In the Best of BuyerZone: The End of the Year Edition, CB Whittemore explained that businesses need to focus on the "customer experience," both online and in store:
"In 2012, businesses saw more overlap between online and in-store experiences. Customers started taking multiple paths - including mobile - to find us, and we must be consistent across channels.
This trend will get more and more critical. The winners will be those businesses who understand that online and IRL are inextricably linked and who think about customers in terms of specific personas at different stages of a purchase cycle who need to feel that we are trustworthy."
She goes into more depth on this prediction in her own blog post, What's Ahead for the Customer Experience in 2013?
Well, now you know you should stay focused on the customer experience but do you know how to? The following are two places to start:
Remember, your site is there for visitors to browse through - not just Google. Build your website focused on the visitors' needs in mind: Engaging headlines, thrilling content, logical title tags, etc.
In 2013, make sure your site pleases your customers first, and then Google. Read more on this here: SEO: Keywords Versus Customer Intent
SEO focusing on the customer experience is going to be big in 2013. In fact, in the EOY Edition, Vital Design even predicted that businesses are going to be spending big bucks on SEO this year:
"I think we're going to see even more small to mid-size businesses turn to SEO, not just at a one-off, best practices level, but as a part of their monthly marketing budget.
Savvy businesses know that search is essential to being found (classified ads are dinosaurs), and as businesses with limited marketing budgets get priced out of pay-per-click, SEO's dominance is only going to grow."
In a retail store, you would never hide your salespeople in the maintenance closet; same idea with your B2B site. Your customers need to be able to reach you wherever they are - not wherever you are.
That's why it's crucial to make sure your customer care team is at all the right places: by the phones, on social media, discussion boards, online etc.
It sounds tough, but the latest technologies are making it rather easy because this is a trend that is definitely here to stay: Contact Centers Need Multi-Modal Communications.
Share some of the ways your business is staying focused on the customer experience in the comment section below!