If a brand is a promise to do something for our customers in a certain way, the customer experience (CX) is their interpretation of how well you have delivered on that promise.
CX is where the battle for brand differentiation is being fought and won. It is the last bastion of hope, the last real chance to buck the status quo, and your last opportunity to resist becoming a commodity and getting into a race to the bottom of a price war.
CX makes or breaks brands in the hundreds of specific touchpoints that define the customer’s perspective based on those moments that matter the most and that represent real opportunity, and those areas that are pain points impeding growth and the creation of brand advocates and champions.
How well do you really understand what your customers think about doing business with you? No, seriously, do you even know?
The only way to really know for sure is to ask them. Otherwise, we’re just guessing and given the current situation brands are grappling with, that’s a risk you can’t afford to take. Customers will only accept “we’re doing the best we can” for so long. At some point – and this moment comes a lot faster than it used to – they’re going to move on to someone else who has asked and listened.
An unintended brand experience is a crash and burn waiting to happen. Now you’re just a cost or an expense that doesn’t have any context or any kind of emotional attachment. Whatever you do or provide is now something they can get anywhere. That isn’t sustainable.
Living up to the promises we make is table stakes for today’s customer, regardless of industry, regardless of product or service. If you say you’re going to do or deliver something in a certain way, make sure whatever that happens to be is what your customers want. If it isn’t, your best efforts to deliver an unwanted experience won’t really matter.
And if you really don’t know how your brand experience is being received, it’s time to find out.
Understanding your CX and making it part of your go-to-market planning means you can plan and develop based on what you know customers really want from you. If you can give them what they want, the way they want it, they will come back over and over again and will bring their network with them.
Article by Dave Cliche, President & CEO at TMD