Products, services and features are all important parts of brand reputation. But research continues to show that customer experience – the complete range of interactions a consumer has with a company – is far more important to developing a strong and lasting company. This has marketers asking: What components make up the customer experience, and how do these concepts promote maximum brand impact?
The answer is a complex one, but there are a few key ideas that marketers can latch onto as they shore up their customer experience efforts. Decision-makers should look at some of the most influential aspects of the customer experience as they relate to marketing, and consider suggestions for how brands should build their campaigns moving forward.
1. Focus on audience emotions
At the core of the customer experience lies a very human element – an emotional reaction. The most effective marketing campaigns of all time speak to the audience members as if they were close friends or advisees, sharing information that will change their lives in a significant way. This is the mindset that brands must adopt if they want to improve the customer experience from a marketing standpoint.
“Emotion is at the core of the customer experience.”
A great way to spark a more emotive marketing campaign is to draw upon data generated by customer databases. These information deposits collect names, browsing behaviors and purchase patterns – all of which can be leveraged in the context of an email, direct mail campaign or social media message. Brands that deliver a more personalized experience are sure to succeed in the digital age.
2. Work across multiple channels
Today’s consumers are conscious of their options, from brand selection and product choice to a diverse range of communication channels. This means that companies need to use every channel in their arsenal as they reach out to a changing, evolving audience. Research from Oracle stated that 37 percent of brands plan to invest in stronger multichannel programs, meaning that marketers must catch up.
Building strong email, social media and direct mail campaigns can set a brand ahead of the rest, especially if these efforts are developed in a coordinated, consistent manner.
3. Put out fires when necessary
Not all marketing efforts are proactive and positive. In fact, some teams need to focus more heavily on damage control to improve their brand reputation in spheres such as Facebook, Twitter and even Yelp. (Here’s 8 of the funniest reviews and responses we’ve encountered) As Daniel Newman wrote in a recent piece for Forbes, “Bad customer reviews spread like wildfire,” meaning that it’s in a company’s best interest to put out the flames as soon as possible when a problem flares up. Keeping a close eye on social media platforms is essential in this regard.
“People are unlikely to forget a bad customer experience,” stated Newman. “An interesting statistic that illustrates this it that Americans tend to mention a good brand experience to an average of nine people, but will talk about a bad one to 16 people.”