Customer experience used to be a relatively simple concept – Take care of your customers and they will remain loyal. Unfortunately this plan went out with flip phones and portable CD players. Today, the customer experience (CX) is integrated into every marketing and communications message. From the positioning of a product or service, through the development of the go-to-market strategy, advertising, public relations, and brand lifecycle, the new concept of “taking care” of customers includes being part of their mobile and social life. Functional and emotional connections must be a core priority to every CX strategy.
The TopRight Customer BuyWay™ program is designed to map the matrix of interactions which customers have with brands today and then identify and systematically address any areas of weakness or limited opportunity. At every level, brands must adapt and meet customers across channels, adapting the message to each situation. A recent project with B2R Finance is a good example – where we employed the Customer BuyWay™ methodology to close the gaps in messaging and impact and create branding and awareness nationally and in key markets about investment opportunities and positive lending alternatives.
In that project and others, we consistently find there are five core areas of customer experience that must be addressed as a baseline to success:
- Brand Strategy and Positioning. Is your plan internally aligned within the walls of your organization? Have you identified what your customers will think, feel and act? Does your brand answer the “so what” question? Most importantly, why does your brand matter to customers?
- Culture and Authenticity. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Communicate with integrity and purpose. If you promote that you believe in a cause, then go all in and make a visible difference to your audience and the ecosystem that surrounds it.
- Technology. It’s not a “nice to have” anymore. Having the proper customer resources, tools and technology to meet expectations are critical to success. Having the analytics to back this up is necessary as well.
- Personalization. Create a compelling story and share your brand voice in a manner that connects with your customers. If there is an opportunity to further segment and personalize the experience, take full advantage of it.
- Value. Perception is important, actual value is the number one driver of loyalty. Showcase your benefits and value proposition with simplicity, clarity and alignment.
Communicating your brand differentiation is a challenge, but also an imperative for success. Utilizing the right mix of channels and platforms, as well as measuring and optimizing each one can be overwhelming at times. Start by focusing on the basics for delivering your message and keeping customers engaged. By supporting experimentation and understanding areas to improve, you will be far ahead of competitors in delivering a memorable customer experience and help your business Stay #TopRight.