Like it or not, a customer has an experience every time they interact with your brand. Sometimes this experience is good, sometimes it’s merely average, and other times it might be bad. Your goal, from a branding perspective, is to make sure that the overall experience they have with your brand is positive. If you don’t have a concrete strategy in place for making this happen, then you might be in trouble.
Try These 4 Tips
According to marketer Steven MacDonald, customer experience is defined by the interactions between customers and your business. “An interaction can include awareness, discovery, cultivation, advocacy, purchases, and service,” he explains.
While most businesses assume that customer service and customer experience are one and the same, this isn’t true. Customer service is one facet of customer experience, but it doesn’t constitute everything. There are plenty of other ways in which a customer interacts with your brand and it’s up to you to make sure these interactions all feed a cohesive and endearing experience.
Here are a few tips for making that happen.
- Zoom In
A lot of brands fail to foster good customer experiences because they take a far too general approach where they try to do everything at once. What you really need to do is take a page out of Slack’s playbook and zoom in.
“From day one, Slack has been about selling a solution, not a product,
says Eric Siu of SingleGrain. “They’ve focused on customer experience, believing that one positive experience does more than a big marketing budget could ever hope to accomplish. As their tagline says, they’re ‘on a mission to make your working life simpler, more pleasant, and more productive.’”
- Listen to Customers
Many brands are tone deaf and they don’t even realize it. Employees and brand strategists spend so much time in conference rooms trying to come up with compelling campaigns, but they’re ignoring the people who matter most: the customers.
In order to create a happier and healthier customer experience, you need to spend time listening to your customers and seeing what they really want. Sometimes their desires are far different than what you think they want.
- Give More Than You Take
How much are you giving to your customers, and how much are you taking? In order for a customer to have a positive experience with your brand, they have to feel like they’re getting as much as they’re giving. In most cases, they want to feel as if they’re getting more.
If you’re simply offering a product in return for their money, you aren’t exactly creating a customer experience. There’s nothing more than a transaction in play. There needs to be more value beyond the product itself. This might look like good customer support, premium content, an online community, or anything else that adds perceived value.
- Nail the Emotional Connection
Did you know that more than 50 percent of an experience is based on an emotion? In other words, your brand’s customer experience is closely tied to the emotional state of mind you put your customers in. What does this mean, practically? Well, it essentially means that how you say something is just as important as what you say. Is this an area where you’re doing well? Or do you need to put in some effort?
Continue to Evolve
Your approach to the customer experience will be different now than it is in 12 months, two years, and five years. You have to be willing to evolve over time without watering down your brand image or defaulting on your core values. Stay in tune with your customers, continually gather feedback, and you’ll know when and how to evolve.