Marketers of all levels understand that the customer experience influences not only initial conversions, but also plays a significant role in customer retention.
Different marketing channels can play into the success of your customer experience management (CXM or CEM).
Although determining which one works best for you can take some time, many marketers have discovered the importance of email marketing in customer experience, including:
• Customers prefer to hear from their favorite brands via email, as compared to other popular channels, including social media and apps.
• Email marketing provides the highest overall return on investment (ROI) than any other marketing channel.
Before diving into the benefits of email marketing in customer experience management, it’s vital to have a solid understanding of what customer experience management is and how it can affect your business.
What is customer experience management?
Customer experience management goes much more in depth than simply making sure you have happy clients.
Customer experience management is the practice of designing and then reacting to all customer interactions.
The goal is to meet or exceed each customer’s expectations. This then leads to greater overall customer satisfaction, along with loyalty and advocacy.
In order to increase both customer acquisition and customer retention, your marketing team needs to work carefully with the customer service team to develop methods of communication to help meet and exceed the expectations of your audience.
That’s where customer experience management comes into play.
Customer experience management includes both digital touchpoints and physical touchpoints.
There are a variety of different customer experience management tools available to brands. However, you don’t have to spend a fortune on different software to help you create a plan of action. Instead, you’ll want to focus on a few key areas, including:
• Knowledge of your target audience
• Mapped-out customer journeys
• Customer feedback
Each of these will help you in your customer experience management. Even better, knowing how to use each one will help you create an excellent customer experience.
How to create an exceptional customer experience
When asked by Customer Management IQ, nearly 76% of business executives and leaders rated the customer’s experience as their highest priority. While nearly 80% of companies believe they’re delivering “superior experiences” to their consumers, only 8% of them agree.
That’s not a very encouraging number. Brands need to consider that when they’re building their customer experience management strategy. Here are a few other vital facts you’ll want to consider during this process:
• Ninety-six percent of consumers say customer service is essential when deciding what brands to be loyal to – Microsoft
• Customer switching companies due to poor customer service cost U.S. companies a total of $1.6 trillion – Accenture
• Consumers in the U.S. will pay 17% more to purchase from a brand that has an excellent reputation in customer service – American Express
• Seventy-seven percent of consumers view brands more favorably if they take the time not only to seek out customer feedback, but apply it as well – Microsoft
While keeping these facts in mind, your team can now start to outline your customer experience management strategy. Remember, there’s a minimum of four areas you must cover during your planning process.
Knowing your audience
If your team hasn’t taken the time to define who your target audience is, then you can’t create a customer experience that addresses their needs. That said, the first step your team needs to take is to define who your target audience is.
Start by asking yourself these questions:
• What problems does your product/service solve?
• What types of people would benefit from these products or services?
• What else do these individuals care about?
• What’s their lifestyle like?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can start mapping out your customer’s journey.
Mapping out the customer journey
The customer journey is essential to your customer experience management strategy. It helps to ensure that your customer’s needs are being met at each stage of their journey with your brand.
Customer journey mapping allows you to visualize each of the steps your customers will take as they move through your sales cycle.
What makes customer journey mapping even better for your customer experience management strategy is the fact that it helps to automate your processes, especially if you’ve chosen email marketing as your primary method of communication.
Once you’ve gotten your customer journey set up, you can start sending out your content. This can be done via email, social media, or simply on your website.
Regardless of which channel you choose, you want to carefully analyze your posts/site insights. This gives you some critical clues as to what’s working and what isn’t.
Once you’ve taken adequate time to analyze your insights, then you can move onto the next step of the customer experience management process.
Seeking customer feedback
In order to make your customer experience management process complete, you have to ask your customers for feedback.
Those customers that feel as if their favorite brands care about their opinions and allow for their voices to be heard are more likely to come back for future purchases and advocate for a brand to those that they love.
Why is advocacy essential? On average, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. So, the more your customers advocate for your brand online, the better, and those in-person recommendations are just extra icing on the cake.
Asking for feedback is simple, especially if you’re implementing email marketing into your customer experience management strategy.
Remember, customers who feel as if their feedback is essential to a brand could see a significant increase in retention, advocacy, and repeat conversions. In fact, those who have a positive experience with a brand and feel as if their voices are being heard are likely to spend 140% than those who report negative experiences.
What role does email marketing play in customer experience management?
Now that you and your team have a solid understanding of what customer experience management is and an idea of how to work on your strategy, it’s critical to investigate the role that email marketing plays in customer experience management.
We’ve already mentioned two critical reasons why you should consider email marketing in customer experience management.
Not only does email marketing provide the highest ROI for marketers ($38 for every $1 spent), but consumers would rather communicate with them via email than any other channel.
How to implement email marketing in customer experience management
So, if email marketing is such a vital tool, how can you include it in your customer experience management strategy? Besides feedback and survey messages, there are several different ways to utilize email marketing in customer experience management, including:
• Welcome emails
• Confirmation emails
• Thank you emails
• Reward reminders
• Special incentives or discounts
The key here, however, is to make absolutely sure you’re also following a few vital customer experience management best practices.
Including personalized information within messages – personalization is vital to providing the optimal customer experience. So go a step ahead and make sure you’re correctly segmenting your emailing lists, utilizing dynamic content, and more.
Allowing your customers to set their preferences – this enables your consumer’s voices to be heard in several different ways.
Not only can they leave you vital feedback, but providing a user preference center allows them to tell you exactly what it is that they want and when they want it, giving them full control over their experience.
Incorporating email marketing in customer experience management is a practice that should be considered by brands everywhere. The benefits speak for themselves, including:
• Gives customers a voice
• Increases customer retention
• Increases customer advocacy
• Increases repeat conversions and more
Remember, the entire point of your customer experience management strategy should be centered around your customer’s needs, not your own. So focus on them in order to improve your performance.