We spend a lot of time talking about the importance of the customer experience to build relationships between our customers and our brand. The goal is to establish an ongoing relationship which feels mutually rewarding to both parties.
To be successful with your customers, to deliver those exceptional customer experiences, you need to know them – what they like, what they don’t like, the challenges they’re facing – you need to speak their language. Not just their literal language (though localizing language and currency and accounting for cultural norms and regulations should be a given in our globalized market), but their industry language as well.
It’s a shorthand that shows you understand each other, that you share commonalities and experiences. It builds trust and helps forge deeper, more rewarding relationships.
In your personal life, you may see it through inside jokes with your friends. Chances are if a stranger popped into a conversation between you and your closest friend, they may feel a little lost without context or explanation. Or think about when you meet someone new, how instinctual it is to look for a common interest to bond over (“I love your dress; where did you get it?” or “Hey, did you watch the game this weekend?”).
In commerce, it means providing customers with intuitive experiences that not only meet their expectations for functionality, but that make it as easy as possible to do so. It means anticipating and addressing their needs before they ever need to ask. And to do that, you need a platform that understands you, your industry, and the nuances of your business.
Think about it: the needs of a telco company are not the same as the needs of a clothing retailer, which are different from the needs of an airline or a bank. Each industry has its own priorities, and their platform should address them directly.
For B2B companies, this means making it as easy as possible for buyers to set up repeat or bulk orders, or recurring replenishment. For retailers, the focus is on promotions and recommending complementary products – anything to increase shopping cart value, while consumer product companies focus on delivering engaging storefronts that showcase their brand values. When working in travel, you need a site that offers services based on whichever leg of the travel journey a customer is in – airline tickets, hotels, rental cars, shuttles, etc. Wireless companies talk in terms of service packaging and bundling, or how much data a customer is entitled to per month; whereas financial organizations like insurance companies talk about offerings via quotes and various payment options. And public sector companies don’t focus on selling at all; they are more about making it easy for citizens to sign up for services, pay for utilities, report problems, etc.
You can see how a one-size-fits-all platform would cause issues when you think about trying to MacGyver a travel website into a platform designed for fashion retailers. The services and capabilities you need just aren’t there, and to create them you’d need to do massive amounts of customizations with third-party providers, all to come up with a square-peg-round-hole solution that won’t age well.
The ability to deliver an experience that is intuitive to both you and your customers will go far to build the trust and rapport that forge valuable, loyal relationships. As your company continues to grow and evolve, working with a platform that grows and evolves with you – that knows your industry and speaks your language – will let you do the same for your customers for years to come.
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