Building out a stand-out customer experience
Tesla. They do things differently. Their CEO tells their story well. As a consumer, I feel like I know something about the qualities of the brand. The cars are ahead of their time (well, they were for a while until the mainstream caught up). Fast, smooth, futuristic. The sales process looks even more swish. You can buy one in just a few clicks! Gone are the days of too much choice, they have already anticipated most of the things I want and included them by default. Finance quote? 5 minutes. As I went onto their website recently to book a test drive the experience promised even more.
A touchless experience (wow!) I watched a short video which told me I’d sign up, simply enter my details online, and would be texted as I arrived on site and directed straight to my vehicle. No need for human interaction. I wasn’t sure if that was COVID related or just part of the future – but it looked good. I signed up. I was super excited about driving their car. The power of brand equity.
The house of cards starts to fall down
The bubble started to breakdown when I received an email from Oscar, my local sales rep, asking if I had any questions. I did – and I responded straight away, but unfortunately, I didn’t get a reply. 2 weeks later, still no reply.
I also didn’t get a text message on arrival, so I started to think that I hadn’t signed up properly or clicked ‘complete’. With a seed of doubt starting to grow roots in my mind, I also noticed that most of the cars on the forecourt were dirty. Anyway, I walked in, and had to wait 10 minutes to be seen. Bear in mind I didn’t expect to see anyone so this was a bit of an annoyance. The receptionist didn’t acknowledge me whilst I was waiting.
Whilst there, I noticed that the sales rep was dressed smartly, but the receptionist wasn’t, and neither was the other Tesla chap she was talking to. Then I noticed the showroom only had one vehicle in it, despite being enormous. And that in turn made me notice the very cheap, standard sparsely populated furniture.
I did eventually get seen, but my point is this.
Brand: Definitely not just a logo
Every single element of your business, from the visual assets and website to your people, the product or service you sell and your processes and systems all add up to brand experience and ultimately, form a part of your brand equity. This can be powerful and strong and lead to a customer choosing to come and test your product before they even look at a competitor. The power of your brand.
But it can work both ways. There is an assumption that people who work in brand are ‘fluffy’ which is very far from the truth. Understanding what goes into defining the experience your customers has with your brand takes a serious eye for detail and the ability to influence underlying systems and processes across your business.
Most customers we work with don’t have a forecourt. You may not have a store or a physical presence. But you will have a website and sales people. Everyone has employees, processes, systems and tools.
Experience by design
Adding posts to your GMB profile regularly (we recommend once a week) will keep the information on your profile relevant and up to date. Posting regularly will also contribute to building your location authority and it will tell Google that your business is active.
Note: Google prioritises quality data in its search results, so make sure all your posts are well informed and well suited to your audience.
4. Encourage positive reviews from customers:
Is the experience your customers have when they interact with your business, left to ‘the sum of the parts’ or have you orchestrated and designed it? Marketing leaders play a critical role, as the custodians of the Brand (and in scaling companies, very often Customer Experience as well).
- Do you nurture your customers? Do you follow up when you say you will?
- What does customer delight mean to your business?
- How do your staff answer the phone? Are they appropriately trained and informed?
- Do your staff demonstrate your company values, how do you encourage that on a daily or weekly basis?
- Does your brand share the same personality across all your channels? Not only in how you visually look, but how you come across and your tone of voice?
These are just a few of the critical questions your business should be able to answer and if there are areas that you are missing, I’d strongly recommend building them into your 2022 plans. Brand experience is not ‘experience’ for its own sake. It impacts the bottom line. Brand experience, impacts growth.
Brand and growth
Many of our customers come to us seeking growth. Usually, there is an emphasis on leads and a desire to convert quickly to revenue. And don’t get me wrong – I am a business owner too, I understand the need for sales before you can invest too much in ‘brand.’ But brand is so much more than the visual assets that represent it. Brand includes the underlying experience you deliver and that is not about marketing budget and ‘brand campaigns.’ It is about your systems and processes. Are you letting people down, by not delivering the promise you have set out on your website or in your communications or are you exceeding expectations and building brand equity?
I am just one person, but Tesla have a long way to go to replace my faith in what I thought their brand were all about. When I come to purchase my next car, they now have an uphill struggle to win my heart and mind back. Don’t let that be your customer (or prospect, or lead) talking about your brand.