Why Customer Experience Matters to Your Brand
An often-integral factor in the success of a brand in a digital or multi-channel environment is the delivery of exceptional customer experience.
As a branding agency, we recognise that it can be the key differential in a crowded online marketplace where customer loyalty and advocacy can determine the extent to which a brand grows and thrives.
“Products are built in factories; brands are built in the mind” – Walter Lander
We tend to perceive brands in a similarly associative way that we might an old song or a familiar scent.
Just as that old Van Morrison song might recall a holiday night from your youth, or a sudden waft of cinnamon reminds us of Christmases past, so we are prone to associate brands with personal experiences.
We’re living in an age where great emphasis is placed upon the experiences that we have. From a lifestyle perspective, that might be a memorable concert, skiing trip or football match that you’ve attended.
In relation to the digital interactions that are ubiquitous in modern life, we place value against the experiences we have when shopping, making enquiries, searching websites, and generally engaging with organisations and companies.
Experiences with a brand define our emotional connection with them
Why is it that we Google for information, rather than ‘search’ for it?
You know that your brand is working on some major level when the name becomes a verb.
Google’s rise to prominence though hasn’t happened by accident, and its seamless transition into everyday speech (and use) came about because it offered a user experience that people could get along with: A clean, simple interface, and fast results.
The brands that are focusing on providing exceptional customer experience are the ones that are putting themselves front and centre when it comes to winning long-term loyalty.
Loyalty and, in turn, advocacy are the panacea of brand success; to turn your customers into surrogate salespeople for the brand itself.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be on some world domination scale, either.
Whether a global corporation or local coffee house, the principle remains the same: make the experience positive, memorable, and valuable (emotionally or financially) and you are more likely to retain your customers.
The Digital Experience
The way we engage with a brand via its website or another online platform can have a marked effect on the perception we have on it in the future.
If we’ve visited a site that’s unresponsive to mobile, or makes you jump through digital hoops to find what you’re looking for, then chances are high that you’ll grow frustrated and take your business elsewhere.
In a business or commerce environment where we engage with brands across multiple online and offline channels, where there’s a customer expectation of consistency across every touchpoint, this poor online experience can have a detrimental effect on the brand and the business as a whole.
Indeed, consistency of brand across every touchpoint is a crucial factor. Customers will frequently engage with brands across the internet, social media, SMS or in a physical ‘real-world’ environment. A brand is the reflection of the ethos of the business, with the expectation being that this should be evident through every engagement.
Have you ever been on a website and tried to book a course, or appointment, or sign-up for a subscription of some kind, to find that you are suddenly transported to a third-party site that has little to no correlation of style to the main site?
It’s a common weak spot, taking a client ‘off-brand’ at the very moment you are looking to complete a sale.
We spend so much time interacting, online and offline, with so many different brands on a daily basis, making it even harder for companies to differentiate. This is why customer experience is such an important factor and can make all the difference to your long-term success.
Whether it’s ease of use and simplicity or offering an experience that’s welcoming or fun, the value we all tend to place on customer interaction is high. We tend to remember the customer experience that we have with a brand, for good and for bad.
Get it wrong, and your business can suffer. Get it right and you can go a long way towards gaining a customer for life.
If you’d like to enhance the perception of your brand by improving your customers’ digital experience, we can help. Get in touch with the UpriseVSi team today.