What is your brand promise?
Every company has – or should have – a brand promise. Maybe you’re the cheapest compared to your competitors. In that case, customers can expect this to come at a price. You don’t shop at the cheapest supermarket expecting a premium shopping experience. Maybe you promise to offer the best service by understanding your customers. If you don’t know how customers perceive your company, it might be time to work out a strategy and formulate your brand promise. Make sure your whole company – both internally and externally – is aligned with your brand.
What does any of this have to do with the customer experience?
Brands whose customer experience is in line with their brand promise are generally perceived as more valuable. Imagine you’re abroad and looking for a place to stay. If you’re well off or traveling on your company’s dime, you might go for something like the Savoy Hotel. When arriving at the hotel, you’d expect flawless customer service. After all, when paying a VIP rate, you expect to be treated like a star.
On the other hand, if you’re a backpacker looking for the cheapest option, you’ll probably end up in a hostel. In which case, you won’t write a bad review if there are no personal showers with golden knobs and scented towels. It’s all about expectation management: the customer experience is directly related to the customer’s expectations.
How to align customer experience and brand promise?
First of all, you need to define what your brand promise is. Once you’ve done that, you can start thinking about how to deliver on that promise through the customer experience. By creating buyer personas, you could gather information about what adds value for your customers.
For instance: enabling a reservation system for shopping carts won’t add value to a supermarket’s customer experience. In a fancy hotel, on the other hand, having a pillow available with your preferred softness or firmness level is a nice touch that will improve the customer experience. Personalization is a great example of how to deliver on a brand promise like ‘great service’. Figure out what you can do to improve the customer experience based on your brand promise.
Deliver on your brand promise
If you’re the cheapest, your prices will determine customer satisfaction – so, be as cheap as possible. If you offer the best customer service, make sure your support and sales departments know your customers, adapt their service accordingly and are available via every channel. There is no bigger sin for your customer experience than to overpromise and underdeliver. Thus, be clear about what you promise, and make sure you deliver on that promise. If you do, you’re well on the way towards offering a customer experience that leads to loyal relationships with your customers.
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