We need to talk. About your customers. About your competitors. About your performance.
eally is is r nt. Th Im portaSo close down Minimise your Flip your Phone And give us (It’s worth it).your email. Twitter client. face down. four minutes.
12 4 2This is about thesingle most importantdeterminent of yoursuccess over the next12 to 24 months.Not one of the The single mostmost important. important
How do we knowit’s so important? Here’s a little story…
There’s a ratherremarkable company that conducts allof its business online. You’ve probably heard of it. Actually, this company does a lot of things well. But it does one thing better than any other company in the world – online or offline.
Its products are not unique In fact, the vast majority of them areidentical to most of its competitors’ products. (Not ‘similar’, identical.) (BTW: your products probably aren’t unique either.)
s are t price ut noTheir ent, be xcell ble. un beata If you shop around, you’ll probably find a competitor that matches them.
Over 66% of their business is from repeat buyers(and they still add thousands of new customers each month).To put that in context, the average ecommerce company earns just 7% of its business from repeat customers. So we’re talking nearly ten times the loyalty of its average competitor. Ten times.
What this company doesso well is simple and obvious for all to see.
The company is Amazon. And the thing that sets themso far above almost everybody else is Customer Experience.
It’s no secret.Jeff Bezos talks about it in almost every interview. But even though it’s public knowledge, they’ve still managed to maintain this advantage for over a decade.
Think about that.A company with me-too products and pretty good pricing is slam-dunking almost every market they enter. And they’re doing it by focusing on a single factor that everybody knows about.
There are no secrets to the Amazon success.It’s all about customer experience.
How does this apply to you? Directly and indisputably. For three reasons:
1) Your products are notas unique as you think. And even if they were, that advantage is likely to be as perishable as an ice cube on the back seat of your car on a hot summer day.
2) Your customers control the buying process entirely. They educate themselves. They price compare.$ They shop around. And even if they do visit your website – they can click away in a microsecond. $ $
3) Their experience with you – in all channels – determines what they buy. And when. And whether they come back. And how many friends they tell. It doesn’t just contribute to these decisions, it determines them.
ean we m ng what is bei ee ut th ? S o ab hugeCustomer Experience is everything. And, these days, online customer experience – – including mobile and tablets, of course – – is the biggest part of that. (There is a mountain of data supporting this idea but do you really need the numbers to know in your bones that it’s true? If so, get in touch – we’ve got the proof points.)
Ashley Friedlein of Econsultancy says it with characteristic incisiveness:“ Competitive advantage and sources of success have moved over the decades from manufacturing and distribution (Ford, Tesco etc), through information advantages (Google, MBNA etc) to where we are now where, arguably, customer experience is the differentiating source of success and dominance (Apple?).”
Okay.Pause for breath.Consolidate learning so far:The three most important things in your business are,in no particular order: 1.Customer Experience 2.Customer Experience & 3.Customer Experience.
With that in mind, you’d think that every marketer and e-commerce maestro in the world would spend90 to 98% of his or her time on online customer experience.And that 89 to 94% of budgets would be spent making theonline customer experience as good as it could possibly be. (But if that were true, we wouldn’t need intemperate tantrums like this one, would we?)
In reality, there’s a huge, yawning gap between what ought to be true and what is true. Marketers spend far more time, energy and budget on generating traffic than they do converting that trafficinto lifetime value through a great customer experience. For every dollar spent on conversion, marketers spend $80 on traffic acquisition. -Forrester Research
$ Marketers also know that somecustomers are far more profitable than others. But, for most brands, these super-customers get the exact same experience as a first time visitor. (They might get more accurate offers and product recommendations or some stored preferences but essentially, the customer experience is identical.)
All this would be kind ofunderstandable (though stillsurprising) if online customer experience was really, really difficult to master. But it isn’t.
So this baffling failure to attack customer experience challenges head-on amounts to no less than – and it hurts to say it:Marketing Malpractice
If any other discipline in the world didso little to improve and measure their number one priority, they would beexposed, ridiculed, tarred, feathered and ridden out of town. Imagine a manufacturing director taking the same approach to her assembly line. Imagine a finance director sticking his finger in the air before putting any old numbers into his spreadsheet.
This is simple.The elements of a great online customer experience are well known:
People want your site to befast, intuitive and simple to navigate.
People want their experience to be personal and relevant to them.
People expect their value to you to be reflected in their experience.
People want their experience to be consistent wherever they meet you.
But most marketers are failing to rise to these challenges. They give every visitor the same experience. Ignoring everything they know about the visitor. They determine this mono-experience based on gut feel. On intuition. On a look at other sites. On a hunch.So customers drift off to the sites that know how to treat people. And the most profitable customers start behaving like the least profitable ones...
There are three ways to correct this state of affairs. And none of them are hard to do (if you’ve got the right processes and tools).
1) Personalize almost every online experience. By using what you know about each user to serve up the mostrelevant visitor journey, content, products and offers; and giving your VIP customers special treatment; and nurturing others so they become VIPs…
2) Test and Learn.You cannot possibly know the optimum user experience if you’re not testing. Not the occasional A/B test. Continuous, never-ending, multivariate testing.
3) Do this across channels. Not just on the web, but in email, and social channels… and mobile and tablets too.
We could drill down into each of these, but we promised we’d let you go in a few minutes. The important thing to go away with four simple and unarguable ideas. Then you can come around to our resource center and drill down to your heart’s content. Here are the four ideas:
1) Customer Experience matters.And, in an era when product differentiation is so short-lived, it matters more than anything else. If you’re spending a fortune driving traffic to your site anda pittance converting them to revenue, you need to re-think your priorities.
Hello 2) A gre experie at customer n persona ce is a lized on e.To ignore all the insights and behavioral clues that your customersgive you for free and not translate them into great, relevant online experiences is to squander one of your most precious assets. Amazon fuelled a global juggernaut with this simple idea.
3) The only way to deliver insanely great customer experiences is to test, test, test.Hunches are great. Years and years of accumulated knowledge are super. But only testing delivers the indisputable answers you need. Testing discovers things that even the smartest, most experienced ecommerce pro could never guess. Little things. Big things. Things that add up, over time, to serious conversion rate increases. To win market share over the next 12-24 months, you need to build testing into your brand DNA.
4) You need to apply this same rigor to all channels.A super-relevant, quick, intuitive website looks like a fluke if your mobile app is a dog. Or your social media content is clueless. Great is great. Consistently great is unbeatable.
Where do you go from here? This isn’t nearly as hard as it sounds. All it takesis the right mindset, a few sensible processes and a great online customer experience platform. We’re Maxymiser. We believe we’ve gotjust such a platform (and some solid advice about the mindset and processes too).
Of course, there are other tools to help you out there. Come check us out. Check out the other guys in and around this space.Then let’s talk about turning your online customer experience into a monster (a friendly, profitable monster).
About MaxymiserMaxymiser helps any online business create insanelygreat customer experiences that maximize revenue.Our cloud-based testing, personalization and cross-channeloptimization solutions serve billions of individual experiencesacross every digital channel to dramatically improve conversionrates and revenue.We’re pioneers in multivariate testing, segmentation, behavioraltargeting and product recommendations for web, mobile, socialand email.And we do it for some of the world’s most iconic brands,how can we help your business?Lets talk firstname.lastname@example.org