The customer experience is the entire relationship between an organisation and its customers. It encompasses every interaction and touchpoint at every stage of the Customer Lifecycle.
The importance of optimising the Customer Experience (CX) cannot be overstated. Doing nothing is just not an option as, like it or not, every business already has a customer experience and those organisations that take deliberate and decisive action to improve theirs will attract more customers and keep them for longer to increase their customer lifetime value (LTV).
So what are the key elements of a great customer experience?
It all starts with your brand!
We are big believers that you get the business you go for, so your brand needs to resonate with, and attract, your ideal customers. A clearly defined brand strategy is needed to go beyond a logo and a strapline to really understand your target audiences and the problems that you are solving for them.
Potential customers will start interacting with your brand long before they become customers so the brand needs to be capable of engaging and nurturing prospects until they are ready to commit.
Do you have visibility of the entire customer lifecycle and does it extend beyond ‘purchase to delivery’? If prospects are experiencing your brand long before they buy from you, then you need to include these stages in your customer lifecycle. These are the awareness, attraction and engagement phases of your customer lifecycle. Ideally we want customers to be repeat purchasers and also to recommend our products and services to others so we need to think about what happens after we have delivered.
Once you have a well defined customer lifecycle you can start to focus on specific customer journeys within that lifecycle and prioritise based on where you can have the biggest impact or fix the biggest issues.
Moments That Matter
Customer journey mapping can be a complex and time-consuming activity, particularly when you consider every interaction at every stage of the customer lifecycle. It is important to recognise that all interactions are not equal. At each stage of the customer lifecycle there will be key interactions that create an opportunity to surprise and delight your customers – these are the moments that matter. These are the opportunity to create a deep and meaningful emotional connection with your customers.
By focusing on these moments that matter, organisations will deliver maximum impact and get the best possible return from their CX investment. Your customers will love you for it.
For most of us, our employees are the vital element of our customer experience. We strongly believe that ‘CX and EX are two sides of the same coin’ and it is virtually impossible to deliver a great customer experience without a great employee experience.
As Richard Branson is often quoted “Customers don’t come first, employees do. Look after your employees and they will look after your customers”.
We couldn’t agree more, which is why we have a thriving Employee Experience practice and why the first question we ask when people want us to help them with their customer experience is: how’s your employee experience?
Our experience and knowledge of both CX and EX gives us a unique perspective and allows us to take an holistic approach to our client’s customer experience improvements. Within this approach, we have developed a range of specialities including:
For most client engagements, we like to start with creating and agreeing a strategy, whether that is an all encompassing Brand Strategy or a more specific CX Strategy. Our unique approach is embedded in our BASICS methodology.
Sometimes clients will engage us specifically to develop or refresh their brand but often, it becomes apparent during a project that the brand would benefit from some development, or in extreme cases, a complete rebrand.
For example, one client, a startup, came to us to help them launch their business but we didn’t feel their company name matched their ambitions. So we took the bold step of recommending they changed their name. We came up with a new name as part of a brand strategy and after a successful launch they are now enjoying exponential growth.
It is also rare that we deliver a brand film or a new website that doesn’t include some brand development. Indeed, the biggest thrill we get from our brand development work is seeing established business owners and leaders become re-energised about their brand and their business.
The best brands tell great stories and these stories provide the backbone for any content marketing strategy or campaigns. When we bring together great stories and creative design we are able to generate the best possible results for clients.
An organisation’s website is the digital hub for the brand online and plays a key role throughout the entire customer lifecycle. We specialise in designing and building websites that go way beyond a digital brochure to deliver an engaging brand experience. We particularly like to work with organisations that are thought leaders in their field.
Film and Video
The power of film and video to improve engagement and conversion rates has been proven over many years and since the inception of Brand Experiences in 2014, we have always had our own production team. We see this format as a key tool to create an emotional connection with your audiences.
By taking a strategic approach to video production, we are able to bust the myth that video is expensive. Over time we build a library of video assets that allows us to respond quickly to new requirements and dramatically brings down the cost per video.
Customer Journey Mapping
Whether it is mapping existing customer journeys or designing new ones, there will be an ongoing requirement for customer journey mapping. Depending on the resources available from clients, our approach is to deliver knowledge transfer so that over time our clients can become self-sufficient.
To support this we have created a comprehensive CX toolkit that contains a number of templates that cover: Customer Lifecycle; Moments That Matter; Customer Journey Maps; Empathy Maps; Start Stop Change Continue reviews.
We make the toolkit available free of charge to clients. If you would like a copy, please get in touch.
Working in Partnership
A great CX programme is really about ongoing continuous improvements, and our approach is to partner with our clients to deliver what they need when they need it. In some cases that means taking full responsibility for the delivery of a project, other times it is more about supplementing and supporting the clients’ own resources to deliver a successful outcome.
The important thing is to work together to optimise the customer experience and thereby drive brand loyalty and reputation, competitive advantage, customer acquisition and retention, to achieve sustainable growth and long-term success.