’re doing well and what’s not exactly working out. This will allow you to develop the necessary content and improve the customer journey.
Build opportunities for feedback into every stage of the customer journey to measure satisfaction, customer experience, and truly understand your audience. Gather feedback through automated surveys, chatbots, email marketing, and calls. The more customer feedback you receive, the more opportunities you have to assess the health of your customer experience and craft content to meet their needs.
Measure what matters
There’s plenty of data surrounding your customer experience. This can sometimes make choosing metrics challenging. To develop more effective content strategies that help you better engage with your customers, you need to have better insights.
Failing to choose your customer experience metrics wisely means missing out on an accurate assessment of your success. Customer data can help you implement actionable insight into your content marketing planning.
Some metrics to consider include:
-Average response and resolution time.
-Net Promoter Score (NPA) — This shows the percentage of customers who would/wouldn’t recommend your company.
-Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) — This is a transactional metric showing how satisfied customers are with a recent interaction.
-Customer Effort Score (CES) — This shows the effort expended by customers in accomplishing a task, such as getting a support request handled or finding the product they were looking for.
Engage your audience
Once you’ve dug into the above aspects of your brand’s unique approach to customer experience, it’s time to create highly personalized content. There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for customer-focused content. Each piece will fit a different buyer persona at a different stage of the buyer journey. But one key ingredient in all content should be your engaging, memorable brand personality.
Your brand voice should be one-of-a-kind. But be sure to keep these mantras at the core of all you do: be human, be memorable, be relatable, be passionate, and keep it simple. Encouraging an emotional connection through content marketing will drive your customer experience.