Three steps to digital customer relations

Everything that can be connected, will be connected. This is more true than ever for digital customer relations. With the help of a digital customer experience, companies can network with their customers and put a greater focus on them. How does that work, and why should you do it, too?

The journey through the Net

In times of digitization, companies pick up interested parties on the “journey” through the Internet and address them where they currently are. Instead of thinking in terms of the product, a focus on the customer is what is called for today. Easier said than done. In order to make this change, companies have to know what their customers are interested in, what they are looking for, and what motivates them. Many companies have already understood the principle of the digital customer experience and are developing digital marketing and content strategies. But for the most part, companies aren’t using appropriate tools either to measure or analyze data. Marketing is at random – without a strategy or a goal. So it’s no wonder that following a study on the status of digital customer relations at over 1,000 companies, the digital association Bitkom came to the conclusion: “Customers in the digital world are still strangers to many companies”. And the customers? They know exactly what they want, and they buy from those who best serve their needs.

Step 1: Introducing your digital buyer personas

Today, half of all purchasing decision-makers are under the age of 35, and 57 percent of the decision process is already complete when potential customers contact a sales employee. With agile content marketing methods, interested parties can be provided with targeted information in order to generate a qualified contact in the next step. To do this, you should know exactly who your customers are and what they want. Analyze the available information – whether you ask your sales people, evaluate data, or conduct short surveys in your newsletter. In short, watch the patterns of behavior and use them to construct an image of who your customer are – create digital personas.

Step 2: Informative, honest, and entertaining – concise content is king

While a few years ago the motto was “content is king,” “concise” has been added to the mix today. Why? Because most companies have understood the added value to customers through storytelling and content, the Internet is now quite full of content. Page one of the Google hits is a hard-fought battle. Therefore, in order to stand out from competitors and their content, it is important to better adapt your own and offer it in the right places. Classic push marketing is passé. Instead, use your digital buyer personas and define what content you can use in what place to attract your customers. Whether it’s blog posts, white papers, videos, or webinars – be informative, honest, and entertaining. If you manage to offer potential customers exciting content, the customers may even come to you on their own.

Step 3: Penetrating the data jungle

You can only spot errors in pricing, presentation of products, or transactions once you analyze your data. You can make better decisions and recognize potential risks early based on data. Data analysis also allows you to address customers more precisely and personally, which creates a clear competitive advantage. The high quality of freely flowing data is thus the basis for good customer journeys and multi-channel campaigns.

Tracking interactions and reactions of interested parties on your website results in the following advantages:

• Optimization of the customer journey

• Reduction of customer churn if you react and put out next best or expanded offers

• Adjustment of marketing processes

Summary

Investments in data analysis tools pay off. According to the Bitkom study, six out of ten users (61 percent) say they are able to adapt their products and services to the needs of their customers as a result. Roughly half of users are better able to target their marketing and sales campaigns (54 percent) or identify new customer groups (47 percent). Not a single company that already uses the appropriate tools wasn’t at least able to generate added value, according to Bitkom.
But to date, only 36 percent of over 1,000 surveyed enterprises use the possibilities of digitization – so it is still a long way to digital customer relations for most companies.

When will you take the first step?