Brand experience encompasses customers’ thoughts, perceptions and interactions about a company. It includes everything from marketing campaigns to product launches to exchanges with customer service agents. Yet far too often it takes a backseat to customer and employee experience when it is, in fact, just as important.
Why focus on brand experience? Our study, Channeling Happiness: The 2022 State of Consumer Experience Report, found 84% of brand respondents said providing a consistent, high-quality experience at every touchpoint is the most important customer experience component. Further, 70% of consumers surveyed describe customer service (CX) excellence as a strong relationship with the brand that evokes happiness.
Simply put, providing excellent customer and employee experience relates directly to exceptional brand experience. One without the others is impossible.
So what makes for a great brand experience?
Use data to drive the brand experience
Every customer touchpoint is another opportunity for agents to collect actionable data on trends, areas of concerns, growth paths and more. Successful organizations operationalize this data, using it to refine the brand experience. This can include providing more self-help or bot options, identifying common customer complaints/issues, providing proper training for agents to quickly address concerns and even allowing your organization to be more proactive by identifying emerging consumer trends.
Taking the time to better understand this data will not only lead to strong CX but will reinforce how your brand is dedicated to growing and evolving with its customer base, further building their loyalty.
Embrace advocates…and detractors
Organizations love receiving 5-star reviews as they realize the importance loyal brand advocates can provide through net promoter score (NPS) surveys, social influences and more. But what about the detractors? That is, those with negative or 1- or 2-star reviews?
While it’s easy to cast them aside as anomalies or “just part of business,” instead, take the time to embrace the detractors to better understand their experiences and how their input can be used to strengthen your brand.
Specifically, gain insights on what led to the negative experience. Was it working with customer service? Long hold or wait times? A shipping or delivery issue? The inability to transfer from an impersonal bot to an empathetic human agent? By uncovering the source of a detractor’s irritations, you can better determine why the frustration occurred and potentially take corrective action to ensure it does not happen to others.
Likewise, by showing your detractors that you take their feedback seriously, you may be more inclined to regain their business and possibly even convert them into advocates.
Create a brand culture that connects with customers
To customers, each brand has characteristics that define them. Take Amazon, for example, and the work it has done around hassle-free returns. If items arrive late, damaged or just aren’t needed anymore, shoppers know easy returns and/or replacements are just a few clicks away. No restocking fees to worry about and, oftentimes, no labels to even print. A simple barcode on a smartphone is all that’s needed.
As you review customer data and improve services to turn detractors into advocates, identify what key brand components you want to make known to customers. That is, what are the characteristics you want customers to think of when it comes to your brand? Once identified, weave these characteristics into everyday interactions to create this brand association and, ultimately, strengthen customer relationships.
Don’t overlook brand in the Happiness Trifecta
Your brand is often the umbrella that represents your people, processes and products/services, and thus should not be overlooked. By reinforcing your brand through better use of data, listening to detractors and creating a consultative support center, you’ll continue to show customers you place their needs first.