When customers feel as though they have had an experience while interacting with your company and using your products and services, they tend to keep coming back. Even more important, they want to tell other people—who will then want to enjoy that same experience.
The key is to elevate your customer interactions so that they transform from mere transactions into great experiences.
The process starts with well-defined customer journeys. From there, you can identify opportunities to create lasting impressions at each point of the journey—from the beginning of the sales cycle to conducting post-mortem reviews to getting feedback on what worked well and what you can do better the next time.
Vary B2B Customer Experiences for Each Customer Type
Solid advice on creating great B2B customer experiences comes from Brandy Alvarado-Miranda, CEO at BAM! Marketing & PR Agency. “The experiences you create during the customer journey will differ for each customer type and each product,” says Alvarado-Miranda. “Each communication method will also create a different experience.”
While reviews with customers after projects are completed offer an opportunity to evaluate each customer experience, Alvarado-Miranda recommends also checking in while engagements are in progress.
This allows you to make sure you address issues immediately and will improve the experience even if a client is not satisfied at first.
Understand the Pain Points of Each Buyer Persona
Another key to creating experiences according to Alvarado-Miranda is to figure out the pain points for each persona and what you can solve. This will lead to earning their trust—a key factor in creating experiences. Each positive interaction leads to a better experience.
“For those who rave about their experience, ask for testimonials and if they will participate in joint press opportunities,” recommends Alvarado-Miranda. “This not only gives you exposure but also helps promote their business.”
Other factors that contribute to customer experiences include delivering on commitments, communicating milestone achievements, and confirming if clients agree on what you have delivered and achieved. “Nurture experiences throughout the entire customer lifecycle so they remain a strong advocate through the ups and downs of their journey,” adds Alvarado-Miranda.
Get Qualitative Feedback to Measure Customer Experiences
Another recommendation from Alvarado-Miranda is to determine the preferred way each customer likes to be contacted (email, text, phone) and how often they want you to communicate.
You should also narrow the information you present to each customer so they are not overwhelmed, which can sometimes cause customers to disengage.
For measuring the success of a marketing program, customer experience KPIs such as sales numbers and data on how customers come into the pipeline and how they are closed can help. But Alvarado-Miranda recommends focusing on what customers tell you in one-to-one discussions.
“You can get a qualitative sense for whether customers have had positive experiences by listening to what they think you did well and what you can improve on,” says Alvarado-Miranda.
“And just getting a customer to offer honest feedback is an accomplishment; it gives you the ability to build more meaningful experiences.”
The Power of an Experience Compared to Presenting Data
Darren Zwack, Vice President of Marketing for Nureva, a company that audio conferencing solutions, adds to the advice from Alvarado-Miranda by emphasizing why it’s important to create customer experiences. “So much of marketing is trying to be remembered given the onslaught of information that hits people,” Zwack says.
“An experience that’s done right at an emotional level forms a memory hook that’s much more effective than information or facts. Experiences trigger our minds to respond much more so than data can achieve.”
When developing any marketing program or asset, Nureva always considers the experience they are creating. This involves the context in which prospects will experience the content, the device(s) they will use, the time of day they will get the messaging, the application/platform delivering the messaging, and what’s going through their minds as they sought out this content.
“Don’t just create an asset, think holistically about the environment,” Zwack recommends.
One of the more effective experiences Nureva created is a conference room image on their website that includes an icon visitors can slide back and forth to see how Nureva microphone coverage compares to one of their competitors.
Many visitors play with the slider, and it gives them a visual experience to convey the value Nureva delivers, which can’t be matched by bulleted information on a data sheet.
Customers Crave Great Experiences
As you plan to create great experiences for your customers, one of the things you have going for you is that customers crave experiences and are looking to buy products and services that deliver true experiences.
Delivering value for the investments customers make into your product and services, and making their rides enjoyable is not a slam-dunk, but it’s a mission that will greatly expand your repeat business and prompt your customers to tell others about the experiences you have created.