Customer experience (CX) has always had a significant role to play in building brands. An exceptional experience offered throughout the customer journey can help gain the customers’ trust and loyalty and a little brand advocacy are not out of the question. Not surprisingly, businesses put customer experience right on top of their list of priorities, as IBM’s Global CEO Study from 2010 can testify. The study indicated “getting closer to customers” was considered the #1 priority for CEOs to work on. This can be backed up by a 2011 Bloomberg Businessweek survey: more than 80% of businesses said providing a differentiated customer experience was a top strategic objective.
But here’s what is surprising – a survey by Bain & Company revealed that customers felt only 8% of companies were delivering the customer experience their brand promised. So, where does this gap come from and what can companies do about it? While companies do recognize the importance of customer experience, it is easy to get sidetracked by their own growth strategies. In a bid to attract new customers, businesses run the risk of alienating their loyal core of returning customers and this can seriously affect their brand and eventually the business itself.
What businesses need today is an intuitive customer experience strategy that sees them build solid relationships with customers. Here are some actions that can help companies improve their customer experience strategy and boost long-term growth.
For businesses delivering products which require regular post-sales maintenance, customer experience will have a major influence on how the brand is perceived. Let’s say your washing machine breaks down and you need to call the company to get it repaired. How inconvenient would it be if you had to go through multiple, time-consuming steps when technologies like artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) can be used to take care of everything without any effort at all?
Simplifying communication and service after sales will leave a lasting impression on customers and build your brand with the right values.
Research and innovation must always focus on the customers first. It can be tempting to introduce new technology to excite customers, but that excitement can fade faster than it arrives if it does not address any of the existing pain points. Explore new technology by first analyzing its uniqueness and the long-term value it can generate for your business.
Besides, customer experience still depends more on sincere and valuable human interactions than on new technology.
With a rush of brands competing for their attention, it can be challenging to keep your brand relevant in the customer’s mind if you don’t make a strong impression at every step of their journey. From something as simple as a quick reply to a social media query to segmenting products and services based on your customer base, letting customers know they’re not just a part of the charts will help build deeper relationships.
Paying greater attention to data and feedback will help businesses understand – and deliver – precisely what the customer desires.
When customers discover a new brand, their perception of the brand defines their expectations. The customer experience strategy must provide the experience that customers expect after going through brand communication.
Increasing mismatch in brand and customer experience strategies can ultimately weaken brand communication and seriously damage how customers perceive the brand.
As important as it is to link up the brand and customer experience strategies, companies can drive brand value by setting customer experience strategies specific to their business model and its inherent strengths.
Specific strategies like these will help the brand stand out and dominate its competition in the market segment.