March 16, 2017

Customer Experience is Your Brand

In today’s economy, customers expect more from companies, in all industries, on all levels.  Innovative products aren’t always enough to keep a business thriving. Experiences keep your customers coming back, and that experience will occur at every touchpoint. The way your customer feels when they leave you defines your brand.

An awesome product with intuitive features and great design will not necessarily ensure a competitive advantage. In fact, according to Gartner, customer experience is the new battlefield. Eighty-nine percent of companies are competing solely based on customer experience.

With that in mind, as marketers, we have to know our customers better than ever before.

Figure Out What Your Customers Care About

Every company has a target audience. Within that target audience, your company may have multiple buyer personas. Each of those buyer personas cares about something different.

How can we figure out what they care about? Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is more critical than ever before. An increasing amount of companies are investing in using CRM to understand behaviors online. If you are not taking advantage of available technologies and resources to learn more about your customers, you are already falling behind.

Another way to get information about your customer is to listen to your salespeople. Your sales teams know more about your customers than anyone in the company. They speak to them every day, and they hear their concerns. Take advantage of those relationships and find out when their experiences are memorable and when they may be missing the mark.

With all this information, you can create a complete customer profile and learn the common behaviors of your buyer personas. What are they looking for? How can you use this information to serve them better?

Once you understand the various touchpoints that your customer experiences, you can start optimizing them. Each touchpoint should offer a consistent, positive experience of your brand.

Creating an Experience at Every Touchpoint

Everything that your customer experiences through your brand is considered a touchpoint. That can happen through customer service, your website, your social media, customer events, giveaways, your packaging, office space, store or restaurant, and employee attitudes.

A common mistake of companies is focusing heavily on one touchpoint, like customer service or packaging, and dismissing some of the other crucial touchpoints like how the website structures content, or getting the most out of the right online promotional tools.

The goal is to understand and recognize every way a customer can experience your brand and then elevate it.

Think about the last time you were on a website with slow loading speed. Or a time that you tagged a company in a tweet and didn’t get a response?

Both of those times, you experienced a brand.

A poor customer experience can do much more damage than a positive experience can do good for your brand.

Take time to lay out the land. Outline the various channels that you are using to interact with your clients. If your website isn’t serving them as it could, it’s probably time for a refresh. If you aren’t using social media to interact with your clients, you’re missing an opportunity to create an experience.

Once you know where your company is touching your clients, you can start personalizing those experiences.

Help Your Customers Fall in Love With Your Brand

Elevate every step of your buyer’s journey by helping your customers experience and fall in love with your brand.

Random Acts of Kindness

The simplicity of random acts of kindness for your customers can go a long way in providing a unique and memorable experience. The smallest of acts that surprise and delight your customers will not only keep them talking about your company but will also keep them coming back.

There are endless creative ideas to surprise and delight your customers. Something as little as including gifts in your packaging when you order something or getting lunch for your clients when they come in for a meeting can speak volumes to the customer experience. Actions that create a memorable impression of your brand will enhance their experience and develop a reputation for your company that your customers will love.

Get Social on Social Media

Communicating with your customers on social media is no longer considered “going above and beyond” as customer service. It is an expectation the same way customers calling a support phone number expect that someone will answer the phone and help them.

Every company should be using social media as a tool to communicate and engage with your customers. This is a touchpoint with a lot of opportunities to show off your brand and help your customers fall in love with who your company is and what you are all about.

Engaging posts that speak the tone of your company help people understand and fall in love with your brand. Responses to comments and messages encourage trust and support in your brand. Real people in your photos and videos personify your brand.

That’s what customers want. They want to see real people behind all the logos, advertisements and coupons. People love people.

How Can You Create a Remarkable Experience?

By definition, a remarkable experience is one that customers and clients remark upon. What can you do to elevate touchpoints to a level that engages their heads, hearts, and hopes?

The first step is always going to be to know your customer, then look at how you can create a remarkable experience that speaks to them at every brand touchpoint.

Alexis Fillmer

With a strategic mind and a love for culture and leadership, Alexis spends each day working to get the most out of every idea and person on our team. As an Inbound Marketing Manager, she oversees our incredibly talented group of marketers by empowering them to inspire, lead, and grow our clients.

Outside of PHOS, you can find Alexis taking her dog to the dog park, at the nearest farmer’s market, cruising in her Volkswagen beetle, or trying a new recipe for her and her husband.