7 steps to enhance the Customer Experience
The Customer Experience – An Essential Ingredient!
The customer experience is the most essential ingredient in making a business truly successful. It must be understood that this goes far beyond customer service and is not limited to the narrow constraints of the marketing department alone.
Many businesses make the common mistake of focusing simply on customer attraction and retention; using a clever marketing mix to drive sales and conversions. But, this is only part of a much bigger picture.
The biggest part of the customer experience is their identification with your brand values, personality and ideals. The image your brand portrays will attract like-minded customers – but that’s only the beginning. You must communicate through varying channels to appeal to different target audiences, communicating the appropriate strengths of the product you have which will appeal most to each group. Your brand values must be delivered and followed through, bringing your ideals to life and creating a memorable, unique and engaging experience for your customer which will drive loyalty.
Differentiate yourself from the competition by making sure your company has unique appeal. This is made easier by designing a customer experience framework which breaks down this process into a 7 stage map (see below). It will help to ensure your business objectives are met whilst maximising your company’s attraction and appeal:
Your most important step is to define and decide upon your core brand values and identity. When the brand platform is established, it will make up the foundation of your customer framework. Remember, these values and your brand personality must be consistent and followed through to all areas of your business.
Design your customer experience. What do you want your customers to feel? How do you want them to perceive your company and brand? After all, before you design your framework you must know what you wish to achieve.
Break down your business into separate customer experiences and identify the different requirements and objectives of each area. Follow this through the whole customer journey from initial contact, through to after sales support to drive customer retention and loyalty.
Define your target demographics and separate them into different categories according to their needs and values. Different customer groups will have different motivations, needs and desires so give each a profile and decide how each need can be fulfilled.
Create a grid showing customer experiences and target demographics. Where each segment interlinks, define and decide upon how to maximise that part of the customer experience. Work out how best to deliver and prioritise according to your core needs – perhaps by potential profit, long term strategy or resources. How does each experience reinforce your brand values?
Fine-tune your customer experience and make a plan as to how to meet the needs of each customer demographic in each area of your business. Either improve existing frameworks or create alternative ones – never be afraid to explore new ideas! All customer motivations should be considered; product, service, facilities, sensory engagement and others.
Integration and assessment is the final step. Do all parts of the customer experience you have designed reinforce your brand values and strategy? Eliminate any inconsistencies so your message and experience is clear and consistent. As your plan is implemented don’t be afraid to adjust and re-evaluate over time as you tweak individual elements to create a better fit.
In today’s marketplace, a company that truly designs a customer framework to fit their brand and ideals whilst maximising the experiences of their target audience has the best chance of standing out from the crowd. Your customers’ needs and desires are extremely diverse, so contact us today and together we’ll create a unique brand which delivers a compelling experience!