Ways To Improve The Customer Experience (And Why It’s Essential To Building Your Brand)

If you’re aiming to build a strong brand, you better make customer experiences of your business as positive as they can be. Our features writer Chris Bilko shows you how it’s done.

Bill Bernbach once remarked that there was no faster way to kill a bad product than good advertising.

Bernbach was perhaps the greatest advertising man to ever live. If anyone knew how to build a brand, it was him. Yet many of today’s business professionals overlook his advice entirely.

image001Instead of attempting to strengthen their brand through an improved product or service, they jack up marketing spend – falsely believing this might win them brand evangelists.

Take it from us: brand loyalty is earned through positive customer experiences, and that’s never been more true than in today’s digital world. With a plethora of social channels just a few taps away, customers can now share their experiences with the masses in a matter of minutes. So if you’re aiming to build a strong brand, you better make those experiences positive.

And how might you do that? Well, here are 5 simple tips to get you started….

1.     Train your people. No matter if you’re a two man team or a global company, all staff should buy into your brand proposition. Do your people know what your brand stands for? Do they even care? If not, redistribute your manifesto. Reinforce your brand values and nurture a sense of community – your customers will quickly notice the difference.

2.     Treat all stakeholders as if they were customers. Yes, business is business, and yes, you’ll always be aiming for the best possible deal. But that doesn’t mean you should shaft suppliers. It doesn’t mean you should ignore community interests. You’ll never be perceived as an ethical company until you actually become an ethical company.

3.     Delight your customers. Defining brand values and promoting proper ethics will help ensure you offer an ordinary service. But to build a strong brand you’ll need to offer an extraordinary service – and that means you’ll need to pay attention to the little things. So save customers parking spaces. Maintain impeccable punctuality. Get to know them personally – that’s how you’ll build loyalty.

4.     Collate feedback – and learn from it. If Twitter has taught us one thing, it’s that customers talk about the service they receive. So make sure you’re part of the conversation. Invite feedback from your customers – both positive and negative. Replicate the positive. And work on the negative. It’ll all contribute to enhancing the customer experience… and in turn build you a sterling reputation.

5.     Fix your mistakes. If your customers ever do have a negative experience, do your best to fix your mistakes. Failing to do so can cost you dearly – as United Airlines found out the hard way. Don’t repeat such mistakes. Resolve complaints efficiently and turn a negative customer experience into a positive one – it’ll strengthen your brand in the long run.

Of course, the above advice isn’t as easy to implement as it is to read through. And if you’re not in a position to act on any of the above, then take from this article one key message.

Brands cannot be built in marketing meetings. And advertising can only ever get you so far. If your service is poor, you’ll never build a strong brand.

There is no faster way to kill a bad product than good advertising.

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