Brands are built on their reputations. It doesn’t matter whether you sell products, services, data or a little bit of everything. How you approach the sales process and the people who are a part of your team are just as important and influential as what you sell. That is where evaluating and prioritizing customer experience throughout your customer journey can yield major wins.
What is Customer Experience (CX)?
Consumers today have more options than they can count. While a beautiful product or captivating story may be enough to hook them, it’ll take more to keep them—and get them to spread the word. Pair great products or services with an amazing customer experience from start to finish though, and consumers are bound to come back and share with others.
Customer experience is essentially how a customer perceives your brand based on their experiences throughout your entire relationship. Every interaction or touchpoint is a part of that holistic experience. That can include browsing your website, receiving your products or service, customer service calls and so on. Each of these interactions is an opportunity to further showcase and reinforce your brand’s personality, values and commitment to customers or clients—and elicit an emotional response from them.
Why customer experience matters
Think about how you experience brands and evaluate their worth. How a welcoming, easy-to-use website or mobile app can make you feel happy and excited. How welcome emails or a personalized note can make you feel taken care of and appreciated. How slow delivery times or rude, inexperienced customer service agents can cause frustration—and the occasional outburst. The emotions you feel when interacting with brands can make or break your experience, as well as the company’s bottom line.
The happier and more satisfied a customer is with a brand, the more they’re willing to do for it—and even pay for it. The benefits of a great experience can mean increased customer loyalty, satisfaction, sales, word-of-mouth, positive reviews, recommendations—the list goes on. And with a list like that, it’s no wonder so many businesses are putting “improved customer experience” on their priorities list.
How strong branding creates better customer experiences
Since customer experience spans the entire customer journey, it can be hard to know where to start. Our recommendation is to take a big step back and first determine if the experience you’re offering customers ladders back up to everything your brand stands for and communicates. For example, if you’re about flexibility and making life easier, do customer interactions at every stage feel that way? Or, if you’re about a welcoming, on-demand partnership, does that attentiveness and personalization come through in CRM, dashboards and sales calls? The stronger your brand is represented in your experience, the more ownable it will feel to customers—helping it stand out from the crowd and reinforce your differentiators.
At the same time, gather data and ask your customers for feedback. Find where the gaps are and take note of touchpoints where your experience is truly shining. Together, these findings can help you prioritize and improve.
And just like how strong branding can help improve and differentiate your customer experience, the same can be said for the reverse. The more ownable and unique your customer experience is, the better it reflects on your brand and how customers perceive it—as long as the experience is good!
3 examples to get your wheels turning
To illustrate just how well branding and customer experience go together, we’ve pulled some best-in-show examples. Take a look and let us know if you have any favorites of your own!
AirBnB has done an amazing job at creating personalized customer experiences as unique as the places on their platform. Whether you’re a host or a guest, each touchpoint in the journey encompasses AirBnB’s branding and values in a consistent and seamless way.
Casper, a ship-to-your-home mattress company, is always looking for ways to help people get a better night’s sleep. One of their more interesting tactics was the Insomnobot3000—a chatbot that customers could text anytime between 11pm and 5am. While not only a great marketing tactic for buzz, this night owl bot was also able to gather mobile numbers for promotional offers and discounts. Creating a fun, engaging customer experience centered around sleep!
For over 50 years, Jayco has been equipping outdoor enthusiasts, families and road trippers with RVs. But with more and more model options and competitors, the brand decided it was time to help customers navigate the buying process before taking flight. This buyer’s guide was a simple, easy way to narrow options and find a customer’s perfect fit—no matter how they like to travel.
Want more on the importance of branding for businesses? Check out our latest article on branding in the age of content marketing.