In November, we visited the top marketing event Inbound16 in Boston. I mostly attended sessions related to content and in addition to getting inspiration, I got 57 point “to do” list for myself. I won’t share all of it here but do want share points specifically related to the main theme of focusing on the customer in digital business.
Focusing on the customer has been a topic of discussion for some time but its implementation is still lagging. It shouldn’t since WOM (word of mouth) is increasingly powerful, and your customers have a great deal of influence over your future.
People easily share their experiences, both positive and negative, and people trust peer reviews and recommendations. One negative customer experience can have a wide ripple effect.
HEO, Human Enjoyment Optimization, was a term highlighted in Boston. This is an extremely important theme if you truly want to be successful in online business. Success will be unattainable unless everything you do genuinely focuses on your customer.
A short “to do” list for focusing on the customer in online business
Here is a short list of things you can do to focus on the customer in your own business.
1. MORE COLLABORATION WITH YOUR CUSTOMER
It’s vital to involve your customers in the development of your online store. Your customers themselves best understand their needs. Including customers in the development is not about getting their admiration, but a real secret weapon for beating your competition.
Include the customer when building your brand. This increases their commitment to you as well as increases the likelihood that they will view everything you do positively and recommend you. And who could be a better salesperson than a customer?
Build ways that the customer can share their ideas with you and innovate for you. Strive to make this easy and active.
Find creative options of how the customer can choose to communicate with you.
2. Take the red & blue test
It is important that your store, website and in all your materials that you talk about your customer, not about yourself. Do a test. Mark all sections where you talk about yourself in red and those where you talk about your customer in blue.
If everything looks blue, good. If the material is red, change it until it’s almost entirely blue.
3. DEFINE A SHARED MEANING AND VALUE FOR EACH CHANNEL YOU USE
If you want to be present wherever your customers are, you’ll need to use multiple channels. Different channels are suitable for different purposes. Have you carefully considered why your customer should be interested in your various channels? And how does this point to your business?
You should find shared meaning and value where the interests of both you and your customer meet and focus the channel around it. This allows the channel to be active, which serves you as well as your customer.
4. DIALOGUE INSTEAD OF TOOTING ONES OWN HORN IN SOCIAL MEDIA
How are you using social media channels? Are they dedicated mainly for sharing offers and news or other materials? In the future, utilize your social media channels as a way of getting to know your customers better and for staying current on their needs and thoughts. You can achieve this by creating dialogue, so discuss, ask and ponder. If the customer feels there’s value in the conversation, they will participate and share their thoughts with you.
5. USE AN “EXPERIENCE MAPPING TOOL” AND FIND PROBLEMATIC POINTS
Last but not least is the essential HEO tool “Experience Mapping Tool”. Find yourself a suitable tool, map out the customer experience carefully to find problematic points and address them.
33 % of online store purchases are cancelled due to the absence of a preferred payment method
Five typical problems consumers have when shopping online
Why should online merchants care about customers’ emotions?