We’ve all heard the old phrase “the customer is always right.” It may be cliche, but in an era where personalization and experience are increasingly vital to every aspect of business, the old phrase has more clout than ever.
The truth is, the customer is everything. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to function. Even B2B business would dry up because, sooner or later, that B2B turns into B2C, and without that all-important “C,” you’re going to have issues.
User-Centric: Putting the Customer First
The “user-centric” concept has been growing in popularity as tools and technology enable companies to create increasingly intimate and personalized messages that allow the customer to feel valued, heard, and intimately cared for. Everything from a company’s products and services to their website, customer service, and marketing plans should all revolve around the user, from their design to the experience that it delivers.
This user-centric strategy isn’t simply a survivalist necessity in order to retain customer loyalty in a crowded marketplace. On the contrary, the benefits of a focus on user-centric design and experience are numerous and quite far-reaching.
For instance, utilizing research and testing with users on the front end of development facilitates a more efficient creation of new products and services. Using a user-centric approach allows new offerings to be specifically tailored to meet customer needs more effectively while simultaneously avoiding wasted materials and manpower in the development process.
In addition, engaging in “conversational commerce” in an attempt to offer products and services that truly meet the needs of the user increases customer loyalty, giving your brand a leg up over the competition.
While the benefits of a user-centric focus are well-established, integrating it into a marketing strategy can be challenging. Here are a few tips and suggestions for ways that companies can tailor their marketing towards the end user.
Every company has a social presence these days. But just because you have a social profile — even one that you post on regularly — doesn’t mean your company is taking full advantage of the user-centric experience that social media allows an enterprise to tap into.
Social media enables companies to highlight their human side, expressing emotions and opinions that allow customers to resonate with the causes that each espouses. Social media allows a company to interact with customers on an individual basis, sharing passions and beliefs that can help build customer loyalty and retention. Click To Tweet
There are many ways to do this. First off, make sure you’re using the right social media outlets for your particular brand and industry. Pinterest and Instagram are excellent for a visual appeal, Twitter provides shallow yet cutting-edge information, and Facebook is where conversations, causes, and political messages tend to find a home.
Once you’ve identified the relevant channels, make sure to tailor your message with care. Look for values and opinions you share with both existing and potential customers, be a thought leader that brings quality information to the table, and so on. Above all, stay consistent in your engagement, accessibility, and tone.
E-mail is Still Relevant
Along with social media, email remains a powerful influence in an effort to deliver a user-centric experience, with 3.7 billion people sending electronic mail in 2017 alone. Once again, though, sending an email doesn’t automatically count as a user-centric marketing activity. You need to take the time to tailor your efforts as you go.
Make sure to keep your subject lines short and focused on questions or actions aimed at the recipient. Use the body of the message to communicate the features of your offering and then connect them to the benefits they provide for the user. Don’t forget to include a call to action, as well.
When it comes to the look and design of the email itself, make sure it’s compelling and representative of your brand, but also not so bold that it distracts from the message itself. Minimalism and simplicity are excellent ways to respect the reader and encourage them to focus on the message you’re trying to deliver.
User-Centric Web Design
A company’s website should always be designed with the user in mind. Everything from uncluttered, trendy designs — color choices, the use of geometric shapes, etc. — to easy-to-read fonts and intuitive navigation should be taken into consideration.
A well-designed website should invite the user to engage in the experience. It should be designed to draw them into the opening stages of a sales funnel through user-centric information that creates awareness and ultimately leads to a call to action, converting them into loyal customers.
It All Comes Back to Google
It’s tempting to disconnect things like personalized emails, social media interactions, and website experiences from the cold, hard calculations that tend to go into things like SEO and search engine data and analytics. However, it’s important to remember that creating a quality user-centric experience is actually a critical part of the SEO game.Statistics like click-through rates, time on page and bounce rates all significantly impact Google’s search ranking algorithm — and can all be improved by a better user experience. Click To Tweet
In other words, if you want good search engine rankings, you’re going to want to focus on the user-centered experience from the moment a visitor reaches your site in order to keep them intrigued and engaged for as long as possible.
The Customer Is Always Right
While the prioritization of the customer has been part and parcel of the marketing world since the beginning of commerce, the concept has truly found new inspiration in the modern era.
Fueled by technology, companies have found an increased ability to meet customers on their terms. They’re able to take them by the hand and walk them through a user-centered experience designed to pinpoint their needs and showcase how their particular products and services can benefit them.
User-centric design and experience is a marketing philosophy that is remarkably adaptable and should be considered by every company, great and small, as they develop and roll out their marketing strategies for the future.
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