When was the Customer Experience ever NOT a Priority?

I have a hard time processing statements like this:
“Meeting the expectations of today’s consumer is tricky business.” These are really common types of statements in today’s digital centric, retail world and I’ve been seeing them a lot over the last couple of years. It’s as if the retail customer experience has changed. I mean like really changed. Since the dawn of retail time, A product is sold and a product is bought. If the retailer was nice to you, it was a plus. If the retailer knew your name, even better. If the product was good, that’s great. If the product was great, even better. If the product is inferior, then all bets are off. If the retailer, could care less, then consumers spoke with their dollars and their feet.

That has not changed. Even today.

What has changed is the ability to learn more about the customer. What hasn’t changed is the way you’re supposed to treat the customer. What hasn’t changed is giving the customer a great product or service. Why is this any different today than it was a hundred years ago? Has technology caused a greater divide in the customer experience? Maybe. I thought it was to close the chasm that was brought on by competition and choices. The thinking was that because marketers were now armed with lots of data there would now be a more harmonious relationship. A better customer experience.

Marketers have become so obsessed with tools and resources that drive sales, that they have forgotten about, wait for it, the customer and the experience. This is not a difficult thing. Sometimes I think that marketing stacks get so high that marketers and retailers can’t see the customer that’s standing behind them. To hear companies state that they are now, more than ever, going to start focusing on the customer, just baffles me. When did this change and why did it ever? Why are we making it so difficult?

 

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The Content Paradigm Shift

ParadignShift

I’m cutting to the chase. and feel free to disagree with me at any point when you think I’m wrong. Content curation tools are great. No really, they are, except all they do is pull the content in and that really is just half the battle. The content game played by every brand, everywhere, in some way, shape or form, is finding that content, every day, manually interpreting it and then tailoring it to their audience and then pushing it out. Every day.

Brands can and will measure its effectiveness, they fish where the fish are, and every day they push out more content. In the hopes that the consumer will bite; and in most cases they will. This is what digital marketing has become. It’s a game. The game has become more sophisticated about how it is played and approached, but guess what? The consumer has evolved as well. The consumer knows what content they like, what content they want, how they want to consume it and where they would like to consume it and on what device.

The bottom line is you cannot automate the customer experience. Creating a truly fluid customer experience might be automated across devices and platforms, but to understand what your customer wants and needs has to be interpreted manually.

The world of the content marketer resets every day to square one. The really good marketers know what works and what doesn’t. Not merely from the data but probably from actually listening to the customer. I think that a fluid customer experience has to start with content that connects, it then flows through engagement and ends with trust. That’s it. Let’s trust you know your customer and what they want. Why? Because it resets every day, what you do and what they want.