Customer Experience as a Branding Strategy

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With more emphasis on customer experience, many companies are asking how we leverage customer experience as the foundation for creating an effective brand strategy. Apple and Steve Jobs have proven that this is indeed possible and a viable tactic. To humanize our brands we must take a closer look at how we interact with customers and identify the necessary steps to truly connect with our customers.

No Limits…

To really make customer experience impact and be an integral part of our brand strategy, it needs to be more than what we say, but what we do. And even then more than what we do, but who we are. It shouldn’t stop in the marketing department, or on the sales floor. We must take the limits off of our brand strategy and look at every aspect of the customer experience, every touch-point, every interaction. Does the image we exude on our website compare to our call center? Moreover, we need to look at the seemingly minute facets like our SOWs, and our training classes—they all should align with the brand image and experience we want to shape. We expect sales to know everything about the customers while we have email campaigns addressing Mr. Brown, but alas the recipient is female. According to Avanade, “Only 14% of respondents think that companies live up to the customer service promised,” we have a long way to go.

No, Not Just the Shoes…

I read the transcript of all our Customer eXperience Optimization (#CXO) Tweetchats. Though overused and clichéd, many times we leave with the overarching reminder to “walk in the customer’s shoes.” For customer experience to be critical to branding, I’d advocate that we elevate customer intimacy and not just walk in their shoes, but live in them—and not just their shoes—their skin. When we see and feel the experience from their perspective we can create a much more powerful and definitive brand strategy. It humanizes the way we communicate with our customers and helps us improve the processes and channels we devise. The customer then drives the conversations as we ignore corporate speak in favor of their language—a language we’re familiar with because we’ve lived the customer journey.

No Boxes Allowed…

Competition today is intense requiring that we surpass thinking outside the box to crushing the box all together. We must continuously push ourselves and our team to think of unique ways to delight our customers—unexpected delight. By creating innovative programs aligned with customer needs, we can create memorable experiences that build our brand. Furthermore, leveraging innovative technology to simplify and streamline processes helps keep our companies agile. Solutions like CXO Mobile keep companies on pace with the shift in the market and the “52% of information workers that use three or more mobile devices to perform their jobs.” With CXO Mobile, Customer Facing Professionals (CFPs) have customer insight anywhere, enabling them to build customer trust, loyalty and improve our brand stickiness.

No Gazing…

A critical component of using customer experience to create brand strategy is focus. Marketers need to hone in on the factors that create a consistently memorable experience and maintain these at every touch-point, with every customer, with every interaction. One failed moment could tarnish the entire experience and brand image. While we’re focused on the customer experience we must maintain the right perspective and see the experience form our customer’s point of view.

As you embrace customer experience as an integral part of your branding strategy, what steps are you taking to ensure success?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tracey Mustacchio
Tracey Mustacchio brings more than 20 years of marketing, business development and product management experience to Vivisimo. In her current role as Vice President of Marketing at Vivisimo, Tracey is responsible for the company's global marketing initiatives, including its go-to-market and product strategies.

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