If you understand your customers’ needs, you can deliver useful or positive customer experiences for them no matter the circumstance. With so many consumers engaging in social distancing, traditional marketing, sales, and customer service programs need to change. Digital transformation is no longer optional. You must build out the digital experience at your business to meet the current customer need. To stay functional and continue adding value you must be able to engage customers where they are. But there are added complications during times of disaster.
The missing piece for campaign management is the ability to inject marketing and other business decisions with emotional intelligence. What is emotional intelligence in the context of customer journeys? When customers are worried about the future, your brand must adapt quickly in response. Whether it’s suppressing ads or changing an email sequence, changes will be necessary. No matter your industry, you need to consider two key factors, namely how to ensure your messaging takes context into account and how you bridge the gaps in normally-offline experiences.
Understanding Customer Context Is Key To Effective Orchestration
We’ve discussed before that the customer experience is the competitive battlefield where business is won and lost. That has never been more true than during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. When stressors are high, and customers are under increased pressure due to changing routines and potential danger, you must be conscious of how your brand communicates.
Customer context is key to delivering experiences that matter. For example, if someone is stuck at home they may need different campaign messaging than someone considered to be an essential employee and still making a daily commute. This might mean different timing for campaign messaging, suppression from certain programs, or using entirely different channels to communicate. If your brand is in the financial services space, it may be an ideal time to reassure customers that you’re there for them during potential challenges. Even outside of crises, context can build more trust. If you are a clothing retailer and can recommend clothing based on the climate where someone lives, that is more relevant to them and they’re more likely to pay attention. Building this context can allow you to orchestrate emotionally intelligent experiences that demonstrate that you’re listening.
Use Emotional Intelligence to Design Cohesive Experiences
It will take time for customers and brands to adjust to the new normal, but by using data from across normally siloed channels, you can quickly uncover customer pain points. To identify and address these, you must make meaningful changes to your business. This means investing in and continuing digital transformation projects even from home. By doing this you demonstrate your commitment to delivering results for your customers, and they will take notice.
Brands now have the opportunity to demonstrate customer centricity in action, and it starts by getting your data in order and syncing across sales, marketing, and customer service channels. This connectivity is more important than ever before. As customers begin to interact and operate on digital channels more exclusively, any on-site process must be replaced by digital ones. As call centers close, you must consider the impact of your website’s help features as well. You must connect your systems not only for efficiency but also to promote the right emotions in connection with your brand. While customers are already frustrated – for example- it can be especially harmful to deliver a negative customer experience. Cohesive journey approaches help with this by showing customers you know them across time and channel.
It Is Time For Better Customer Journeys
Even before the crisis, customers demanded better experiences. If you’re like most brands, you already have plentiful customer data and you have been trying to use that data to build better customer experience. If you’re curious about how you can orchestrate better experiences with customer journey management, it’s not too late. Whether you’re just getting started or are looking to level up your journey efforts, check out our Customer Journey Maturity Model, which is full of practical advice on how to advance journeys at your business.