Your customers’ initial experience with your brand typically comes in the form of a word-of-mouth referral, advertising, or marketing. This is how they first learn about who you are, what you can do, and what you stand for as a company.
The look and feel of your brand can make a strong first impression. However, if you think boosting your brand is all about getting a better logo or website, you are missing some valuable opportunities to create a better brand experience.
Your brand’s customer experience develops through the first contact, service delivery, implementation, care, support, and beyond. At each step, you can either damage or enhance that experience for your customer.
Here are 7 tips to boost your brand’s customer experience:
1. Do a gut check
Stop for a moment and check in with yourself. How well do you think your company’s customer experience is going? Sometimes we get so busy and distracted, we allow ourselves to become disconnected with what is happening on the front lines of our business. But unless you’re completely checked out, you should have a general sense of how things are going. Are you feeling uneasy or on-edge? Does your company have a lot of customer churn? Does your team seem unmotivated? Are you getting complaints? Have you been ignoring a nagging feeling that things could be better? These are all signs that your customer experience may be crying out for a reboot.
2. Run an audit
When was the last time you took a fresh look at your customer’s experience from start to finish? Conduct an evaluation by combing through the customer experience step-by-step. Assess how they learn about you, marketing materials and swag, how they contact you, the sales conversion process, client intake and onboarding, introduction to your business operations and team, scope and expectation-setting, forms and contracts, ongoing communication, product or service delivery, responsiveness, timelines and deadlines, follow through, follow-up, billing, and much more. Every detail. Look at everything you do as if you’re seeing it for the first time. Consider the flow. Where are the gaps? Where does it break down? What is confusing? You’ll find that you’re doing a great job in some ways — otherwise you wouldn’t be in business — but you will also likely find lots of room improvement.
3. Survey your customers
Your current and past clients and customers have a wealth of information you can use to boost your company’s customer experience. Let them know you are interested in getting their feedback and input. Gather information from people you know are happy as well as those who may be dissatisfied. You want to know how they feel about the ways in which they are being served and supported. What could you be doing better? What more could you offer them? What do they love most about working with you and your team? Dig for specific instances and examples, and aim to uncover the essence of how they are truly experiencing your brand. Your customers will open your eyes to blind spots and provide insight into what needs to be revamped.
4. Strengthen your team
Your team plays a critical role in your brand’s overall customer experience. If the team member is on the front lines, interacting with your clients or customers, it’s up to you to ensure that they are a positive representation of your brand. If they work behind the scenes, their efforts contribute to your product and service delivery in a way that either drags down or lifts up your ability to make the customer happy. Soliciting ongoing input from your team members and treating them well is one of the best ways to boost your brand’s overall customer experience. As Sir Richard Branson says, “The way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers.” Take his advice to heart and consider what you may need to change to boost your customer experience right away.
5. Deliver on promises
Your brand is a promise to your clients — it is a set of expectations that they expect to be met. You’ve worked hard to create an image that represents what you can deliver, and you’ve worked even harder to create a reputation that backs up that image by keeping promise after promise. As Muhtar Kent, CEO of Coca Cola, once said, “If a brand is a promise, then a great brand is a promise kept.” A positive customer experience requires reliable and dependable delivery of expected products and services that meet and exceed expectations. Do what you say you’re going to do, and you’ll continuously build your brand.
6. Ensure consistency
Creating a sense of consistency ensures that customers feel comfortable, supported, and taken care of. All touch points should share a thread of familiarity — phone calls, emails, packaging, scheduling, meetings, invoices, tone, etc. — ought to be distinguishable as uniquely representative of your brand. Polished and thorough brand consistency enhances the customer experience by establishing a steady and sophisticated air of professionalism. Weave your brand story, look, feel, and promise into everything you do.
7. Prioritize customer service
When you have a high-touch business, where you are interacting one-on-one with clients regularly, customer support is built into your service delivery. You have to stay open and responsive to your individual customers’ needs simply to deliver your services. But if you are delivering a higher volume of services, your customers are serviced by a team, or you sell products, programs, or courses, you’re bound to have more robust customer service needs. Make sure you are dedicated to answering phone calls and emails promptly. You may need to hire a customer service team, put better systems and processes in place, or implement customer service software, such as ZenDesk. You need to be able to answer questions, clear up confusion, and address problems in a timely and professional manner. This level of customer service can make or break the overall customer experience, leaving customers either disgruntled or satisfied and happy.
With a better brand experience, you will improve client satisfaction, increase retention and loyalty, and give your company an added competitive advantage.
Need help boosting your brand’s customer experience? At Solamar, not only do we create killer business branding, but we also provide business support to help our clients boost their customers’ overall brand experience every day. Let’s talk more about your needs.