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What is customer experience marketing?

Last updated

30 April 2024


Dovetail Editorial Team

Reviewed by

Hugh Good

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Have you had a brand interaction that was so good it turned you into a loyal advocate? Maybe they surprised you with a birthday treat or threw in an unexpected bonus with your purchase. Whatever it was, it left you feeling so good that you were no longer just a customer but a loyal fan.

That’s the power of the customer experience (CX).

You can bring that same magic to your own brand and turn it into a powerful marketing strategy through customer experience marketing (CXM). It helps you attract new customers and turn them into brand advocates.

Learn more about customer experience marketing, why your brand needs it, and how to create a strategy that elevates your brand to the next level.

What is customer experience marketing?

Customer experience marketing goes beyond traditional marketing tactics that primarily focus on promoting products and services. Instead, it prioritizes creating positive and memorable interactions with customers throughout their entire journey with your brand.

CXM doesn’t view customers as numbers or their purchases as a way to fulfill sales targets. It acknowledges the customer as an individual with needs, preferences, and emotions.

The core objective is to build a genuine connection with the customer that shows you value their business.

CXM fosters long-term customer relationships. You achieve this by creating positive customer experiences at every touchpoint they have with your brand, from initial brand awareness to post-purchase interactions. These experiences should be helpful, informative, and delightful.

This marketing strategy is all about emotional connection. Consistently exceeding customers’ expectations and prioritizing their satisfaction creates loyalty and turns them into brand advocates. They continue to buy from you while also recommending you to others, fueling organic growth and positive word-of-mouth marketing.

The three parts of the customer experience

An impactful customer experience is built on customer interactions, emotional connections, and customer perceptions.

Customer interaction

This includes all the touchpoints a customer has with your brand, from the first time they hear about your products and services through their interactions with you after they make a purchase.

These interactions can occur online through websites or social media, offline through in-store experiences or events, and through marketing efforts such as email campaigns and direct mail.

The key to creating positive customer interactions is creating a frictionless experience at every touchpoint. Your website should be easy to navigate, your sales reps should be helpful and friendly, and your marketing materials must be engaging and relevant to the customer’s needs.

Emotional connection

Customers are relationships, not transactions. This means your brand’s interactions with the customer should focus on the emotions they evoke. You want these interactions to create positive emotions like trust, joy, and relief throughout the customer journey.

An emotional connection creates loyalty and strengthens your bond with your customers.

Customer perception

This is how your customers view your brand based on all their interactions with you and the emotions those interactions have evoked. Their perception also includes how they view your brand’s values, personality, and trustworthiness. Ultimately, it will determine if they would recommend your brand to others. 

You can transform your brand from a competitor vying for the customer’s money to a trusted and admired company by focusing on all three elements of the customer experience.

Positive interactions lead to positive emotional connections, ultimately creating favorable customer perceptions. This cycle builds loyalty and brand advocacy, creating customers who come back for more and spread the word about their experiences.

What are the main advantages of customer experience marketing?

In a competitive marketplace, CMX can unlock big benefits for your brand. This marketing strategy is worth the effort because it can deliver several advantages. Here are some of them:

  • Higher customer retention: CXM builds trust between the customer and the brand. Happy, trusting customers are more likely to stick with your brand in the long term. This reduces customer churn and helps ensure a more predictable, stable revenue stream.

  • Higher customer lifetime value: loyal customers are repeat customers who will spend more with your brand over time. Customer experience marketing can encourage them to repurchase, upgrade to premium offerings, or explore new products and services within your brand ecosystem. That means a higher customer lifetime value and better profitability.

  • Better feedback: focusing on customer experience marketing allows you to gather customer feedback through surveys, reviews, and social media mentions. Their feedback can give you valuable insights into their needs and preferences so you can improve their journey in the future.

  • Stronger brand reputation: as always, word-of-mouth advertising is the best marketing your brand can get. CXM focuses on fostering word-of-mouth advertising by building a stronger brand reputation. A good reputation attracts more customers and turns them into brand advocates, too.

  • Reduced marketing costs: happy customers require less marketing because a competitor will have a harder time turning their head. That frees up your marketing budget to focus on other strategies, like reinvesting in the customer experience.

How to build a customer experience marketing strategy

Exceptional customer experiences don’t happen by accident. They require careful planning and collaboration throughout your organization. Then, you need to know how to turn those positive interactions into powerful marketing.

Ready to transform your brand into a customer experience powerhouse? Focus on the customer experience and follow these steps to develop a CXM strategy that builds strong relationships, drives business growth, and positions your brand for long-term success.

1. Know your customers

Building strong customer experiences starts with understanding who your customers are and what they need. The more you know about them, the better you can tailor your marketing.

You can gather customer insight in the following ways:

  • Analyze demographic data like age, location, and interests to understand your customer base. Look at their online behavior to see which channels they use and how they interact with your brand.

  • Conduct online surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews to gather direct feedback from customers. Ask them about their needs, preferences, and pain points.

  • Use customer relationship management (CRM) data to track a customer’s purchase history and identify buying patterns. You can reveal valuable trends about what appeals to your customers and when.

Combine this information to create detailed customer profiles that paint a clear picture of your ideal customer.

Next, you can map out their customer journey, including every touchpoint they have with your brand. Include the initial awareness stage and move through post-purchase interactions.

By visualizing your customer’s journey, you can identify areas for improvement and ensure their experience is seamless at every stage.

2. Build an emotional connection

Now that you understand your customer and their journey, you can start creating positive emotional connections at each touchpoint. Part of doing this is creating a compelling brand story.

The narrative about your brand goes beyond listing your projects and services. It involves expressing your brand’s core values and identifying how you can positively impact your customers’ lives.

Infuse your brand story with emotions that resonate with your customers. Is your brand all about creativity? Focus on the feelings brought on by self-expression. Or maybe your brand is about building peace of mind. In this case, focus emotional connections on relief, calm, and security.

Use your brand story and customer data to personalize your marketing messages and customer interactions. This could be as simple as recommending products based on purchase history or tailoring your content to the customer’s interests. Even small gestures like addressing customers by name can make a big difference.

Your internal team also plays a part in fostering emotional connections. Train your sales and customer service representatives to be empathetic and understanding. Empower them to go the extra mile to resolve issues and create positive experiences. A happy team is more likely to have happy customers.

3. Monitor your reviews

Positive customer experiences naturally lead to more online reviews. You can gain valuable insight into what your customers think of your brand by actively monitoring your reviews. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Track reviews across multiple platforms: use reputation management tools to monitor reviews from Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, and any relevant industry-specific platforms.

  • Learn from positive reviews: positive reviews build trust and credibility. They also act as digital word-of-mouth recommendations, encouraging potential customers to choose your brand.

  • Learn from negative reviews: look for recurring themes in your negative reviews. These themes can reveal areas where you need to improve your customer experience. Address these issues immediately and demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction. It could help you turn a negative review into a positive one.

4. Respond to reviews

Responding to reviews, both good and bad, should be part of your customer experience strategy. It’s about building two-way communication with your customers.

Aim to respond within 24 to 48 hours to show customers you value their feedback. Craft personalized responses for each review, thanking happy customers for their business and acknowledging any concern with empathy.

Turning negative reviews into a positive customer experience is key. Demonstrate a willingness to improve and offer solutions when addressing negative feedback. Show you care about your customers and want to actively work with them to resolve issues. This not only mitigates the impact of the bad review but also proves your commitment to customer satisfaction.

5. Use technology to gain actionable insights

Reviews are a wealth of information about your customer experience. You’ll need to put some technology to work to gain those insights and turn them into action plans.

Follow these steps:

  • Implement systems to track reviews across platforms and share them with everyone in your organization. This will allow all teams to see customer feedback firsthand and understand its impact on the customer journey.

  • Use sentiment analysis tools to categorize feedback as positive, negative, or neutral to reveal the emotion behind the review.

  • Use review analysis to identify themes and trends. You can use that information to see what customers love about their interactions with your brand and where they may be getting frustrated.

  • Turn feedback and analysis into actionable steps for improvement. Implement those improvements quickly and continue to monitor reviews to see how your customers respond.

6. Share your reviews

Now, you can harness your reviews and use them to fuel your marketing. Positive reviews offer many marketing opportunities when you leverage them effectively. Start by showcasing positive reviews and testimonials on your website, marketing materials, and social media platforms.

These act as social proof and build trust and credibility with potential customers. Video is a powerful form of social proof, so consider creating video testimonials featuring happy customers. Seeing real people share their experiences builds an authentic and powerful connection with potential customers.

You can cultivate more reviews by running contests and promotions that encourage customers to share their experiences. This user-generated content, which you can share with permission, showcases your brand.

All these happy customers become a powerful marketing strategy that spreads positive word-of-mouth recommendations to new potential customers.

7. Analyze and refine

Building a strong customer experience marketing strategy is an ongoing process. You’ll need to track key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure your strategy is effective. Track metrics such as:

  • Customer satisfaction score: measures how happy your customers are with specific touchpoints on their customer journey or their journey as a whole.

  • Net promoter score: gauges customer loyalty and the likelihood that they will recommend your brand to other people.

  • Customer lifetime value: calculates a customer’s total revenue over their entire relationship with your brand.

By analyzing customer data, feedback metrics, and reviews alongside these KPIs, you can identify areas where the customer experience excels or falls short. You can then adapt your strategy based on this feedback. This shows that your brand is committed to creating exceptional experiences that keep your customers coming back for more.

Best practices for customer experience marketing

Building a strong customer experience marketing strategy goes beyond promoting your products and services. It fosters a genuine connection with customers at every touchpoint of their journey with your brand. Keep these best practices in mind as you create your strategy:

  • Be true to your word: building trust with the customer is the foundation of a good customer experience. Ensure your marketing aligns with what your products and services offer. Delivering on those promises will help build trust and create loyal customers.

  • Go the extra mile: look for opportunities to exceed expectations whenever possible. It might be a small gesture like a handwritten note or a surprise upgrade. These unexpected moments create lasting impressions and build brand loyalty.

  • Have a solid customer service plan: equip customer service teams with resources and empower them to resolve issues efficiently. A well-defined customer service plan ensures a consistently positive experience for everyone interacting with your brand.

  • Address concerns promptly: while even the best brands in the world face problems, you shouldn’t let customer concerns linger. Respond to complaints quickly to demonstrate to the customer that you value their feedback and want to address their issue.

  • Share the love: showcase your positive reviews and testimonials on marketing materials and social media platforms. Positive customer experiences are social proof that builds trust with potential customers.

  • Humanize your brand: share stories and engage in conversations. Show that there are real people behind the brand to create more genuine connections with your customers. Building a sense of community is a great way to position your brand as something bigger than a nameless corporation.

Prioritizing these best practices will help you create a customer experience marketing strategy that fosters trust and loyalty.

Remember, a customer-centric approach is critical. Exceed your customers’ expectations, address their concerns, and build a community with them. You’ll be turning them into lifelong brand champions and establishing your brand’s long-term security.

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