Why Customer Experience is Critical to Your Advertising.
If the rise in social media and selfies has taught us anything it’s that everyone now has a voice. Sometimes, all it takes is a single Tweet or Facebook post about a company/product/service to make an impact. Regardless of how you feel about individuals having that level of power it is now the accepted reality that we all live in. As a reaction to this, one very critical business tool has also risen in popularity, the Customer Experience Mindset.
Granted, Customer Experience (CX) existed before the dawn of true individualized social media platforms, but now it has become a guiding light for some of the most successful companies in the world. Here’s a brief definition of CX, just in case you need it: Customer Experience is an analysis of the entirety of interactions a customer has with a company and its products, from research or motivations before purchase to living with the product and returning for more. The ultimate goal is to better understand the feelings of the customer and make it as easy and rewarding as possible for them to remain and return happy and fulfilled. (At Wabash & Lake, we’re big believers in applying the same CX strategy to employees as well, which has been covered in MANY of my prior articles.)
If you need a quick example of a company that takes the CX mindset to heart and continues to innovate because of it you only need to walk into your closest Starbucks. Rather, you only need to open their App on your smartphone, place an order, pay for it, then walk in and pick it up without having to waste any more of your time than is necessary. The Starbucks app (and the overall store experience behind it) is one of the truest forms of excellence in CX that I’ve ever seen. Starbucks could have just made an app that displays their menu, hours, and the locations near you just like many other companies do. Instead, by understanding the experiences their customers expect from them at every positive and negative point in the enjoying process, they were able to create an app that actually delivers the Starbucks store experience efficiently in the palm of your hand.
By applying a similar CX based approach to your advertising/marketing will allow your brand to better resonate with your potential customers in this individualized and self-empowered world. If you aren’t used to it, some of the CX process can be uncomfortable and that’s exactly why I love it so much. The hardest part for many to accept is that your advertising/marketing budget, your ads schedules, marketing materials and commercials actually belong to your potential customer…not you. By taking that approach and focusing more on making these ad elements for the potential customer forces us to dig in and learn more about the real people that you need to connect with. What are they feeling before they want your products? What is their life like without your company or services? What will it be like once your company makes it better and just how will you do it? Who are they already giving their business to and what is that experience like?
The Customer Experience method will help you to remove yourself from your advertising and marketing. You’ll find yourself asking deeper questions about your potential customer and learning more about who they really are and how you fit into their lives. As you began to see them as real people and discover all that is going on in their world you’ll not only find why they aren’t thinking about you right now but also how you can change that. And if you’re lucky (and possibly working with a company like Wabash & Lake *wink*) you’ll craft messages that promise real experiences you can back up every time, giving your customer a compelling reason to use their own voice to spread your message further than standard advertising can.