Importance of Customer Experience in Marketing
How important is customer experience to the marketing of a brand?
The importance of customer experience to the marketing of a business brand is now well known. Customers are more likely to stay loyal to the brands that provide a better customer experience. This does not apply just to hospitality or QSR brands but other businesses too have to focus on the kind of customer experience that they provide. Customer experience is not just customer service but is made of several elements. It is a term that is being commonly used across the corporate circles but how to design a matchless customer experience is the bigger question that haunts all brands. Many times business managers think it is the image of the brand. However, customer experience depends on so many things. While you can change your band’s image using marketing and by focusing on quality to change the customers’ perception is not as easy. A simple hole in the entire experience like a delay in service can spoil the customer experience and lead to reduced value. It is why businesses should think of the entire customer experience and how their brand is being perceived by the customers to manage a great experience.
Customer experience is affected by several things and one of them is convenience. If it is difficult for your customers to find the product or service that they are looking for then that will lead to a poor impression and so a poor customer experience. Even if you own a clothing store, you focus on its look, design and arrangement. In this way, customers will have a great experience when they come for shopping. Each product is well arranged on the shelves and customers do not have difficulty searching for individual products. Apart from it, the look and feel of the store are also part of the customer experience. The retail brands whether they are fashion retailers or Walmart and Costco focus on the look and style of their stores.
IKEA’s stores are also great in this regard. They are designed in maze like shape which allows for a better shopping experience. Customers pass various segments and can check to different groups of products without losing their way. the entire experience becomes highly enjoyable which is good for customer engagement. If customers enjoy shopping at a storer they will recall the experience and are more certain to pay a second visit. Along with the stores look and feel the attitude of the staff also matters. How hospitable your staff is and how they interact with the guests also decide how influenced or impressed they will be with your brand. This affects their perception of the brand in turn. If your staff is good at handling consumer complaints and deals with them properly, it leads to higher customer satisfaction. It can earn you positive word of mouth.
Research has already highlighted the importance of customer satisfaction in this age. It is important not just for customer retention but for marketing and attracting new ones too. Gone are the days when customer could be held waiting for long before their complaint was addressed. Now you cannot keep your customers waiting in the digital era. You will instantly receive poor reviews and will have to pay in the form of loss of reputation. This is the era of customer satisfaction and even in case of online businesses, the level of customer satisfaction becomes an important differentiator. Moreover, if you wish to stand out of the crowd, you have to show you are focused at customer satisfaction. Higher customer satisfaction is also a sign of better customer experience. You have everything like good looking stores, hospitable staff but if your quality is below what your customers expect from you then it can lead to poor customer experience.
However, apart from the quality of your product or service the quality of your people is also an important part of the customer experience. Being good in one area and bad in another can lead to a poor experience for the customer. Suppose you are an e-retailer and run a call centre. If your people are not highly concerned for the convenience of the customers who call and do not properly attend to their needs, it will lead to a poor impression and bad customer experience. Bad customer experience leads to hole in a brand’s reputation. People will believe that your staff is lazy and you are concerned only about money. Poor interactions with the customers lead to power reputation. Brands that hire passionate people and train them well to properly respond to the customers’ demands win in this area.
Even in case of a e-retail website, the website must be easy to navigate, the returns’ policy must be clear and customers must be able to find the information they need easily. If any of these things is not there, the customers will have a poor experience and the result will be low sales and higher number of complaints. Obviously, the result will be that your marketing efforts will not bring the desired results and you will continue to lose sales and revenue. A good customer perception is a valuable asset for a company ad results from great customer experience. If you are a restaurant brand, the flavour of your food, your prices, your restaurant stores and the quality of your staff and the technology you use all will constitute your customer experience. If any of these aspects is poor then it will have a negative effect on customer experience. It is why the best brands are investing so much in technology, data and analytics. These things have become crucial to the creation of a great customer experience. Apart from having a great quality product and investing in best in class technology, it is important that the brands understand their customers’ taste and consumption patterns. Based on these they can design better customer experiences and can take the level of customer satisfaction higher. In this age, customer satisfaction is above all other things and investing in quality and technology can help you derive better results from your marketing efforts. Even your marketing and promotional efforts must be targeted at customer experience and customer satisfaction. Without these it will be difficult to bring outstanding results.