In this guest post, the founder of Engaging.io, Todd McPhee (pictured below), says marketing’s no longer about conversations or engagement, but in 2018 it’s all about delighting your customer…
How and why we, as marketers, have needed to interact with potential customers has changed over time. Up until about 2006 (pre web 2.0) the focus was on starting the conversation with customers or attracting them. This is because sales people had all the information that customers needed. There was no internet as we know it now, so you had to go to a car yard to find out the latest car models, colours and styles. The sales people had the upper hand as they had something customers couldn’t access. We just had to get people in.
Between 2006 and now, the focus has been on engaging customers. As the internet provided a platform for potential customers to do the heavy lifting themselves, consumers became much more informed. They arrived at the car dealership knowing exactly what colour, make and model car they wanted and the salespeople lost their leverage. So the focus was on making sure customers were given the right information at the right time.
The next marketing wave has already started and is centered on delighting the customer. Customers are internet and research savvy, and very distrustful of being ‘sold’ or ‘marketed’ to. Research shows that the main driver on sales now is word of mouth.
Where the best product used to win for consumers, now it’s the best customer experience that brands are increasingly being evaluated on and those that do it well will be rewarded. Why is Amazon winning? It is because they have a huge selection, great customer experience and best in class delivery. People are more interested in how quickly and easily they can get their product. They won’t suffer a poor experience or delayed shipping for a superior product.
So in the flywheel of Attract > Engage > Delight, revenue generation activities need to focus more heavily on the Delight phase – the experience your customer has had in interacting with the brand/product, and how they have been serviced or continue to do so after their purchase.
And while CRM and marketing automation products such as HubSpot, have already adapted their platforms to be able to enable this increased focus on delight, companies and their sales, marketing and customer service teams are very slow to adapt.
In order to delight, marketers need to be able to remove friction from the customer experience, particularly when it comes to online Can the purchase process be made easier (and the same applies for the cancellation process), can the pop ups in the shopping cart trying to upsell or cross sell be removed? Doing so will deliver a superior experience to the customer and in turn help drive sales.
Over the years we’ve done extensive research on which tech start-ups have succeeded, which haven’t and why. Those that succeed always get one thing right – they made something super easy and intuitive for the intended end user. This same philosophy is just as applicable to any product or service and now more than ever before. The companies that can remove friction and put their customer first (not their quarterly balance sheet) are the ones that are ultimately win. After all, who doesn’t love being delighted?