Customers are the backbone of any brand. Given that they form the core of the business, often we see brands focus more on quantum of sales rather than the experience of sales. Customer experience is the most important factor impacting brand loyalty.
Ignoring unsatisfied customers who give negative reviews online results in a loss of business. Often, enough companies are unaware of the quantum of this loss to their revenues. Each negative review has a detrimental effect on the brand. When these pile up, they can cause permanent damage to the brand identity and future sales.
Should you focus on Customer Experience?
As a business sprints up the hill of progress, the one thing pushing it forward is its customer base. Statistics prove how powerful understanding your customers and customizing their experience can be. Many marketers say that improved customer experience gives them on average a 33% increase in sales and customer flow. Some of the best marketers swear by customer experience as the fuel to their company’s bottomline.
The experience of current customers sets the expectation for new customers. An unsatisfied customer is likely to leave a bad review on social media and other platforms. These reviews shape potential customers’ first impression about the brand.
In contrast, positive feedback is bound to attract a larger audience and drive in new customers easily. Hence, it is important to make sure your brand experience is reliable and improving, all the time.
What is your Customer’s Buyer Persona?
Customer experience is generally measured through sales or customer feedback. Customer experience involves shaping your brand around your typical customers’ identity and personality. Understanding your buyer’s persona gives you insights on their preferences and needs.
A few questions to ask yourself when understanding the persona of your buyers are:
- What is the demographic of the customers?
- What is their socio-economic status?
- What are their tastes?
- Why do they like the product your company offers?
- What features of the product/service would they like to be improved?
- What impact does your brand have?
- What is its use to the customers?
- How does your product fare in respect to the competition?
- Are your brand and its products reliable?
- Do they return for a repeat purchase?
Measure Response and Feedback
The best way to understand customers and their perception of your brand is to ask them about it. Create surveys to accurately measure the satisfaction levels of your customers. Your surveys can help you gather your customer needs, insights on what isn’t working and also put a number on your net promoter score.
You could also gauge your customer’s feedback while they interact with your brand. A flier or touchscreen with a short questionnaire at the checkout counter or the waiting lounge is the best way to do so. Many brands ask customers for their email address and phone number so they can contact them later. A brief SMS or email requesting them to rate your service is easy, quick and shows that you care.
Customers of Intangible Products
It is easy to understand your customers when the product you sell is tangible. How do you perceive the satisfaction of your customers when you’re selling a concert ticket or an application on one’s phone?
For online services, the answer is easy. The customer provides an email address through which you can keep in touch. Feedback from your customer base allows you to find pain points in your brand and fix them. If you find the weakest link in your brand, you’ll ensure that your brand has a smooth growth in the long run. You can also track how visitors of your service respond to your brand using analytical tools. Most visited pages, exit pages, click patterns help you understand user preferences better.
But offline product-services such as hotels, transportation facilities are tougher to understand. These products are measured only by the service provided. For example, for a hotel, the customer experience depends on parameters such as –
- How the customer is greeted,
- The quality of the food and the room,
- The attention given to the customer during their time at the hotel.
Quantifying these satisfaction levels might seem difficult. But excelling at an intangible product’s service means ensuring that the service was the best it could be.
Knowing your customer better and focusing on his experience can help you personalize your product. This also lets you deal with issues before they hurt your brand perception. This not only prevents dropoffs but increases word of mouth sharing of your product and can have a strong impact on your sales.