We are spending more time than ever online. A recent study of UK consumers found that the average person spends more than 24 hours – a day – online every week. And mobile phones are becoming a more prominent tool. In the survey, 92 per cent of respondents said browsing the web through a smart phone is important while only 75 per cent said making calls was.
With the increase in time spent online and mobiles making the Internet accessible everywhere, consumers have the power to research products whenever and wherever they want. This gives rise to micro-moments that brands can use to communicate with their consumers.
The theory behind micro-moments
The term ‘micro-moment’ was originally brought to the forefront of marketing and sales by Google. It is used to describe a moment where a consumer turns to a mobile device and starts using the internet to research a product or service.
What differentiates these moments from looking up the time or the weather is the intent behind them. These ‘micro-moments’ are moments where a purchase decision can be made – moments where the consumer is receptive and brands can make an impression. For example: which movies are playing tonight and at what time? How much would it cost to book a hotel in Port Vila in January?
Micro-moments can happen anytime: at a lunch catch-up, at work, during a workout, or even just before sleep. This is a cosmic shift in how consumer decisions are made. Once, consumers would see an ad when they read the newspaper in the morning or watched TV in the evening, then wait until the shops were open to purchase. Now, they can be reminded of something, turn to their mobile device, research, and make a purchase decision then.
Micro-moments are a result of a technological revolution that has put the power into the hands of consumers – metaphorically and literally.
How important are these micro-moments?
Sometimes, micro-moments can be the first interaction that a potential consumer has with a company. In the Port Vila holiday example above, the consumer may never have stayed in Port Vila. He might search online and find a hotel website or online travel agent. If that site has a clunky booking system or he can’t find the information he is after simply, he can quickly leave and go elsewhere. Research suggests that somewhere between 70 to 96 per cent of people won’t come back after they leave. There are times when micro-moments might determine whether there even is a customer experience, so they are important.
Google sees micro-moments as ‘game changers’ for brands. The search engine giant says that 69 per cent of online consumers agree that how they see a brand depends on the quality, timing and relevance of company messages. If you get them right through user-friendly systems or delivering the right content or product offerings, you can convert browsers to customers.
Content marketing is one of the simplest ways to impress potential customers in these micro-moments. Offering some expertise for nothing or presenting a solution to a pain point can keep a customer stationary for longer, and the goodwill can start the customer experience on excellent footing.
Businesses must learn why customers are coming to this particular point of interaction so that the content delivered is relevant and useful.
Mapping the customer journey
Customers have often already started their purchase journey before a business finally sees them. However, once they are statistically represented as a visitor to a website, for example, the business can start collecting data about them – and should.
Intelligent Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems like Salesforce can begin gathering information the moment a customer appears. If employed by all parts of the business, this data can be drawn later to deliver insights, which can help determine the content directed to the buyer, or even the products that should be advertised. Salesforce also allows marketers to automate content delivery, so it can be delivered at the right time and within pre-determined parameters.
The power of personalisation
Micro-moments provide data about a customer and these can later be used to personalise the customer experience. Customers will be more loyal to businesses that provide personalised experiences and even reject companies that don’t provide them.
The more information a business collates during these micro-moments of interaction, the more powerful a CRM’s insights and the better marketers can use personal communication channels like email, SMS and social media. The first micro-moment between brand and customer is obviously very important, because it determines whether the customer journey continues and whether the brand finds out anything more about the customer.
Consistency is critical
If personalisation of the experience helps a brand or business develop a relationship over time, it is critical that all future micro-moments provide a consistent experience. A Salesforce “State of the Connected Customer” report found that 73 per cent of customers will change brands if service isn’t consistent across digital and non-digital experiences and half of consumers were likely to change brands if their needs aren’t anticipated.
These statistics suggest that customers expect a consistent experience. That means the first micro-moment sets the tone for the customer-brand relationship. If that starts off well, it is crucial to then gather data, ensure there is a powerful enough tool like Salesforce to develop insights and personalise interactions, and a flexible team who can make service standards in the non-digital realm consistent.
While a micro-moment has a huge impact on future customer interaction, it is also an incredible opportunity to deliver a positive experience itself.
What Blirt does
At Blirt, we specialise in helping small and medium enterprises transform themselves across sales, marketing, service and finance, with the objective of improving the digital experience. We can help you deliver amazing customer experiences throughout the entire customer journey, including in micro-moments.
If you would like to find out more, we can book a discovery call to find out what you need and tell you more about our approach.