Delivering a unified customer experience has been shown to improve revenue, increase customer satisfaction, and elevate brand preference. Great. But before you can deliver a unified customer experience, what defines it? How do you create one or build one for your buyers? How do you know if it is unified or good enough?
It’s not easy to tell until it’s too late.
When building and marketing solutions, think about how to connect with buyers at every stage of the buying journey. That starts with the very first time they find you after a Google search. How to deliver a good experience? As marketing pro, author, and CEO of TopRank Marketing, Lee Odden says, “Be the best answer.” Ensuring that you are the best answer on Google or other search platform starts you off on the right path. Providing a helpful and relevant answer to a question or search is essential, but it’s only the beginning.
1. Understand the entire buyer journey
Know your buyer. Easy, right? No, it’s not easy and it’s becoming more and more challenging especially in B2B organizations where the buying committee has grown. Buying scenarios involving just one or two people used to be the norm. However, today they represent just 18% of purchases according to Forrester. This change also means an increase in the number of buyer interactions, jumping from 17 in 2019 to 27 in 2021. That equates to a lot of challenges to consider and content to develop to help buyer get answers along the journey.
If you can’t identify and understand the individual needs of buyers who are seeking your solution, you need to do that first. You can’t create compelling content at each touchpoint for each buyer without that. How to do that? Basic buyer persona won’t cut it. Find out where your buyers seek information, who they trust, what they read, and understand their pain points and buying triggers. You won’t get this information from speaking to your top sales rep or your customer success manager.
Dig deeper and go right to the source. Ask customers you’ve won, prospects you’ve lost, and partners for their answers. Pull valuable insights from those answers and you can build a meaningful persona that will help you understand your buyer. That’s how to start to build a unified customer experience.
Ecosystems include technology, marketplaces, systems, software, and the people that tie it all together. Headless commerce and SaaS technology are the way to ensure that solutions connect easily, but also, are always on. What good is integrating tech stacks and breaking down silos if there is downtime to update a system or configure a server?
Connections need to be easy to configure to ensure agility across the organization. SaaS enables organizations to be responsive and able to make changes quickly to meet evolving needs. For example, if a new marketplace or partner is essential to break into a new market and meet buyer demand, you can’t afford to wait months, let alone years to get it up and running. The days of yearlong implementations or shelf-ware should be a thing of the past. No-code or low-code connectors make this possible and help continue that unified customer journey, without disruption.
Part of a unified customer experience is consistency. This means establishing a cohesive brand experience from content to customer engagement and beyond. Buyers expect to get the same “feel” from a brand whether it is in a physical store or showroom, online, or via a customer success agent. Omnichannel is the way of world today. That cohesive and consistent messaging, branding, and images all convey trust for a buyer and that matters.
Insights from a recent survey from Acquia showed, “Without strong brand governance and oversight into all the content you’re publishing, the customer journey can become confusing and frustrating, sending your audience off to a competitor.” This all ties back to understanding the entire buyer journey and ensuring all elements are connected.
A unified customer experience won’t happen overnight, but when you these align key elements, it becomes possible. Remember to think about the buyer journey first, always dig deep to understand your buyers and their pain points. Then, ensure you can connect everything from the people, process, and technologies. Otherwise, nothing will deliver the experience you are seeking. Finally, stay consistent. Cohesive messaging, content, and look and feel build trust and help a buyer feel confident.
Focus on those three areas, and you are on your way to delivering a unified customer experience. This pays off via higher customer satisfaction, and ultimately, more revenue.
Learn more about how leveraging no-code solutions like OneTeg to connect platforms can help speed integrations and deliver a unified customer experience.