The CMO’s 5-Step Guide to Boosting High-Quality Traffic and Customer Engagement

What is the cornerstone of sustainable growth and competitive advantage today?

The answer is that a business can benefit from technology in this digital age to attract high-quality traffic and engage customers effectively.

This guide is for all executives who recognize the critical role that strategic, data-driven customer engagement plays in their company’s success.

 

Understanding the Challenge of Getting High-Quality Traffic

The explosion of systems and platforms means that the digital landscape is crowded and noisy. With millions of websites vying for our customers’ attention, driving high-quality traffic that converts into loyal customers requires more than a scattergun approach to marketing.

It’s about delivering the right message, to the right people, at the right time. Well, at least that means that nothing has changed for marketing, doesn’t it?!

According to HubSpot, 61% of marketers consider generating traffic and leads to be their biggest challenge.

So why has this become even more challenging? Because consumer behaviour has evolved.

Today’s consumers are inundated with choices and information, making them more selective about where they direct their attention and loyalty.

They seek personalized experiences, and value authenticity and engagement over generic sales pitches. This shift demands a strategic overhaul of how companies approach customer engagement and traffic generation.


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Leveraging Data for Personalisation 

The key to unlocking high-quality traffic lies in data-driven personalization.

A study by Epsilon found that 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase a brand that provides personalized experiences.

By leveraging data analytics, marketers can gain insights into customer preferences, behaviour, and purchase history, enabling them to tailor their messaging and offerings.

Consider Netflix, which uses viewing data to personalize recommendations for its users. This data-driven strategy not only enhances user engagement but also keeps customers coming back for more.

By analyzing the vast amounts of data available to them, Netflix can predict what its users will enjoy watching next, leading to increased customer satisfaction and retention rates.

The Power of Content Marketing to Attract High-Quality Traffic

In Conclusion

Driving high-quality traffic and engaging customers in today’s digital landscape requires a strategic, data-driven approach. By leveraging personalization, content marketing, SEO, and social media, and by measuring the success of these strategies, CEOs and CMOs can not only meet the challenge head-on but turn it into a significant opportunity for growth and differentiation.

Embracing these strategies requires a commitment to understanding your audience deeply, experimenting with different approaches, and continuously optimizing based on data insights. The rewards, however, are in terms of customer loyalty, brand strength, and business growth.

 


Would you like to make a quantum leap in your business by making small, atomic changes, such as reducing your information investments yet still knowing more about your customers; increasing your innovation success rate or optimising employee motivation and loyalty? Then CONTACT US TODAY. Your organization’s success could be at the end of our

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Providing Amazing Customer Journeys by Leveraging the Power of Technology

Customer journeys are evolving fast, and technology is at the forefront of this transformation, especially in the past couple of years, thanks to AI.

This post explores how businesses can embrace omnichannel experiences, self-service solutions, and data-driven personalisation to create amazingly seamless and unforgettable customer journeys.

I have also added examples illustrating some of the more successful implementations. Be inspired by these real-world illustrations of companies that have leveraged technology to build strong customer relationships and unlock new avenues of growth for your business.

 

Technology-Enhanced Customer Journeys

In the dynamic realm of modern business, the pivotal role of technology in shaping customer service has become undeniable.

Organisations adept at harnessing the potential of technological advancements offer seamless and personalised experiences and gain a distinct competitive edge in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape.

This article unveils the profound transformation of customer service in the digital age, underscoring how technology has revolutionised customer expectations and enabled organisations to deliver faster, more efficient and tailored support.

 

The Evolution of Customer Service in the Digital Age

The digital age has brought forth a sweeping transformation in customer service. Technology, the bedrock of this evolution, has spurred a revolution in customer expectations, compelling organisations to elevate their service standards.

By capitalising on technology, businesses can now offer swifter response times, enhanced efficiency, and personalised touches that cater to the individual preferences of their clientele.

As technology continues to advance, so do the expectations of today’s customers. A prime example of this is the seamless omnichannel experience offered by retail giant Nike.

By integrating web, mobile, social media, and in-store interactions, Nike has created a harmonious ecosystem that caters to customers’ preferred communication channels, resulting in a 40% increase in online sales.

This showcases how technology can amplify customer service, enabling organisations to meet customers where they are and provide a consistent, convenient, and personalised customer journey.

1. The Rise of Omnichannel Customer Service

In today’s digital landscape, omnichannel customer service has become a beacon of innovation and strategic importance. By seamlessly integrating multiple communication channels, including web, mobile, social media, and chat, organisations can provide a uniform and convenient customer experience. The synergy achieved through this integration nurtures customer satisfaction and provides invaluable insights into consumer behaviour and preferences.

As previously mentioned, Nike is one example of a brand that has successfully done this, but there are others. Starbucks is another industry trailblazer.

With its mobile app, customers can order ahead, earn rewards, and make payments seamlessly. This technological integration enhances convenience and deepens customer engagement, resulting in a staggering 40% of Starbucks transactions being conducted through its app today. This vividly illustrates how the convergence of channels empowers customers and fuels business success.

2. The Shift Towards Self-Service

The era of customers’ digital empowerment has fostered a discernible shift towards self-service options driven by the burgeoning demand for instant gratification and autonomy.

Organisations are now empowered to equip customers with comprehensive self-help resources, knowledge bases, interactive FAQs, and AI-driven chatbots that deliver … Click to continue reading

From Good to Extraordinary: Ignite Your Business with Personalized Customer Delight

It’s time to move from customer satisfaction to customer delight. After all, no one wants to be good when they can be great!

These days, providing a delightful, personalized experience for customers is no longer just a luxury—it’s a necessity for sustainable business growth. While every business is personal, which we would do well to remember, many companies shy away from truly getting close to their customers. Perhaps they’re afraid they will learn that they’re not as awesome as they like to think they are!

However, it is precisely through building strong engagement and trust that businesses can unlock their full potential.

It’s time for a paradigm shift in your approach to customer service, empowering your employees to exceed customer expectations, so they can drive sales, and foster long-term loyalty. (I wrote about this a few weeks ago; take a look at “4 Ways to Empower Your Employees to Give Outstanding Customer Service” for more details)

By understanding the importance of effortless customer journeys, personal connections, and continuous improvement, organizations can transform their customer service into a powerful growth engine.

 

The power of effortless journeys

Every touchpoint in the customer journey presents an opportunity to leave a lasting impression. To provide a truly personalized experience, businesses must go above and beyond mere satisfaction and aim for effortless interactions at every stage.

Understanding and anticipating customer needs is crucial to achieving this. By leveraging data, market research, and customer feedback, companies can gain valuable insights into their customers’ preferences, pain points, and desires.

Armed with this knowledge, businesses can tailor their touchpoints to meet and exceed expectations. Whether it’s a seamless online purchasing process, a user-friendly mobile app, or a responsive customer support system, every effort should be made to eliminate friction and make the customer’s journey as effortless as possible.

And the effort is worth it:

  • According to a study by Salesforce, 84% of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is crucial to winning their business.
  • Research by Accenture reveals that 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that provide relevant offers and recommendations.
  • A report by Deloitte found that companies that prioritize personalization see an average sales uplift of 10-20%.

 

Smiling for that personal connection 

Building genuine connections with customers is the cornerstone of exceptional customer service. A smile is one of the most powerful tools to establish this connection.

Even in a call centre environment, where interactions may be limited to voice-only, a smile can be heard through the phone and can significantly impact the customer’s experience. Encouraging customer service representatives to adopt a friendly, empathetic tone and providing them with the necessary training and resources to do so can make all the difference.

Customers appreciate feeling valued and heard, and a warm, personalized interaction can leave a lasting positive impression. By investing in employee development and creating a culture that values the human element of customer service, businesses can cultivate stronger relationships and inspire customer loyalty.

Building … Click to continue reading

The Power of Real-Time Feedback to Drive Business Success

In today’s fast-paced and customer-centric business environment, gathering real-time customer feedback and engaging in social media conversations are both vital practices.

These approaches enable organizations to gain valuable insights, enhance their products/services, and deliver the exceptional experiences our customers have come to expect. By actively listening to customers, organizations can meet customer expectations, drive loyalty, and gain a competitive edge. Here’s how.

 

Understanding the Value of Real-Time Customer Feedback

There are many benefits of real-time customer feedback, the two most important being:

The power of gaining timely customer insights: These are at the core of every customer-centric organisation. Real-time feedback allows organizations to stay agile, make informed decisions, and then respond quickly to changing customer needs.

According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, companies that leverage real-time customer feedback are 33% more likely to retain customers.

By promptly addressing customer pain points, organizations can reduce frustration and escalation, while at the same time enhancing satisfaction and loyalty. This increases both customer retention and revenue growth, two things every organisation wants.

Turning feedback into actionable improvements: Organizations can transform customer feedback into actionable improvements by employing techniques such as sentiment analysis, categorization, and prioritization. These methods help extract valuable insights that can then be used to drive meaningful change.

A leading e-commerce company revealed that analyzing customer feedback using sentiment analysis led to a 25% increase in customer satisfaction ratings. By systematically analyzing feedback data, organizations can identify trends, common issues, and areas for improvement, enabling them to prioritize and implement impactful changes.

 

Implementing Feedback Collection Mechanisms

There are numerous ways in which an organisation can gather real-time customer feedback. Here are three of the most popularly used ones:

In-app feedback and surveys: Collecting feedback directly within digital channels, such as mobile apps or websites, offers an organisation numerous benefits. By implementing in-app feedback prompts, targeted surveys, and pop-up questionnaires, they can capture customer sentiments in the moment. As a result, they gain valuable insights that can help them improve their offerings, without having to rely on the customer’s memory.

A survey conducted by Qualtrics found that 72% of customers prefer providing feedback within a mobile app.

Airbnb successfully collects in-app feedback on a permanent basis, as anyone who has used their service knows. It enables the company to enhance the user experience, resulting in continuous improvements and increased customer satisfaction.

Live chat and support interactions: Real-time feedback gathered during live chat and customer services interactions provides immediate insights into customer experiences. Organizations can leverage chat transcripts, agent feedback forms, and post-chat surveys to gather valuable feedback and measure customer satisfaction.

After implementing post-chat surveys, one telecommunications company recorded a 20% increase in customer satisfaction scores. People like being asked their opinion, especially when it doesn’t take much effort, as in near real-time questioning.

Post-interaction ratings and reviews: These also play a significant role in collecting real-time feedback. Encouraging customers to provide ratings and reviews immediately after their interactions, helps capture their experiences and sentiments while they … Click to continue reading

Win Online: 9 Ways to Make a Great Website that Engages More Successfully

What makes a great website?

What makes a website great for your customers?

What makes a website great for your potential customers?

The answers to these questions will help you to publish a successful website. One that encourages current and potential customers to find, see, like and then engage with your content. All of these are precursors to buying your products and services for many customers! 

I published a post on this topic many years ago, which included the seven elements that must be on your website. It is called “The 7 essentials of Customer Centric Websites.” and it still makes a useful (and short) read.

One of the major changes since then, is that today, with mobile more likely to be the screen of reference, we have gone from a “no scroll” to a “must-scroll” format. Words have given way to more images and now also to videos. We have gone from information to entertainment, from push to pull, and from “ours” to “theirs.”

Many articles about optimising websites talk too much about technology and usually include company rather than customer priorities. But you, fellow customer centricity champions, know that everything should start with the customer! So I’d like to build on my earlier post to lay out what it takes to win online these days.

 

9 Essentials of a Great Website

Checking a website is often the first step a customer makes when they are interested in buying a brand or learning about a manufacturer. Therefore we should ensure that ours responds to their needs, whatever the reason for their visit. I have chosen the nine essential elements of a customer centric website below.

Please let me know what you think, by adding a comment below.

1. It’s for the customer, not (just) you

Although your website is about you and your company and/or brands, it is your customers, both current and potential, that need to like it.

Therefore, start by thinking about for whom you are developing the site and what their desires and needs are. Use our  4W™ template to ensure that you go as deep as possible in your understanding of them. I also suggest you read “12 things you need to know about your target customers for more on what information you need to gather in order to describe them in depth.

 

 

2. An intuitive structure

We don’t have time to read, let alone learn how to navigate a website. Customers will leave if they can’t immediately find what they are looking for. This explains why many – dare I say most? – businesses have a 50% plus bounce rate. (See 20+ Average Bounce Rate Benchmarks -2022 update)

It may still be necessary to have a sitemap for those visitors who need help in navigating or are less logical. However, it no longer needs the prominence it once did.

Put it at the bottom of the page in the footer and don’t waste valuable real estate by placing … Click to continue reading

The New Qualities for Customer Service Excellence

The covid pandemic clearly highlighted those companies that truly care about their customers and which provide customer service excellence.

If a company claims to be customer centric, they must not just talk the talk, but walk the talk too. The pandemic gave many people more time to review from whom they bought and what services they were getting in return.

A few years ago I was prompted to question my own purchase decision of cable services from the Swiss company UPC-Cablecom. It had been known to have a  long-term deficit in customer service excellence versus its main competitor Swisscom. And as recent PWC research shows, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience.

Swisscom has made customer service their MSP (main selling point or value proposition) and they were renowned for putting their customers first. UPC-Cablecom, on the other hand, had until then, been trying to win customers through non-stop promotions and aggressive price cutting. In today’s connected world, especially where the internet is concerned, dissatisfied customers will be quickly heard – across the net.

Back to the incident that prompted this post. After a few days of being ignored by UPC-Cablecom – my perception at least, because my emails and phone calls were not being answered – I’m somewhat embarrassed to say that I resorted to Twitter.

More than five years ago, Twitter was first referred to as today’s customer service centre. Social media usually guarantees a quick response, since contacting customer services through the usual channels often results in no reaction for hours if not days.

What makes a great customer care centre?

Customers these days expect a response in minutes or hours rather than days. Research shows that nearly half of all customers (46%) expect companies to respond faster than 4 hours, and 12% expect a response within 15 minutes or less. And yet the average time to respond to customer service requests is currently 12 hours and 10 minutes! How do your own customer service response times compare? As you enjoy my blog posts I assume they are significantly better.

Most call centres are a frustrating, if sometimes necessary, experience for (often dissatisfied) customers to endure. In many cases, they are automated, with a long and complex self-selection process of button pushing to arrive at the department one needs – if you’re lucky that is!

But too often the result of all that effort is just a recording telling you to call back later as the department needed is not open at the moment, or that the collaborators are currently busy and to please stay on the line.

We are next subjected to music supposedly designed to calm our nerves, interspersed with messages suggesting alternative solutions to waiting in line. Go to the website to find a solution in their available FAQs, complete a contact form, or send an email. I find this insulting since I am sure most people only call after trying to find a solution … Click to continue reading

Packaging: Are You Using This Free Channel For Communicating With Your Customers?

Do you consider your packaging to be a part of the product, protecting its contents and framing its on-shelf life? Or do you consider it to be an integral part of your connection with your customers at an important moment of truth, that of purchase and usage? Or both of these?

If you answered both, then I believe that you are making maximum use of your packaging or at least you recognise its potential for communicating.

If you answered only one of the choices, then you may be missing an important opportunity. Let me explain, with a few examples.

 

People don’t read instructions

We all expect most things that we use or consume to be intuitive these days. In other words, we assume that we will understand how to build / cook / use them without reading the manual / instructions.

If you are like most people – myself included – this has nothing to do with the complexity of the product concerned. I myself will only turn to the instructions when something doesn’t work: I end up with left-over screws when mounting a flat-pack piece of furniture, or I can’t achieve multi-recordings on my smart TV or cable box.

In the article How Likely Are You to Read the Instructions they link behaviour to personality types. It makes an interesting read and offers at least some explanations as to why many (most?) of us still don’t read instructions.

Since the internet arrived, we have access to more and more information, and yet we seem to be reading less and less. Therefore as marketers, we need to ensure that any vital information we want to share, is clearly highlighted on the pack.

 

People do look at packs

Whether it is the cream we put on our faces, the cereal we eat for breakfast, or the dip that we offer to friends on match night, there are moments when we are faced with packaging for more than a split second. It is at these times that we are likely to read at least some of what is written on the pack.

It therefore makes sense to provide more than just a list of ingredients. After all you have your customer’s attention, so make use of it to impress or educate.

Here are a few of the best examples I have come across:

Nestle compass on Packaging is Part of Product or PromotionNestlé does a great job of providing useful information on their pack,s with their “nutritional compass.” This includes four different pieces of information: good to know, good to remember, good question and the nutritional data.

What I particularly like about what Nestle has done, is to combine mandatory information on nutritional values, with useful information for the consumer. Although they may not be the most consumer centric company around, at least they did think consumer first in the development of their “compass.”

Juvena message on Packaging is Part of Product or PromotionJuvena of Switzerland: The short message to “Enjoy the smoothness” on the back of the Juvena hand cream sample tube, makes the experience both … Click to continue reading

How to Make a Great Customer-Centric Web Design

Web design is a variable that changes as fast, if not faster than we can get our latest creation published!

In just the past twelve months, digital adoption has expanded five to ten times faster than was expected, thanks to the pandemic and lockdowns. This, together with the increased economic uncertainty and loss of predictability, has driven customers online in ever greater numbers.

This migration has further shifted the balance of power to the customer, who now has far more control of their relationship with brands. As if this weren’t challenging enough for marketing, customers have also become less loyal and more open to new experiences.  

That’s why it’s important for a brand to always be improving their online presence. Not the “rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic” type of superficial updates, but changes that make the experience better for current and potential customers. What are they? Read on to find out.

What Google wants

What Google wants, Google gets. Since it launched its core web vitals last year, some websites have dramatically increased their search result rankings (Like C3Centricity did!), while others have disappeared off the front page, and the following pages too!

Google announced the introduction of Core Web Vitals last year as a set of metrics related to speed, responsiveness and visual stability, the three most important ones for a good customer experience. These are:

  • Largest Contentful Paint: This is the time it takes for a page’s main content to load. An ideal LCP measurement is 2.5 seconds or faster.
  • First Input Delay: The time it takes for a page to become interactive. An ideal measurement is less than 100 ms.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift: The amount of unexpected layout shift of visual page content. An ideal measurement is less than 0.1.

Google said it would give six months notice before introducing these metrics, to give everyone time to adapt and improve their websites. I haven’t yet seen an announcement but I have seen changes in my rankings (for the better) so I am wondering if they have in fact already been introduced. Do you know if they have?

Taking the perspective of the customer

One of the most frequent reasons why websites fail is because the creator has not taken the perspective of the visitor.

The content has been designed by an organisation with the objective of distributing information that it wants to share with its current and potential customers. Not what they believe their customers might need or desire. And even less the differences between the needs of current and potential customers. Even when the customer is considered, it usually comes as an afterthought, often as a review the day before its launch!

Customer-centric web designs use customer input all along their development, not as a late-stage verification that customers can use it, which is what many companies measure. (if at all!) There are so many opportunities to see how customers are using our websites that there is no excuse for … Click to continue reading

How to Improve Customer Centricity in Hospitality

The title of this week’s post might surprise you. After all, the hospitality industry should be highly customer centric, as it relies on satisfying its guests.

However, it can learn a lot from consumer packaged goods (FMCG/CPG), as I shared with industry experts at a Faculty Day of one of the leading hospitality schools in Switzerland. Having spent most of my career in consumer goods, I was invited to share what the hospitality industry could learn from the industry. From the reactions at the end of my talk it seems that the answer is a lot!

It might surprise you, but the two industries have a number of similarities. They both (should) have their customers at their heart. And they are both founded on pleasing and hopefully delighting their clients in the quality of the products and services they offer.

During my presentation, I shared many ideas; here are a few of the points I covered:

 

#1. From ROI / ROR to ROE

There has been a lot of discussion in the past few years about the need to move from a return on investment to a return on relationships. While I agree with the importance of relationships, I believe that what we should be talking about is engagement. Despite many books touting the need for our customers to “Love” our brands, in reality, I’m not sure that any of us want to have a deep relationship with brands.

The relationship is based on more than just the brand. It is founded on trust and confidence in the product, the brand’s website and their engaging communications. Think Coca Cola and Red Bull as great examples of this.

 

#2. Build Relationships with Strangers

The hospitality industry is based on serving and satisfying its guests. But in today’s connected world it also needs to consider people who are currently strangers – but could potentially become guests. These may include the friends of past guests, who have heard about the hotel or restaurant and are interested in visiting it for themselves.

One good example of this, but I know many hotels are also doing it, is the Rosewood Mayakoba resort in Mexico. This wonderful hotel encourages its guests to photograph their experiences during their stay at the resort and then to post them on Facebook.

This not only provides free publicity for the hotel, but also enables it to start engaging future guests before they even arrive. In addition, the posts will certainly have a positive influence on website visitors. And the guests who publish their photos, will have an even stronger positive impact on their friends and followers.  After all, they will more than likely have similar tastes and desires.

 

#3. Value is more Important than Price

Having additional control of our lives today, means that customers are re-evaluating what they are offered. They have higher expectations and are more discerning in their choices. They expect recognition at every touchpoint, even if in reality their decisions are influenced by … Click to continue reading

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