Posts categorized ‘Engagement’
Today, with the variety of ways to contact customer support for online products and platforms – including email, live chat, Twitter, FAQ portals, automated phone menus – the value of actually speaking with a live customer support representative becomes that much more important. The level of expectations for customer service for online products and tools has risen, making customer feedback critical to continue to exceed expectations.
While you of course don’t want to overwhelm your customer base with feedback requests, there is key knowledge you can acquire at various points of interaction. The trick is to be consistent and concise with any questions posed, by:
- Indicating the importance of feedback to your business,
- Proving the value of such feedback with an incentive and
- Communicating how feedback has been executed on (at some future point).
First, how to get feedback
For online software platforms, online surveys are a logical tool to solicit evaluations from customers on their support experience. This could be targeted at specific activities or issue levels, or asked of all who interact with customer service at some level.
At Zmags, we ask for feedback at any and all points of engagement with our Customer Service team, albeit proactive training programs and webinars or reactive technical support and troubleshooting. We kick off all feedback surveys with a simple question that enables us to gauge a Net Promoter Score across the team:
Based on your recent experience with our support team, how likely would you be to recommend Zmags to a friend or colleague? (0=very unlikely, 10=very likely)
The responses to this simple question can be used to assess performance, satisfaction and potential for improvement – especially when looked at over time and among key customer segments. Likelihood to recommend is then the building block to follow up questions:
- How could we improve your experience?
- Was your rating product or service driven?
- Thanks for the great rating! Would you be willing to give a testimonial?
- If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing what would that be?
You can easily replace “support team” with other areas of the business (Sales, Product, Marketing) to benchmark other departments as well. The subjective date can give you leads on where to improve, but as a business improving and sustaining NPS is critical – The way the NPS is then calculated is shown below*
- Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fueling growth.
- Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings.
- Detractors (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth.
To calculate your company’s NPS, take the percentage of customers who are Promoters and subtract the percentage who are Detractors.
In a day where online reviews and feedback is used by many when making decisions it’s so valuable to know whether your customers are recommending you. Word of mouth is a vital (and free) way to enforce your brand. Executive decisions are made on recommendations and thus improving NPS is an essential way to improve organic growth.
3 Methods of Implementation:
1. Indicate the importance of feedback to your business
Start out your survey with an honest note about the value it provides so that you can make your services even better. At Zmags, we use:
Thank you for taking time to let us know about your recent support experience. Your feedback is important, and will help us improve our service.
Having your CEO or an executive “sign” this introduction could be that much more powerful.
2. Prove the value with an incentive
At Zmags, we award an iPad every Quarter to one customer who has given us feedback and ensure that we promote it whilst thanking all those that gave us feedback:
Please take 2 min. to rate my service and as a sign of our appreciation you will be entered into a draw to win an iPhone 5.
Or, depending on your product/service and audience, you could instead offer a coupon or to donate to a specific charity (or, let them chose the charity!). The latter works well with senior executives and C-suite respondents.
3. Communicate how feedback has been executed on
Try posting this in your community portal, send out emails to survey respondents, etc. to communicate any decisions and improvements that have been made based on the feedback. This can help customers develop an even stronger connection with your brand, knowing they have made a material impact!
What to do with all of the data
- Utilize your Promoters as referrers/lead generator/testimonials
- Celebrate your scores externally: – Zmags Customer Service NPS tends to hover around 80 which is incredible and a real selling point when pitching against completion
- Each department will have a different NPS level, which will become clearer over time. Analyse where that fits and look to top-performing departments for ideas on how to improve.
- In some cases representatives (support reps), campaigns, product features etc. can also be matched to NPS results. Again, look to the best and try to replicate their successes!
|NPS Leaders – U.S. 2012*
||NPS Leaders – UK 2011*
|USAA – Banking
|Apple – Computer Hardware
|Amazon.com – Online Shopping
|First Direct – Banking
|USAA – Auto Insurance
|LG – Television
|Trader Joe’s – Grocery
|Samsung – Television
|Costco – Department Stores / Apple – Computer Hardware / USAA – Homeowners Insurance
|Sony – Computer Hardware
The bottom line is to grab feedback at important moments of customer interaction. That might be an excited customer or an irritated customer. Ask and consume feedback consistently and effectively – pick a few key metrics to measure NPS and performance. Ultimately a high NPS is a sign of healthy business that can boast loyal customers happy to promote your organization.
*taken from http://www.netpromoter.com/why-net-promoter/know/
*taken from http://www.netpromoter.com/why-net-promoter/compare/
Photo Credit: pitbull2013 via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Dan Eriksson via Compfight cc
Flash is quickly becoming the dreaded “F word” of the design and web world. Truth be told, flash is still out there and being used more than the buzz-word-using-techies would like to admit. However, its uses are drastically changing. With tablet and mobile devices gaining traction a design shift has resulted in cleaner, more streamlined, experiences- which tend to be less “flashy” (pun intended). These designs can now be built responsively and in HTML5 making them optimized for any device.
So how can I move my brand away from flash and still be successful in customer engagement, you ask? Well, there are a lot of approaches to take. Here are three places to start that could end up increasing your conversion metrics:
The look and feel of digital deliverables has been shifting over the past few years. With new programming languages and design styles, people are taking an entirely different approach when putting together digital campaigns. A few things to consider when kicking off a project:
- HTML5: having websites, landing pages, or even digital catalogs in HTML5 conquers half of the battle from the start. This means that the experience will work seamlessly across all devices and channels.
- Responsive Design: with the ability to design things as “responsive”, we can ensure that they are scaleable, regardless of the device size. This significantly decreases the development and QA time and allows for one design to speak to the masses.
Calls to Action (CTAs):
The best way to convey a message or request engagement from a user is through calls to action. These can be done in so many ways outside of flash that the customer’s engagement isn’t compromised. Here are a few tips:
- Include in Creative: incorporate the CTA into the base of the creative deliverable. Putting it into the landscape of the design as part of the message (versus adding the animated enhancement above the creative in a layer of flash) ensures it’ll be viewed the same way by everyone- regardless of device.
- The Look & Feel- make sure that the CTA looks clickable or conveys a clear message without being wordy. By incorporating it into the experience it’s going to be seen by everyone- just make sure they know what to do with it.
Digital experiences lend themselves to a deep dive of information. Lightboxes allow additional information, content and promotion to be incorporated within an experience that drives higher conversion. Some great lightbox content ideas:
- Forms: whether it’s a lead generation form, email signup or special promotional signup, the ability to put the action item in a stand alone experience within an existing experience makes converting even easier.
- Product/ Promotional Information: when beautiful product imagery doesn’t want to be littered with product details and promotional fine print, a lightbox can be ideal. It’s a great way for users to learn more about a product and even transact if the experience is eCommerce enabled.
The digital landscape is shifting in so many ways that the migration away from flash is just the tip of the iceberg, but an excellent start. Flash won’t be gone tomorrow but it’s not the creative leader of the future. HTML5 will only be improving and becoming easier to use in the next year, ensuring that experiences are optimized regardless of where a user is viewing them.
The primary qualitative KPIs for any web/digital marketer typically involve engagement metrics (average time spent per visit, average page views per visit, bounce rate) and conversion metrics (form submissions, online orders, etc.).
Here at Zmags we have shown outstanding results in improving these metrics when using a digital catalog/brochure as part of the overall website content mix.
The 212 store fashion and homeware retailer has been using the catalog as part of the Direct Commerce mix successfully for many years, but as for most catalogers, the increased cost of distribution means expanding the channel has become very difficult — despite a healthy demand from their loyal customers to view new season collections via this format.
Zmags has been able to bridge this distribution gap, and we work with Laura Ashley to provide a rich and engaging digital version of their catalogs to their consumers. It is available to view instantly through homepage promotion, email subscribers, and offers consistent functionality across devices – supporting desktop, tablet and smartphones through the browser of the device. They have also included links to the catalogs with iPhone and iPad apps to further enrich the experience on those devices.
Laura Ashley SS2013 Catalogue
This is helping generate 1000s of additional catalog views each week, with average engagement times at a huge 10 minutes, and on average each consumer gets through at least 100 pages per visit. Bounce rates for digital catalogs (those that do not navigate past the cover page) across the Zmags client base are below 15%, which validates that this is an option that consumers crave, especially with those retailers who have a long history in creating stunning and inspirational catalogs to engage consumers.
This performance actually reinforces the need for a catalog as part of the overall marketing mix for Laura Ashley as a direct sales tool.
With engagement and “experience” commerce becoming a key focus for most retailers right now, digital catalogs that help to harness the curated content format through a linear user journey can offer a huge ROI to those seeking to drive consumers to content, rather than discount promotions. This becomes especially important at new seasonal releases when consumers are figuring out the season’s trends, or at key campaign times such as Christmas or Valentine’s Day when consumers are seeking inspiration for gift ideas. It also allows various types of assets that currently exist separately to be merged together, for example, a product on the page of a catalog may have an associated video that can be viewed, or additional product details/technical specifications that could be important to bring into a light box over the content. This means that the investment made in those assets can go even further to help engage the consumer.
Next Wednesday, April 10th at 11 am ET/ 4 pm GMT I’ll be leading a webinar about the 2012 Zmags’ First Digital Catalog Benchmark Report. The findings detailed in this report are aimed at helping Marketers, Content Strategists, Ecommerce leaders, etc. know what to expect to achieve via this type of collateral.
We aggregated performance data across more than 24K online magazines and catalogs that were activated by Zmags customers in 2012 to establish a baseline on key metrics, including: visitation levels, conversion rates, time spent per visit, and more. Moving forward, quarterly updates will be released to expand upon these learnings – to help you stay up-to-speed on the latest digital catalog trends and developments over the year.
Here is a sneak peak at some of the key points I’ll cover in the webinar:
- More than 1 in 5 visits to online magazines and catalogs are from mobile devices (smartphones or tablets)
- The best-performing online gift guides last holiday season were actually fairly short — fewer than 20 pages — and aimed at specific audiences and segments
- Plus, hear our top 3 digital catalog/magazine predictions for 2013 (hint: ”one size fits all” is a thing of the past!)
Click here to sign-up if you haven’t already!
Comscore reports that as of April 2012, almost 85 percent of US audience viewed online video. An adult viewer watches 21.8 hours a month on an average and this is double the corresponding figure in 2010.
The emergence of multiple digital touch points with enhanced multimedia capabilities has further facilitated the popularity of videos as a content medium. A 2012 study by the etailing group sponsored by Invodo revels that one in two smart phone users and more than six out of ten tablet users watch one or more product videos in a three month period.
Such a steep increase in the popularity of the video is forcing marketers sit up and take notice. The Social media examiner reports that 76 percent of all marketers plan to increase the space of video in their marketing plans in 2012. This is likely to yield good results, with the Internet Retailer reporting that 85 percent of the prospects who view product videos would most likely make the purchase. Those who view video are 17.4 percent more likely to make a purchase versus those who do not watch videos.
There are many reasons for such a high conversion rates:
- Videos provide the most appropriate engagement medium for those who prefer visual or audible communications over written or verbal communications. Such people constitute about 60 to 70 percent of all shoppers.
- Videos help consumers progress to a “ready to buy” state by educating them with product information and specifications. Evidence suggests that people who watch videos spend more time on the website and engage better. When they purchase, they purchase with confidence, with lesser cart abandonment compared to those who do not watch videos. After making a purchase they are less likely to return the product.
- For the marketer, incorporating video provides an added benefit of improved SEO optimization, resulting in improved search engine ranking and thereby better visibility.
How are you using this medium to increase conversion rates?
Many brands understand the importance of digital presence and invest much effort in their online magazines. However, such efforts do not yield any perceptible results to either the bottom line or the brand image without a sizable readership base. To attract people to their digital magazine, merely replicating the print version of the magazine into a digital format and providing some hyperlinks are not enough.
Today’s customers are more demanding and seek to make informed decisions. They not only look out for an enhanced digital experience that would make their quest easy and seamless, but also require high level of access and in-depth information.
To provide a positive experience that would attract new consumers and make existing consumers come back, brands need to bring to life the imagery and editorial content of the digital magazine. One way to do so is by making the online magazine interactive and dialogue based. Most online buyers in today’s digital age consider the one-way monologues that characterize the traditional print magazines as drab and a drag on their efforts to seek relevant knowledge fast.
Seamless accessibility of the content across multiple touch points such as iPad and smart phones is a basic requirement. Brands need to go further and ensure easy accessibility and seamless integration with popular channels, especially social media channels such as Facebook, as well.
At the back end, the brand needs to power the online magazine with a powerful analytics engine that would allow them to monitor results and make tweaks based on what viewers prefer in real time.
Today’s consumers are fickle and spoilt for choice. If they do not get the experience they seek for, they waste no time in moving elsewhere. The challenge for the brand is to anticipate what consumers want and provide it upfront, or failing that make amends in double quick time before the consumer gets around to trying someone else.
Audi Denmark applied all of these to good effect using Zmags Professional. Audi launched a new refurbished magazine in November 2010 and embedded the same into Facebook, to provide consumers with an interactive and attractive brand experience through a medium to which they are anyway using. By November 2011, the magazine increased its viewership by a whopping 1500 percent, with three out of every four views coming from Facebook.
How can an online magazine help your brand?
In today’s multi-touch point world, the content matters more than the device. People no longer use specific devices to access specific content, but use multiple devices. For instance, they may watch a video or browse a website through the desktop, the tablet or the smart phone. In this scenario, only the content that remains resilient enough to adapt to the multi-touch point world stand a chance of widespread acceptance.
Oliver & Ohlbaum (O&O)’s annual survey on media consumption trends corroborates this view. The survey reveals that almost half (48%) of all tablet users use the device to watch TV. The corresponding figure last year was 33%.
A bulk of the multi-screen viewership for television is for content strongly linked to apps. 12% of the survey respondents actively use companion apps when watching TV through tablets, and 65% of those who did so felt that it as an engaging way to add value to the TV viewing experience.
However, popular demand is for free catch-up services rather than subscriber video-on-demand services (SVoD). The former is growing at a rapid pace whereas the growth of the latter has flattened out. The survey also reveals that the three most popular video channels viewed in tablet are BBC’s iPlayer, ITV Player and 4oD in that order. YouTube takes the fourth place.
For marketers and content creators, success depends on not just optimizing the various inherent features of the device to provide a truly immersive and enchanting experience, but also on syncing content across various devices to provide consmers with a consistent and integrated experience.
Brand image matters. Very often, it is the brand image, or the positive perception associated with the brand, that makes customers prefer it to competitor products.
This image or positive perception depends on not just the inherent quality of the product, but also on how the products are showcased to consumers.
Brands invest in high-end photography, glossy papers and high quality prints to position the products in the best possible manner through print catalogs. Digital catalogs allow such brands to replicate the success of print catalogs to the digital media at a fraction of the cost, and even expand on the strengths. However, mere replication of the print catalog rarely works.
To maintain (or increase) a positive brand image, the digital catalog needs to deliver an optimized yet consistent experience across multiple touch points, including tablets, smart phones and tablets.
Digital catalogs needs to highlight the product as close as possible to its natural form, with multiple views of the product, ability to zoom and do more, exploiting all other inherent features of the device. It needs to offer an immersive shopping experience that deepens the experience.
The digital catalog also needs to fuel purchasing at the spur of the moment. Integrating the shopping cart with the catalog allows the overawed consumer to buy the product without having to leave the catalog. Encouraging social sharing across Facebook, Twitter, PinInterest and other channels helps to spread the catalog across people with similar tastes.
An example of a brand that has applied all these is Brahmin. Brahmin, which takes its brand image seriously, features exclusive handbags that are both stylishly beautiful and functional. The new catalog powered by Zmags Commerce Pro and the new Verge experience has successfully transferred the positive brand image from the print catalog to the digital catalog.
How can you use digital catalogs to create a positive brand image?
The fierce competition among brands means that marketers have to roll out innovative ways to attract and retain customers. A crucial task in this regard is developing digital content that provides an intuitive, rich and engaging experience.
The focus of successful digital content is a neat design. The two essential considerations when doing so include providing a highly interactive experience, and ensuring they provide a consistent experience no matter what digital point he consumer chooses to access the content.
In today’s multiple digital touch point environment, the marketers’ job is not done when he weaves an attractive story to entice the consumer to click on the provided interactive elements such as buttons, navigation panels, forms or other call to action elements, or even by making such call to action elements attractive. The CTA depends largely on how easy the customers can access such elements using their device of choice.
For instance, a keyboard-heavy interactive experience would fail to impress the tablet consumers. Rather, a tab button, accessible easily by either a tap or a mouse click would suit all devices.
With consistency a key requirement of success, it is imperative to design in such a way that the consumer has the same commerce experience when accessing the content through the Web browser, smart phone, tablet, Facebook, or any other medium.
Marketers would do well to tap into Zmags vast experience gained by developing over one million digital brochures, catalogs and magazines to design digital content that works.
In an age where the consumers are spoilt for choice, marketers have no option but to combine functionality with elegance.
Digital catalogs and journals are popular and widely accepted, but to convert such popularity into sales via an attractive catalog is not enough, and neither is a purely functional or informative catalog that overlooks style. The most successful catalogs that are both popular and directly enhance sales offer a world of convenient features to the viewers, remain stylish, create an excitement around the products and provide an enchanting user experience.
The Container Store’s new travel sale catalog that helps their customers stay organized ranks amongst the best specimen of innovative digital marketing efforts, showcasing how marketers can use digital catalogs to create excitement around their products, deepen customer engagement and ultimately boost revenue.
Topping the list of intuitive features in these catalogs, developed by Zmags, is a vertical scroll bar that eases navigation and allows the viewer to preview and enter a page directly.
The individual product pages are spruced up with the ability to zoom into the images for a clearer view. Clicking on the product leads to the product page in the company websites, providing detailed product info and specs and the shopping cart. The catalog remains undisturbed, allowing the viewer to continue browsing.
The search option allows searching for a product directly by keyword or name and lands directly in the pages featuring such products.
The option to share the catalog across the social media, including Facebook, Twitter and many other popular channels, or download the required pages as PDF tops the list of convenient options.
Overall, functionality combined with elegance wins, every time.