The Customer Engagement Revolution In the E-Commerce Industry — Where Relationships Matter
This article guides you on how to leverage data to become an Engage-Oriented E-Commerce Company.
You are living a Technology Revolution.
Today you find a new tool, which is then history tomorrow. It is difficult to stay updated.
And what about your customers? Their buying behaviour is getting always more complex. It is difficult to follow them around their journey and consistently be present for them; which is what marketers do right?
You are living in the Age of Customers. You have to accept that the power has shifted to the consumers.
And you, as marketer, have experienced this during your journey. Let’s run through it together.
In the modern age you were mastering mass marketing; crafting a message and then send it to the whole audience. Then the advent of digital marketing in the internet revolution, which brought new technologies such as ad exchangers & programmatic advertising (Google Double Click, etc.). Today you are living the age of Intelligence marketing and companies who know how to leverage new technologies such as AI are mastering effectiveness marketing.
This revolution drives you, inspires you but it also scares you.
There is so much to digest: New technologies, new softwares, new business models…
And what if your competitors are better in leveraging this revolution?
In the E-Commerce space everything comes to Customer Experience. Build a 1:1 relationship with each and every single of your clients is key to be successful.
You must have a clear overview of your buyer’s persona. What does he/she look like? What is their shopping experience with your company?
Consumers expect a new level of engagement from you. They are more likely to buy from companies delivering custom content. They are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t anticipate their needs.
Therefore is not anymore about advertising everywhere but it is about engaging.
How could you become Engage-Oriented? Leverage the data.
By the same moment you bring your shop online you are starting to get data from customers and prospects. You are receiving leads from your marketing efforts. Your are bringing people at the shopping cart, sometime they leave, sometime they buy. Your store is now a box full of information. If you are able to leverage the data you will gain a competitive advantage.
What we are going to discuss here in this article is indeed how to leverage the information to engage with your audience to gain a better competitive position.
Let’s bring on the table some statistics….Only 1% of companies analysed their data and 77% of customers do not feel engaged.
This is a customer gap!
But don’t be worried! I am not going to let you down, read this article and you won’t become a statistic!
Let’s work together! Down here you find a Customer Engagement Plan, from strategies, program, tactics and execution. We are going to understand it and then execute it.
Step 1: Discover your current situation
As every business that want to go from point A to point B you should firstly understand what point A looks like. The best tactic you could use is ASK! Ask to your clients directly. You can do this by creating a survey form (Google form, Qualtrics, SurveyMonkey, etc.) and send it to your customer inbox (you have their email!! ).
Like every strategy we want to understand what is the outcome that we would like to achieve. Here some information that you definitely want to collect:
NPS: Check my last article in which I describe how to analyse the data to find what’s your NPS value.
Satisfaction of their Online Shopping Experience
Areas of improvement
Level of your customer support
Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
When you are writing the questions for the survey you should try to be as coincise as possible and avoid open questions. The only open question you might want to ask is about areas of improvement. Something like: “An open feedback from your side will be greatly appreciated”
Now that you have collected all this information you have to analyse the data. The objective here is to get a picture of your current situation. Hopefully everything is great! However if some areas are not as you expected, there is some work to be done.
Step 2: Define Objectives & Plan
At this point you know where you should focus your efforts.
Hence, it is time to define the objectives. Something that can be measured in a specific time period, like: Achieve 80% CSAT by the end of 2018.
Most of the time E-Commerce entrepreneurs who try to beat this target are focusing on Product Quality, Fast Shipping & Customer Service.
Step 3: Execution Plan
In this phase you should write down the strategies and tactics that you are going to use to meet your objectives. Think as a firm!
Let’s bring back the example of a typical E-Commerce entrepreneurs. Increase Customer Satisfaction can be driven by a better Customer Engagement. Your customers can be engaged at various points with your company: during Operations, Service, Sales & Marketing.
Let’s discover how should you engage for each departments.
Sales & Marketing: Use AI to leverage data. Score your leads based on the amount of customer interactions and the quality of those. Don’t try to sell to someone not ready to buy.
In order to increase the customer engagement here you should have a clear overview of your customer. Shopify has a basic database but if you are looking to expand your team and increase your revenue you should definitely look at the CRM space. An example of software is Salesforce, MS Dynamics, Hubspot.
Here some example of engagement points:
Website: Deliver content through your blog. Build a customer community where everyone can ask and answer questions. Make your clients feel part of your brand as well.
Email: Send targeted emails based on customer preferences. Don’t sell sports accessories to someone who hate it and never bought anything ever related to it from your store.
Push Notification: Send smart notification via SMS to your customers & prospect, executing your cross-sell and up-sell strategy.
Service: Once you attract your prospect (marketing) and you convert it (sales) then what?
You wanna keep it! The key is Customer Service.
Again, if you want to create a long term asset you must have a Customer Service department. Do not underestimate it. A lot of entrepreneurs hire a bounce of VAs without a clear structure and KPIs.
Therefore it is critical to set SLAs (Service Level Agreements) with your service team in order to resolve cases within 24 hours. For every case, a ticket should be created in order to be processed by the right agent at the right time. It is important also to keep track of Frequently Asked Questions.
Your customers don’t want to call you every time there is a problem, and neither do you. In fact, research shows that a service enquiry has a different cost based on how it is executed. Handle a customer case by phone can cost around 5$, while a case completed in an self service system around 50 cent. Therefore again you should use the data to build knowledge base environment in your customer community to increase CSAT.
Operations: Of course Customer Satisfaction in the Retail industry is also about delivering the best product and the shortest possible time. For this you must find the right partner. You are growing and you need certain grade of flexibility. It is no possible to create everything in house. At this point it is fundamental to look for softwares that can automate your operations. An example of automated software is uDroppy, an advanced platform used by people like you to source products, import them to the stores, manage and fulfil orders in a few clicks; everything in just one tab on the browser.
You live in a Customer engagement revolution, where relationships matter.
Understand your current situation, set objectives, write down a plan and then execute it. Do it consistently and always raise the bar of Customer Experience.
As I said at the very beginning, this technology revolution might scare you. Think about what is your passion, what keep you pushing harder and harder every single day and keep it safe, do not outsource it. If you are a passionate marketer might be about Marketing itself. Therefore, focus on Marketing and choose the best partners to manage all the rest.
At uDroppy we are helping E-Commerce Entrepreneurs doing exactly this by managing the entire Supply Chain for them, from sourcing products to shipping to the final consumer; everything from one single platform.
We share insightful strategy to become successful in this industry. Check the Ultimate Touchdown Strategy here.
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