Customers want deeply immersive experiences that give them a truly authentic connection to the brands they love. From retailers to sports teams to music and beyond, brands of all kinds can secure lifelong customer and fan affinity by delivering creative experiences that drive better engagement.
Maximizing customer engagement is critical to the backbone of any brand. Research has shown that consumers are five times more likely to check out products and services from brands they trust, four times more likely to refer brands to others and two times more likely to purchase from a favorite brand even when competitors entice with better offers.
The consequences of a poor and predictable CX are major, and a subpar CX can be detrimental to brands on a number of fronts. Around 88% of customers are less likely to revisit a website after a suboptimal experience, 52% are less willing to engage after a frustrating mobile experience and only one-third are retained when brands provide inconsistent experiences.
With so much at stake, how can companies create and nurture deep, engaging, interactive and personal customer experiences both now and in the future?
Immersive Experiences and Brand Affinity
Customers want – and sometimes demand – deeper engagement with the brands they love. A few examples: Movie lovers want to engage with their favorite actresses and actors, comic fans want to get closer to their superhero writers and music aficionados will go to rock-star lengths to immerse themselves with bands and musicians in ways that weren’t even possible heretofore.
In regards to the latter, augmented reality and virtual reality – while still fairly niche globally – can enable music artists to engage with fans like never before. From current limited edition box sets chock-full of original goodies that go far beyond providing an hour’s worth of music on a plastic disc to the future potential of AR and VR to revolutionize the live concert experience, music act’s abilities to connect with fans on a deeper level is limited only by the artist’s imaginations
Over in the sporting arena, rapidly advancing technologies in the mobile space are enabling fans to know not just their favorite athlete’s stats, but also what she or he had for breakfast. This ability to engage and keep close tabs on one’s favorite athlete 24/7 is not without its pitfalls, but sports stars and brands across all verticals possess the ability to go down the rabbit hole with their followers as shallow or deep as they desire.
Authentic Connections: Old School Versus New School
Countless old-school methodologies for creating a positive CX are as tried and true as grandma’s homemade pies. One such tactic is the use of visual content, and the stats tell the story themselves: Colored visuals drive consumer interests in reading content by 80%; Content with images (think social media posts on Twitter, Facebook) increase views by a whopping 94%; Images embedded in posts receive 180% more engagement; and shoppers are 85% more likely to buy items if a video accompanies the product.
These stats might state the obvious, but think about something like the online car-buying experience. If you’ve ever clicked on a model you’re interested in only to get a “Photo Not Available” image instead of the actual automobile, then you can probably relate to the lightening speed in which you clicked the back button to view other vehicles.
While new-school ways of creating a positive CX are still in the gestation stage, some leading brands are currently employing everything from VR headsets to pushing the limits of mobile to give consumers immersive, even three-dimensional experiences. Still others are leveraging the power of interactivity in videos to increase engagement across verticals as diverse as enterprise to education.
While the future of creating the ultimate CX is still up in the air, what’s not a mystery are the tremendous pitfalls for brands that fail to implement strategies and immersive experiences that keep fans engaged. An inability to do so may send your otherwise loyal customers to your competition.
Also Read: The World Beyond Social Media