I’ve written about the relationship between customer experience and brand before, but I think it’s an important topic to think about. Especially in our space.
So let’s go over three reasons why I think it’s better to focus on customer experience than brand.
1. Customer experience is tangible.
I’ve cobbled together a marketing career over the years, and I still couldn’t give you a solid definition of what a brand is. When forced to explain it, I usually sweep my hand along the horizon, look pensive, and whisper, “Brand is a feeling…”
Then I drop a smoke bomb and run away.
Alternatively, customer experience is self-explanatory. It’s right there in the name: the experience that a customer has with your company. What a relief.
In related news, I have some smoke bombs if you’re in the market.
2. Customer experience is human.
“Brand” can feel like a big, amorphous blob. From the marketing side, you can focus on elements of a brand like aesthetics, language, training, promise or approach. But if your company doesn’t live up to the brand promise, the work can feel superficial. Customers and employees can easily feel the disconnect between what was promised and delivered—regardless of what color your logo is, or what your brochure says.
That’s what makes customer experience a much more effective target. When you focus on improving the experience of your customers, your perspective changes. You start to think about active response, correction, and improvement—through eyes of your customers.
In essence, your business becomes more human.
Listening to customers on an ongoing basis is like having a personal conversation. Your active response to their issues, concerns, or commendations will earn customer trust and deepen the relationship with your company.
Customer feedback helps your company break free from its self-perception. It helps you understand what the customer thinks you’re doing right or wrong. (And a good customer experience management partner can help you better understand how to improve, one step at a time.)
3. Customer experience is overarching.
When you focus on the finite, personal interactions between your customers and your company’s touchpoints, you’ll realize that the customer experience is a long journey. For example, a person might take this path to becoming a bank customer:
- She drives past a branch.
- A colleague recommends the bank.
- She checks out the company website.
- She sees a promotional rate.
- She calls the sales team.
- She becomes a customer.
Some might believe the customer experience starts after that path, but we think it starts at the first bullet.
Because that’s the whole experience of that particular customer. All of those bullets inform the customer’s opinion of your company. And they’re touchpoints that could improved. The branch location could be designed for customer delight. The colleague’s recommendation could be stronger. The website could be better on a mobile device. The rate could suit some audiences and not others. The sales team could deliver a more personal and engaging experience.
We think about the customer’s entire journey, which starts well before they ever become a paying customer.
Let’s Fix It Together
We love helping clients with customer experience because we learn and improve as well. It’s empowering to help companies understand themselves and their customers. And, we’d be thrilled to help you.
It’s so much better than blowing smoke.
Want to dig a little deeper into customer experience strategy? Then download our free one-page checklist to learn how to make your customers happy.
- Smoke Bomb by Martin Cathrae, CC BY-SA 2.0
- Friendship by Rainier Martin Ampongan, CC BY 2.0
- The Fix Is In by JD Hancock, CC BY 2.0
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Why Customer Experience is Better Than “Brand”
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