Hi Stefanie, tell us about yourself and your background.
I was a marketer before I even knew I had a passion for marketing. I was the kid watching the TV commercials more intently than the TV shows my family was watching. I started my career in affiliate marketing and consumer marketing helping users engage with the product, and then moved onto the B2B space to help SaaS start-ups grow through various growth techniques. I now run a marketing agency that helps start-ups grow and act as the interim CMO for the company. I’m also a mentor at Google and a frequent speaker at conferences on all topics in the marketing space.
How did you first start working in the CX space?
Marketing is at the core of the customer experience and vice versa. So, when I got started in marketing, and while working on the consumer’s side marketing, I immediately fell into this space. CX is at the core of good marketing.
What are some of the common misunderstandings related to customer experience?
A lot of people think that customer experience is the same as customer service. While they intertwine, the customer experience follows the customer from start to finish and even after they have used the product to make sure they stay a customer. Customer service helps them communicate with each other, but it isn’t necessarily vital to the marketing formula.
Have you seen any interesting new trends in eCommerce this year?
More and more people are actively shopping via Instagram and it’s no longer the tech-savvy customers, it’s anyone who has access to social media. The streamline approach to shopping that Instagram has allowed the consumers and brands to have is really changing the game, especially after 2020.
eCommerce boomed in 2020, and consumers started leaving more product reviews online. How can we make the most out of this momentum?
Engaging with your customers who go the extra mile to review your products is key! Show them you appreciate their feedback/review and give them incentives to post about you on social media or give them a discount on their next order. Now that you have captured the customer, retain them by keeping them happy! I recently purchased some products online, and naturally posted about them on social media. The brand messaged me that day and offered me 50% of the value of my order back for my next order! I was very happy to say the least and I am now a happy customer!
What are some CX companies/solutions you’re keeping your eyes on right now?
The integration of WhatsApp into the customer support and communication channel is key! If customers can feel like they can speak to someone, easily, and quickly, then they will be happy. No one wants to have to wait on a call for hours, just to get an answer.
So many things changed in 2020. While some things are going to return to “normal,” what are new trends and habits you think will stay with us in the long term?
Customers want instant gratification wherever they go. It doesn’t stop anywhere, and they won’t accept waiting. That means faster, simpler checkouts for customers, faster ways to communicate with the brand, and full engagement on social media. We are seeing a lot of products integrated into the payment process such as Klarna which is helping customers pay for things in payments rather than the full amount, and part of that and more will stay. These features allow the decision process to be sped up! Customers are happy when they can shop!
Do you believe focus groups are still relevant in the era of eCommerce? Why?
Focus groups will always be relevant! You need to know what the customers are thinking and there is no space for guessing! But the process can be streamlined. Asking customers casually, while or just after the transaction can be key! They are already engaged, they are already happy and so you can get some good insights into what they might need or want in the future.
Last but not least, what is your favorite CX metric?
I think churn rates are always so insightful. It really makes you dig into the core of the product and service and understand why customers didn’t stay loyal to you. Was it the service they received, the quality of the product or they just preferred the competition? This is the time to get them back with offers and improvement of the product!