Editor’s note: Hey, folks! Our team at Blackwood has launched a podcast called The Big Brand Theory, and we’re releasing a new episode every other Tuesday. We’re always discussing new things with new guests, so make sure to keep checking back! If you’d prefer to listen to the episode about why customer experience might be the most important part of marketing, you can do so at this link. Enjoy!!
The world of marketing has many, many different facets within it. Many of these facets are extremely important, but naturally, there are some that tend to take priority over others. Perhaps one of the most vital aspects of marketing is customer experience; though people often look at them separately, they work together more than you might expect. Customer experience might be the most important part of your marketing — here’s why.
What does the term “customer experience” include?
In the words of Jacque Stahl, VP of Marketing & Communications at The South Bend Clinic, customer experience is “the direct or indirect interaction between client and business throughout the duration of the relationship – anywhere from trying to find your business online to picking up trash outside.”
It’s not just a marketing job, it’s a job that spans over potentially a long period of time. Basically, it includes every aspect that goes into that person’s experience with your business – whether that job solely belongs to one person or the whole team.
How has the idea changed over the years?
Nowadays, customer experience can be super amplified through the growth of social media. When something happens to you, you’re probably going to post about it on Facebook so your friends can see. It’s so simple, and yet not too many years ago we wouldn’t have been able to do that!
Since everyone’s voices are so much louder, if one person has a bad experience with a company, word can spread like wildfire. Not to mention the presence of services like Yelp and Google Reviews informing patrons before they visit these companies. This is sort of where it begins to tie into the marketing world – you have to maintain your business’s positive image so more people want to come!
How does customer experience most directly connect with marketing?
When you first hear “marketing,” your mind probably gravitates more towards the physical and digital advertising, branding, and buzz-generating. However, customer experience really is a lesser-talked-about (yet extremely integral) aspect of marketing!
A huge part of marketing is reputation management and maintaining positive public opinion; you want to look at your direct experiences with clients the same way. In other words, you want to keep their perception of your business as positive as possible, no matter whether you’re dealing with them online, over the phone, or in person. The idea is to have an extremely pleasant experience across all platforms and keep the trust you’ve built with your clientele.
What’s the best way to tailor the customer experience to your particular business?
Whether you’re a new or established business, people will form an opinion about your business the instant they see their first sign of it. They could see a logo, a person, your building, a random business card – literally anything – as their first-ever knowledge of your brand! When you think about that, consistency makes a heck of a lot more sense.
Taking this a step further, you want to find out (to the best of your ability) what your customers expect from you. Jacque Stahl tells an interesting story about how, instead of asking what complaints a business has received during a given day, she began to ask what customer recommendations or suggestions had been given. Putting a simple, positive spin on a typically negative thing can really do a lot for your perspective!
Once you find out what your customers are looking for, you can begin to tailor their customer experience a little bit more. The idea is to represent your business in a way that people will like, trust, and respect – and form a business relationship with, of course!
How can you implement this right now?
Most likely, you’re already doing it to some extent, but there’s always room for improvement! Jacque talked about a three-tier system for rating customer experience, and it’s a helpful tool to gauge where you’re currently operating. In a level 1 business, the customers’ expectations are not being met at all. Level 2 businesses are meeting the customers’ expectations but not exceeding them; level 3 businesses go above and beyond the customers’ expectations. Obviously, we all want to strive to be level 3 businesses!
Start off by examining the way you currently do business with your customers. Are there things you notice right off the bat that could change? Keeping the experience of your customers at the forefront of your mind can be absolutely life-changing – give it a try!
If your current marketing strategy just isn’t cutting it anymore, you’ve come to the right place. Our team of experts here at Blackwood Creative would be more than happy to work with you and help you meet and exceed your business goals. We’re in the business of building remarkable brands – yours could be next. Reach out to us today!
Interested in listening to this episode and more of The Big Brand Theory Podcast? Visit this web page for streaming options!