From the increase in the popularity of omnichannel, to the continued growth of e-commerce and social media marketing, much of customer experience has gone digital. To stay competitive and win new customers in 2021, your business needs to optimise your digital offering with the latest tech, tools and teachings…

Optimising the online experience

Last year, businesses across the globe were forced to digitise their operations to meet the online demand brought about by widespread lockdown – and it seems this trend is set to continue for the foreseeable future. This means that ensuring your online operations are running efficiently is more important now than ever before. So, how can you achieve this? Well, many businesses have begun adopting the omnichannel model to optimise their online strategy. Omnichannel involves combining all customer touch points into a single integrated customer journey that drives increased purchases and long-term loyalty.

The number of companies investing in the omnichannel experience jumped from 20% to more than 80% in 2020.[1]

To implement an omnichannel strategy, start by researching the channels most popular with your target audience, such as social platforms like LinkedIn and Instagram, as well as sales platforms like Amazon and eBay, and then begin utilising these channels to engage with your prospects, promote your content, and sell your products and services. Given emotional connection is one of the key drivers to long-lasting loyal customer relationships, you should also find ways to humanise each touch point across your omnichannel journey to increase brand intimacy. There are a number of ways to achieve this – from encouraging your online customer service representatives to make conversations less scripted, to utilising powerful personalisation tools…

Delivering the personal touch

Personalisation is an incredible tool for driving engaging customer experiences (CX) – which is why you should be using it in your 2021 comms as much as possible. With this in mind, ensure you’re adding a personal touch to your emails and sales calls by including tailored information for each prospect and customer. Be sure to mention any personal information you’ve remembered from previous communications – such as their hobbies and interests. You should also reference the specific challenges you know they are struggling with at their business, and explain how your product or service can help them to overcome it.

It’s also worth noting that the latest technologies are opening up whole new avenues of hyper-personalisation that could have a significant impact on your customer relationships. For example, you can now purchase website personalisation software which can be used to target your prospects and customers with bespoke messages, images or personalised offers on your website, enabling you to connect with new customers – without having previously spoken to them.

Connecting with the digitally conscious customer

As e-commerce continues to soar in the wake of coronavirus, customers are ever-more comfortable building relationships with brands and making purchases in the online world. So, in 2021, finding new ways to connect to the digitally conscious customer is key. If your business is among many who have already began digitally transforming, then now is the time to nurture and develop your online operations – just as you would in your physical premises.

95% of consumers want to engage with their loyalty programme using emerging technology like chatbots, AI, VR and smart devices.[2]

For example, if you’ve already begun optimising your website with chatbots to increase accessibility, then now might be the time to invest in new chatbot tools like ‘conversational commerce’. This will enable your business to guide customers throughout the buying journey using a specially trained chatbot, who can do everything from using the customer’s name to add a personal touch, to suggesting relevant products and services depending on the customers’ unique needs. This is not only cost-effective, but it also makes for a swift, supportive and simple buying journey that will keep your customers coming back.

Providing a simple customer journey
Over the previous year, we’ve spent more time on our devices, which means your customers and clients have as well. When your customers land on your website, it’s important that they’re able to self-serve information as easily as possible, with a distinct user journey. For instance, if you’re offering a service, if your customer is able to diagnose the appropriate solution for them and then book an appointment with a member of your team without the need for calling or emailing, this will enhance their customer experience and further build on your brands reputation

Make every day exceptional with an M&S Gift Card

At M&S Corporate Gifts, we want to help your business make 2021 a year to remember. That’s why we offer the perfect way to recognise and reward customers – no matter where they are. Our e-Gift Cards and e-Codes can be sent electronically, and can empower your customers with the freedom to choose the most meaningful gift for them from a huge range of luxury products online. From our cosy home range, to our fabulous selection of activewear and notepads, there really is something for everyone at M&S.

Find out how your business can make your customers smile and your bottom line grow in 2021 and beyond – simply contact 0330 0580 734, or email anna.leng@mands-corporategifts.co.uk today.

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielnewman/2020/06/23/4-actionable-customer-experience-statistics-for-2020/#32b0968b1a84

[2] https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2020/05/07/50-stats-that-show-the-importance-of-good-loyalty-programs-even-during-a-crisis/#a505f6724106