How to Create A Great Customer Experience

The other day, we ordered pizza from a local place. The first time we called, we were on hold for a while and then were disconnected. We called back and were put on hold again for a long time before someone took our order. In the end, the pizza was delivered promptly and tasted pretty good – but our overall perceptions were negatively influenced by the lapse in service.

This experience demonstrates how important it is for businesses to consistently satisfy their customers at every point where they interact with and make impressions on them. This includes before, during and after a customer makes a purchase.

Here are a few tips about how to identify these customer interaction points – also called brand touch points – to create a great customer experience.

• Think about all the things that influence whether customers and/or prospects will consider buying from you. Pre-purchase touch points can include your website, advertising, direct mail, sampling, coupons, incentives, word-of-mouth, social media conversations and public relations, to name a few. Ask yourself: will each of these interactions build awareness, communicate our uniqueness and create a connection that will make customers and prospects choose us?
• Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and consider every interaction that occurs during the purchasing process – from order placement through delivery and set up. Will they be placing an online order or dealing with a salesperson, telephone representative and/or delivery person? If there is a store involved, consider your location, signage, packaging, displays, signage, interior architecture and shelf placement. The objective is to make sure that every aspect of buying from your business is a positive experience that a customer will want to repeat.
• A customer’s experience with your brand doesn’t stop after they’ve purchased something from you. You have an opportunity to increase brand loyalty and advocacy through post-purchase touch points like newsletters, loyalty programs, product and package performance, instruction manuals, billing, customer service and word-of-mouth and social media endorsements. Make sure that they make the customer feel confident enough to buy your brand again – or recommend it to others.

Every pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase touch point contributes to a customer’s entire experience with your brand. When the experience is good, it builds and reinforces your brand’s positive perception. But, unfortunately, when one part of the experience isn’t good, the positive connection with the customer may be broken – as it was with our office and the pizza place.

The point is that if you want to stand out from your competition, you have to consider every touch point and be sure that each delivers on your business’s brand promise every day. Not an easy task but definitely worth it.

#brand #touch points #customer experience #brand promise