CustEA new competitive factor has emerged in today's widely ramified brand landscape, which has in fact become one of the decisive factors for consumers when choosing an offer - the user experience. The choices between different providers with similar services are simply countless. Consequently, customers feel less and less likely connected and loyal to a brand. It is simply no longer the quality of a product that determines success or failure in business, but emotions, which explains, for instance, why Nike does not advertise its sporting goods, but the feeling that everyone can deploy their full potential, or Airbnb does not provide housing, but worldwide connectivity and the feeling of being at home anywhere in the world.

Brands that invest time and resources to build emotional connections with their clientele manage to create experiences that retain customer relationships. The successful ones also know how to use technology to optimize experiences by being constantly in contact with their target groups through more and more channels, for example by using a Customer Data Platform (CDP) that allows them to collect the interaction data that takes their communication with target groups to a new level, using AI and marketing technologies such as dynamic content, geo-targeting and optimized broadcasting time. It's important to provide constantly cross-channel user experiences that are not only personalized but relevant and satisfying.

Hence, you might want to consider the following three aspects.

1. Show empathy
For a personalized approach, it is very important to empathize with customers and to consider their personal preferences. It helps to look at key data such as preferences, purchase history, most commonly used devices and the ideal time to address them. This gives brands a 360-degree view of the customer and insights they can use to approach the person best at the right time, striking the right tone, even when Artificial Intelligence is used. By 2020, according to Gartner, 85% of customer interactions will take place without human involvement, hence, companies do have to make sure that it isn’t obvious that the customer is dealing with a machine.

2. Build trust

Customers are increasingly aware of the value of their personal information, especially since the proliferation of data breaches and hacks emerged in recent years. As a result, consumers have become cautious about releasing them and marketing executives are having more difficulties getting necessary information. They need to provide their customers with credible and transparent information about what data is being used for what purpose and what added value it creates for whom: Amazon's 1-Click Order or Apple Product Purchase by Apple ID are examples of how to deliver a seamless and enjoyable user experience. Businesses need to ask themselves which services they can offer to enhance the experience for their customers distinctly and visibly.

3. Be always available

Constant networking raises the expectations of customers and puts companies under pressure to respond to inquiries as quickly as possible. This makes customers, on the other side, quite open to receive responses from a chatbot, provided that relevant answers are given quickly. However, an outstanding customer experience is provided not just with good service at the point of sale today. A proactive approach, for example, a check with the customer, whether the product or service was satisfying, at a certain time after the purchase, is even better. It is the sum of the interactions with a brand - from the first contact through an advertisement to the click on the "pay" button to the joy of unpacking a product - that make the difference.

Those who want to retain their customers for a long time must be able to provide a consistent brand experience and go all out for their clientele by making use of all kind of technical innovations that support their endeavor.

By Daniela La Marca