This week, we’re changing it up a bit! My name is Quila, and I’m the Digital Strategy Manager at Discover Coaching. I consult BJT Financial on their marketing and social media efforts and some of you may recognise me from our Facebook posts throughout the last few months. I’m behind the scenes of the weekly blog, the Tuesday newsletter, and monthly webinars. Somehow, we’ve managed to make accounting very cool. So cool in fact, that our marketing efforts and nurture campaigns have helped double business in a matter of 4 months.
I’ll forewarn you, I am no finance guru… in fact, it was a complete shock that I passed Accounting and Corporate Finance in college! We’ll leave the numbers to Brad, but what I am passionate about is the customer experience, or CX, in the ever changing and complex world of digital marketing. With a career that began at a Fortune 100 company and transitioned into the marketing and community management space for a major global SaaS company, I now consult small businesses in their digital marketing strategy. When it comes to CX, I’ve seen it all: the good, the bad and the ugly. Bottom line is, you can have sincere, intelligent (the so-smart-it’s-scary type) and ethical members of your team, but without a sharp focus on CX, your company will suffer the consequences.
What we see now more than ever, is a drastic shift in the market for the lead-to-customer journey. Consumers have choices, heaps and heaps of them! What’s even more, they can take any experience and make it go viral in a matter of minutes! A simple search on Google for “Amount of Accounting Practices in Melbourne” resulted in YellowPages bringing up 1,941!
I wouldn’t share that figure with you if I didn’t think BJT was on the top of their game in CX!
Ok, misery does love company, so I’ll let you in on a little secret: companies of ALL sizes suffer when they don’t focus on putting the customer absolutely first in every interaction. Why not learn from other companies’ mistakes and save yourself a lot of pain, unhappy customers and potentially a huge loss of money?
Here are three simple ways (that other people haven’t shared with you) to shift your focus and save your customers from pulling out their hair… your P&L reports will thank me!
- Admit It:Your website was made with YOU in mind… and not your customer. It’s ok, you’re not a bad person! In one of my previous roles, I was asked to work with a global team to build an online community dedicated to two thirds of the customer base. The group that was tasked to create it was brilliant. We had engineers, coders, graphic designers, marketers and account managers who worked with these clients on a daily basis. The beta version was beautiful (if you ask me) and we were convinced it was ready to be shown to the world! Well, that was until we asked other members of the company to provide feedback. I mean, what would the legal department know about an online community for our clients?? Turns out they had some of the best feedback that we would never have realised with our own eyes. As a matter of fact, they found out that the online community was inaccurately mentioned in the legal documentation of the company! By asking for their advice, we learned a lot and saved our a$$es from getting into loads of trouble! Main lesson to take away: ask for fresh eyes to take a look at your website, product or service offering. You don’t know what you don’t know!
- Make a List: And please, Check it More Than Twice! This list should consist of every contact point your company has with a lead or customer. Don’t forget to jog through your email folders. This can be a good place to see if you’ve been answering the same questions over and over or if there are common complaints being handled. Now ask yourself, “can any of these points of contact be templated or automated?” I recommend each member of your team do this exercise separately. Come together with your lists and enjoy the shock of the commonalities and differences on the list! Is it time to consider making an FAQ area on your website or an online community? If you don’t have a large team and you’re a one man show, revert back to # 1 and ask a mentor, friend, or maybe it’s time to speak to a consultant. A consultant can be a fresh set of eyes to review your list, help you copy-write templates and even show you new technology to automate your responses with.
- Remember the Golden Rule: “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself”. If adapted to the business world: “Is the way I’m conducting my business a way in which consumers will want to purchase from me?” My boyfriend will be the first person to tell you- I have a little shopping problem. We’re working on it. When I moved to Australia 7 months ago, my credit card freaked out and it would determine when it wanted to work. Sometimes it would be fine, other times (especially when there was a long queue behind me) it would decide to stop working. Embarrassing! I’m sure you’ve experienced the same frustration when shopping online. The outfit of your dreams is in the shopping cart, credit card details are entered… and then BAM. An error message. I’d like to re-adapt the Golden Rule to this specific CX to read: “Is the way I’m operating my business pissing off my customers and going to result in them going to a competitor?” In 2015, we have a plethora of technology that can help your business reach out to clients that have had a crappy CX. My favourite technology, if you have the man power, is to offer chat on your site. Error messages happen, but how you bounce back from the error message makes all the difference. Capture your business and offer assistance when it’s needed most! Your bank balance will thank you for it!
What other strategies does your company have in place to ensure the CX is as strong as it can be? Share with us by commenting below!
Not sure how to review and implement a structured CX plan for your business? Feel free to contact me by emailing me at info@DiscoverCoaching.com (mention this blog!)