By Lori Dubois, Marketing and Branding Expert and CWCC Member
You’ve done your homework and carefully built your brand. You agonized over the right name and tagline for your business, invested the effort and money to develop a unique logo that represents you well, and clearly and narrowly defined your purpose and how you differ from your competitors. Have you given as much attention to thinking about how customer experience affects your brand?
While messaging is a critical piece of your brand, it only covers part of the equation. Words and messaging convey what you say about your company, including your name and tagline, mission statement, 30 second commercial, website content, and any other marketing messages. The reason customer experience is so important is because it encompasses what everyone else is saying about your company.
In a world where perception is reality, what you say doesn’t matter if your customer’s perception is something different. If you say you are faster, better, or less expensive, you better be ready to prove it. Especially with the influence of social media today, word spreads faster than ever before, and you might be amazed how much people seem to care about their customer experience, good or bad.
Customer experience includes customer service, but is much more than customer service alone. Customer service evokes images of retail clerks in front of a long line of customers returning merchandise, or a phone bank dealing with angry or frustrated customers. Customer experience is defined as any way someone interacts with your company brand:
- Seeing your advertising on TV, the internet, or in print
- Calling your accounting office to ask questions about an invoice
- Reading about another customer’s experience through a social media channel
- Talking to a sales rep from your company
- Observing how a company reacts to a blunder
- Visiting your website
- Watching an interview with a company CEO
- Any other opportunity to see or interact with your business directly or indirectly
When you think of all the ways your brand touches people, you quickly see the opportunities to build brand reputation or destroy it. When we start a new business, we want people to know about us. We want them to care. We should not be surprised when we see evidence of this happening. When we become more aware of the impact customer experience has on our brand, we discover the opportunity to focus on positive communication and strive to understand what our customers really want when they interact with us.
Lori Dubois owns Dubois Information, a marketing communications company helping small to medium sized businesses build a brand that tells their unique story in the right way to the right people using the right methods. Dubois Information works with business owners to communicate better with their clients and prospects through email marketing, newsletters, surveys, web content, video, and social media strategies. www.DuboisInformation.com, 303-221-1129