Every holiday season, brands face the colossal challenge of capturing customer attention in a more crowded than usual market—when December rolls around, it’s every brand for itself!
The key to standing out during this bustling month is through exceptional customer experience (CX), with a touch of personalization, customization, human connection, and convenience.
But what exactly is CX?
In simple terms, CX is how customers perceive their interactions with a company at any point in the buyer’s journey, whether it’s seeing an ad, making a phone call to customer service, or having an online chatbot conversation.
Every step of this journey is an opportunity to provide a memorable experience to the customer, and it’s crucial for building brand loyalty. Why? Because a positive experience can turn a one-time buyer into a lifelong advocate. But a negative one? Well, let’s just say that 52% of customers don’t stick around after bad experiences, so prioritizing exceptional CX should be a no-brainer.
Let’s examine what makes a memorable and engaging customer experience during the holidays.
What Makes Memorable Holiday CX?
The holidays provide a unique opportunity to create memorable experiences. Elements like personalization and customization are critical in connecting with customers and catching their attention.
Brands that excel in these areas, such as those offering customized gift options or tailored product recommendations, directly address the customer’s desire for unique and thoughtful purchases. For example, Starbucks, with its holiday-themed cups and flavors, creates a festive atmosphere that customers look forward to every year.
Another aspect where CX shines is in offering convenience during the hectic holiday rush. A streamlined, user-friendly shopping process, from product selection to final purchase, can transform potential frustration into deep customer satisfaction. Amazon has mastered this by providing fast, reliable shipping and a no-fuss return policy. This hassle-free approach is especially appealing during the holiday season when time is of the essence and customers are juggling more tasks than usual.
Beyond personalization and convenience, the ‘surprise and delight’ factor is always an essential part of great holiday CX. Brands that go beyond expectations to create moments of joy and wonder can create lasting connections with customers.
For instance, a clothing retailer could surprise online shoppers by including a small, unexpected gift in their order, or a bookstore might offer book recommendations based on past purchases, delivered and gift-wrapped in festive paper.
These small gestures make a big impact, turning ordinary shopping experiences into memorable stories that customers eagerly share. They embody the spirit of the holidays – giving, warmth, and a touch of magic. The holidays are inherently emotional, and brands that successfully integrate this emotion into their CX forge stronger connections with their audience.
Now, let’s dive into some insider tips and tricks for serving up outstanding CX (with all the trimmings) this holiday season.
Tips for Elevated CX During The Holidays
Great holiday CX starts with understanding your audience. Getting ahead of your customers’ needs and desires is like knowing your holiday dinner guests’ dietary preferences. You wouldn’t cook a turkey for your vegetarian friends or family, right? With comprehensive customer research and analysis, you can whip up a holiday campaign that suits everyone’s proverbial taste buds.
During busy seasonal rushes, holiday-specific CX strategies are essential. This planning might involve finding new ways to personalize the shopping experience and ensuring your website and apps are a breeze to navigate, especially on mobile—let’s face it, we all like the security blanket of doing last-minute shopping on our phones. Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) add another layer to this, helping to provide an experience that feels personal and effortless.
Still, don’t overlook the human element of excellent customer service. Your front-line team of Ambassadors is crucial in delivering excellent CX, so equip them with the skills and empowerment needed to handle customer queries effectively and empathetically. It’s about making every customer feel heard and valued while helping to reduce the stress of the busy holiday season.
After the holiday rush, keep the momentum going. Engage with customers well into the new year to show them they’re not just seasonal shoppers to you but valued patrons. Encourage them to return by reminding them of your brand’s value and what you offer through targeted, personalized marketing campaigns or special offers and unique communications.
Wrapping Up (Pun Intended)
According to PwC, nearly 80% of American consumers point to speed, convenience, knowledgeable help, and friendly service as the most important elements of positive CX.
How does your brand stack up in these areas?
Contact Activus Connect today, and let’s talk about how we can elevate your CX in time for the holiday rush.