I had a moment of surprise while reading an article from The Marketing Insider Group recently. It declared 2020 to be the “year of customer experience” and I wasn’t surprised by this in and of itself, but I was surprised by the fact that this is something that isn’t already central to every marketing strategy. After all, isn’t ensuring that your customers have a smooth experience throughout the entire buyer’s journey vital?
As I continued to read, I realized that several of the other “top trends of 2020” are things that are core components to Revenue River’s DNA and should feel pretty familiar for anyone who’s done Inbound Marketing. If you're not doing these things, it's okay, 2020 is the year to up your game! Here's where you should start:
Connect your efforts to your why
This 2020 "trend" is vital to your success and probably isn't new information. One of the books that is central to how Revenue River runs its business is The 4 Disciplines of Execution by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling. The first discipline is this: Focus on the wildly important. As in extraordinary results can only be achieved when you are clear about what matters most.
Here at Revenue River, we have a Wildly Important Goal (WIG) as a company and within every department and each person in the organization knows what measures they need to take in order to contribute to both their department goal and the company goal. This dedication to our WIGs differentiates us from other agencies, even according to other Inbound Marketing agencies:
"I found Revenue River’s 4DX (4 disciplines of execution) process fascinating. They managed to tie in everyone in the organization through a couple WIGs (Wildly Important Goals). They did this by identifying what everyone in the organization could do on a weekly basis to help hit those company goals. In their weekly meeting, they review the entire team’s numbers and are held accountable for them. By tracking this weekly, the team can easily spot problem areas that need to be corrected and see if they are on track to hit their WIGs. I loved that it involved everyone and really brought the team closer together in working towards those company goals. I’ve already started working out how we can develop our own version of this for TMR!” -Spencer Powell, President at Builder Funnel
But we don't stop at focusing on remembering our own "why" each and every day. We work with our clients to get crystal clear on what matters most to them and what we can do to help them achieve it. We connect every step of our marketing campaigns and projects to what we have established with our clients is their most important goal.
Obviously, delivering a great customer experience isn't a new concept and it's no surprise that 96% of marketing consider customer experience optimization to be somewhat important or critical. But customer experience is more than just making your website easy to navigate and ensuring you're using an omni-channel approach for a seamless user experience (although both are incredibly important!).
A fantastic customer experience is a core component of Inbound Marketing because customers who feel valued and understood are the customers who are going to bring repeat business and referrals. This means reaching your ideal customer where they are, knowing the problems they're facing, and providing them with the best solution for their problem, every time. It is a long-term commitment to doing what's best for your customers at every step of the customer journey, not just making sure your customer service positions are well trained. Inbound Marketing ensures that marketing, sales, and customer service are all aligned in providing the best customer experience possible, so that every time a customer interacts with you, they are left delighted and excited.
We've been writing about the importance of customer experience for a while now. If you want to learn more about providing a great customer experience, check out this 2017 post from The Cutting Edge, which is still every bit as valuable today as it was when it was written. Worried that your current customer experience is lacking? This article from Hubspot on defining a solid customer experience strategy is a great place to start.
Focus on customer retention, loyalty and advocacy
Focusing on customer retention, loyalty, and advocacy goes hand-in-hand with focusing on customer experience, so it should come as no surprise that these are integral elements of an Inbound Marketing campaign.
Customer retention has been a top priority for marketers and sales teams alike for years, but many skimp on the necessary tactics proven to increase customer retention. Think things like seeking client feedback (and, more importantly, actually doing something with it); sharing the right content on blogs and social that continues to help current customers achieve their goals and then interacting with those who comment on those blog and social posts; using chatbots and conversational marketing to engage with them showing them that you still care and want to meet them where they're at. These are thoughtful steps that you can take to show that you are continuously thinking about your current customers and that is what builds their loyalty.
Loyalty will be granted to those companies that make their customers feel like they are part of a community, and one where they feel important, unique and valued. - Ron Smith, the Digital Outdoorsman
Once you've proven to your customers that you're worthy of their loyalty, they will become your biggest advocates. There's a reason that marketers love to quote the statistics around the impact of word-of-mouth reviews and online reviews from real people: they have a tremendous impact on your referral rates! People trust people, not ads and marketing emails. If you've got customers who are out there singing your praises, your referral rate will skyrocket.
Want to explore other ways to increase revenue from your existing customers? Check out this article.
Other trending topics in digital marketing
Like I said in the beginning, these aren't digital marketing trends that are new or surprising if you're familiar with the Inbound Marketing methods, but there are super cool digital marketing tactics that are going to keep coming up in 2020! We've written about a lot of them on The Cutting Edge in the last year, some of my favorites include:
Here's to a successful new year!