In a world jam-packed with outstanding brands who put customer experience at the heart of everything they do, having a dedicated strategy to improve and constantly evolve your customer experience is no longer a ‘nice to have’ but simply a non-negotiable if you want to achieve long term success.
Consumer expectations of your brand are not set or controlled by you or even by your competitors. Instead, they are set by brands such as Amazon, Netflix and even your local dairy who knows every single one of their regular customers by name. These brands are setting the benchmark that your customers expect you to live up to.
Darren Kernahan summed it up perfectly by saying “Brand is the promise we make; Customer Experience is the promise we keep”. In other words, customer journeys build meaningful experiences that back up our brand promise.
Countless brands spend copious amounts of time and money investing in brand marketing, crafting their story so each chapter flows seamlessly onto the next. They share their values and convince consumers why they are worthy of their support; they make promises.
Trust takes years to build and moments to break. If this brand story, these promises, are not visible when consumers take action, when they walk into your store or visit your website, their hearts and minds will be hard to win back. Brand marketing is hugely important, but even more important is making sure that this is backed up with seamless customer experience.
Building a successful customer experience strategy starts with acknowledging that your customers are not you. Take away any preconceived ideas you might have and cut out the assumptions. Take off your marketing hat and take the customer journey yourself. If you cannot do this without bias, reach out to someone outside of your brand who can. Get their feedback and ideas, use a customer journey map to highlight where they felt elated and where they felt disappointed. How can the elation be amplified, and the disappointment mitigated?
Mapping your customer journey from start to finish (which includes touchpoints your customers may have with your brand pre and post engaging with you) and identifying potential pain points is an exercise that will prove invaluable. Once you clearly understand these pain points, you can then get to work on coming up with incredible solutions to improve your customer experience.
Vitally important to note is that Design Doing is equally, if not more important, than Design Thinking! All the strategy in the world is useless without action.
Customer Experience is a vitally important part of your marketing strategy, no matter the size of your business. After all, Customer Experience drives NPS (Net Promoter Score), and NPS drives business growth.
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