In the words of Albert Einstein, we need to “Learn from yesterday, live for today and hope for tomorrow.”
This certainly applies to Customer Experience, where the important thing is never to stop questioning.
With customers, whatever your sector, whatever your brand, does the term ‘our customer’ really exist outside of the purchase journey? Or is it more a case that customer experience extends far beyond the actual shopping journey and becomes more about the brand experience?
We believe that every brand has, in essence, a very ‘flexible’ customer base, which will incorporate loyals, existing customers, potential customers and the wider consumer. And this balance will be in a constant state of flux.
One thing to remember is that consumers will be experiencing your brand from the ‘outside’, taking in all of the wider marketing mix. It is certainly true that they will be potential customers only when there is a NEED (and something triggers a need). At which point, they’ll look at past experience. They’ll do research. They’ll talk to others. They’ll interact with your brand directly.
And then they’ll become a customer.
WHAT IS CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE?
Customer Experience is NOT about branding, NOT about acquisition, NOT about advertising and NOT about Social. They’re all important but many of these things are much harder to control, they can be more random, and subject to outside influence.
So what is Customer Experience all about?
In essence it should be the EASIEST part of your marketing strategy. Brands and retailers will make a lot of effort to acquire a customer. Once they’re motivated & interested, it’s critical to get it right to build loyalty. But actually that should be easy, because it’s all in your CONTROL once a customer is through the door, whether its physical or virtual.
But why do we say it should be so easy? Because YOU can control operational issues that have a direct impact on customer experience. You can conduct trials, effect changes and improvements, you can carry out research and feedback to your teams to make sure your customers are happy and that you are doing it right.
THE PERSONAL TOUCH
Many retailers and brands focus on existing data, customer data and purchase data. This is fine and certainly has its place. But we encourage you to move away from the database! Take each customer one at a time. Treat each customer as an individual and offer them personalisation, not only through what you provide as a service, but how you look at them for insight. Remember to look at your customers’ individual experiences, not just the mass market.
A customer has been ‘active’ in contacting you, and in using you. Make it COUNT. Make them keen to return.
Remember, in a customer’s world, “It’s all about Today, Tomorrow is another day.”
To find out more about our customer experience work for brands please contact the Customer Experience team at Marketing Sciences!