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Delivering Customer Experience

In today’s world, customers are very well informed about the products that they seek. They are very particular, and know exactly what they want. So, if they are so well informed, why is it still that organizations are focusing on buying patterns and working heads down. I mean, technically speaking this is a cakewalk. For eg: if there are customers who want only iPhone, then they can go to Apple Store and just buy it. Why does Apple have to study the buying pattern when the line is pretty straight? Or is it that it looks straight? Why are marketing budgets going sky high despite the fact that it looks like a sales job to close the deal? The answer is not simple.

Marketing departments are not just responsible for promoting the brand and generating inquiries for the sales guys to go ahead and close it. That was old school. Marketing in today’s era is the focal point of an organization. They are the people who attract customers, engage with them and ensure that the customer stays with them. We can understand the first two parameters – attract and engage. But how come the third parameter “retain” is a marketing team’s job. Typically speaking, isn’t that a sales team’s job? Answer is no.

Let me give you an example. We all are aware of TED Talks. When it comes to sharing the knowledge, expertise or experience, no one does it better than TED. Why is the marketing and PR team getting involved so aggressively in conducting events, inviting speakers? Answer is – giving the audience the right “Experience”. What you see is that TED is giving the right experience to the audience (who are there customers). This experience encourages, the people sitting in the audience to visit more such events and sometimes become a presenter.  If you look at this example, no where you see involvement of the sales team of TED Talks. Its all about Marketing & PR. The customer gets the perfect experience, which encourages them to get engaged with TED Talks, which is why TED is able to retain the customers.

Let us take another example. We all do purchase online, either via Flipkart, Amazon or some e-commerce platform. Why do we buy from there? We don’t speak to any sales executive from these companies; still we end up buying at least 1 product month on an average. Why? Because, the marketing team at these companies are giving those experiences to the customer, either in form of timely delivery, or precise product as per the specification mentioned, faster and convenient payment options, or be it on the support and service side.  The marketing team is engaging with the customers in multiple ways, thereby encouraging them to purchase from their platform and through services they ensure customer retention.

I guess these two classic examples, does drive a fact that Marketing does give customers the right experience. So, how do they do it? I have highlighted few key points which could give some inputs to organizations who are actually not following it, and even if they are, may be not with the right intensity

  • Attract customers not just because you want to sell your product, but to give them the opportunity to go through your products. This way they can go through all the options before making a decision
  • While they are going through the products, (specifically in online case) try to proactively engage with the customers, through online chat and other tools to prompt them to ask questions. This way they can get a direction
  • Keep sending them the necessary information. But make sure you don’t bombard them with too much of information and clutter their inbox. Schedule it to ensure you hit them at the right time.
  • In case you as an organization are conducting some events, involve the customers as well in the events. This way you can keep the customer engaged with you.
  • Conduct regular feedback surveys with customers and give them takeaways (customers do like freebies)

 

Probably 9 out of 10 companies might be following the above practice. But what about the 1 who is not following. This is for them. Time has come for the marketing department/division to pull up their socks and try to focus on engaging with the customer and give them the right experience.

Remember! Sales is a By-Product & Customer is Well Informed.

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