Engage or Disengage? Three Marketing Practices That Could Be Fighting Your Customer Experience Efforts

Accounting and professional services giant Deloitte says customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than less focused rivals. Analysts at Gartner note over two-thirds of companies now compete mainly on the basis of customer experience (CX). Forrester has shown that improving CX can be extremely profitable; brands that improve their experiences by just a single point can see more than $1 billion in added revenue.

It’s no wonder so many companies are investing heavily in CX strategy, technology and training. Yet, at the same time, some basic marketing practices and efforts are unknowingly fighting progress. Here’s a look at three particular areas and what an organization can do to ensure they are engaging customers and not prompting them to disengage.

Setting the right tone

COVID-19 has made it vital to communicate empathetically. Those with a business-as-usual strategy risk seeming tone deaf and chasing customers away. On the other hand, those that show customers understanding and thanks – a realization these are challenging times and appreciation for their support – are playing the right tune.

This is called emotional intelligence and it doesn’t take a massive program overhaul.

For example, Kaiser Permanente has done this particularly well in responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

The healthcare company modified an existing customer experience with empathetic messaging that proved they understood the difficulties the pandemic has posed. And, when it came to onboarding customers – not just attracting new ones but bringing them into the fold – they used video-powered experiences (VX) to eliminate confusion and illustrate how members could ramp up quickly and begin leveraging their health plan to simplify their lives.

Interface about face

Some companies make huge investments to ensure customers can reach them on the devices they find most convenient – but activity drops off because the content is lackluster at best.

While the interface may make reaching a brand easier, there’s no emotional factor to keep them there and sustain the relationship, never mind turning customers into brand advocates that can multiply exponentially.

If it’s just about the interface, then it’s time for an about face.

Companies need to mix sight, sound and motion to make emotionally intelligent CX compelling. Financial advisory firm T. Rowe Price, leveraged VX for their 529 college and retirement savings account holders to educate these customers about the potential of their contributions in a transparent and engaging way. As a result of the company’s CX efforts, their customers felt cared for and maximized retention and loyalty.

Easy does it

For some industries, house calls for setup and troubleshooting are no longer possible due to the pandemic. Cable providers like Comcast are a good example. Self-installation, problem-solving and higher Internet speeds are a fact of life today, especially as parents continue to work from home and kids enter the school year learning remote. However, making customers sift through a lengthy setup video just to learn how to program the remote control certainly doesn’t make their lives easier.

Comcast raised their CX by creating smaller, issue-specific video chapters enabled by an interactive video powered experience. Whatever the customer issue, the viewer could select the most applicable topic, easily handle the problem and get back to what they wanted – binge-watching that series they’d been waiting for.

Those big paper packets mailed to  you for insurance policies, healthcare plans, financial account statements and more?

Same thing.

Break down key issues into digestible topic-specific and interactive VX – whether its open enrollment, filing a claim, taking a disbursement – and you’ll reduce friction to make life easier for customers, while building greater loyalty.

When it comes to an engaging CX, remember — ‘easy does it’ does the trick, every time.