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The Agile Marketer: Turning Customer Experience Into Your Competitive Advantage

Why Marketing Needs to Adapt

Why do marketers need a new approach? With the rise of social media, marketers entered an era of heightened exposure in which any kind of product or brand failure has the potential to echo virally and at lightning speed through the marketplace. This vulnerability has intensified the pressure on companies to treat customers better and to share information with them in a more transparent manner. And the information sharing has evolved to include the active solicitation of feedback to incorporate at increasingly earlier stages of the product cycle. Many refer to this period as the “age of the empowered customer.” In this book I’ll explain how it’s also poised to be an “age of the marketer.”

This heightened exposure has certainly benefited the customer, but it has also benefited those companies that have organized themselves to harness customer feedback to quickly improve their products and services. Those companies that can meet and exceed customer expectations (that is, create a great customer experience) have a competitive advantage. Because marketers play a critical role as a conduit between the customer and the company, they are positioned to have a greater role in the business than ever before. In fact, if they get it right, they have an opportunity to serve as the steward of the overall customer experience.

Many marketers are starting to recognize this possibility. But few would claim to be close to achieving this stewardship role. The truth is, there are far more companies that don’t get it right. If anything, they are undermining How Development Methods Influence Marketing the customer experience. But let’s consider for a moment what kinds of customer experiences trigger criticism and harsh responses. No doubt some of these examples will ring a bell for you:

• The company whose software you use to organize your photos does a major relaunch of its site with no warning, and suddenly you can’t find all of your photos. You visit their community to find that many users are having the same issue, but no one seems to have a definitive answer on how the new system works.

• You buy a product from the manufacturer, only to have one of its retailers offer you the same product at a discount a week later. You e-mail customer support; they are unaware of the promotion and unwilling to offer you a refund.

• You reach out for customer support on Twitter, go through the process of mutual “following” so that you can direct-message and then explain the issue, only to get redirected to another channel where you have to start all over again.

• You research a product online and find some great reviews, but you’ve also spotted some dismal ones, and the company has not responded to the concerns. You reach out on social media to hear from the company, but they don’t respond.

• You visit an online clothing retailer and browse its entire sweater catalog. The company follows up with a series of e-mails containing offers, but none are for sweaters. You then pass by one of the company’s retail stores on your way to work and discover that there was a storewide sale over the weekend.

• You call one of your phone service provider’s retail locations to ask if it does handset exchanges in-store. The representative says “yes” and tells you to come over, but when you arrive you discover there’s an hour wait for service. The clerk asks for your phone number but then tells you that you have to stay in the store in order to keep your appointment. When your turn finally comes up, the clerk informs you that in-store exchanges are subject to a restocking fee that does not apply to online exchanges

 

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Author: aralya

Loving person, people watcher & listener, german teacher, enjoys working @Books Express Write me an e-mail at bogdana@books-express.ro

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