Is Customer Experience Part of Marketing?

How many times have you had such a good experience as a customer that you just had to tell everyone about it? Would you say that was part of the brand’s marketing plan? Don’t worry, if your answer is “I don’t know”, I got you! 

Customer experience is, in fact, a part of marketing. It actually has become one of the most crucial aspects of it. It’s the impression left of a brand or service from the customer’s interaction with it through all stages of the buying experience. A satisfying customer experience augments the likelihood of a client returning, just as it helps with promotion through word of mouth.

Studies have shown that Millennials don’t mind paying more for a service if their customer experience is richer than others. On the other hand, many established brands such as Disney, Apple, or Amazon and new ones, have gained major popularity for their customer experience.

Why has Customer Experience Become such an Important Part of Marketing? 

The main reasons are: 

  • The Use of Social Media

How social media works today, a customer can easily share his experience with other customers. A big part of a brand’s success depends on the customers’ feedback, which is seen in the discussions that they have about it on social media. 

Brands can no longer rely solely on communicating their mission well. They also have to really deliver it.

  • The Evolution of The Customer and His Role

The customer has evolved from an almost silent consumer to one that not only has a say about his experience but has a forum to share that experience with the next customer – hello, online reviews. 

Now brands have to care about the experience if they want to maintain a good reputation and a good image, and if they want to guarantee that their clients stay loyal to them.

  • Other Factors

Such as differentiation from other brands, increased profits, added value to the brand, and good promotion.

Highly Recommended Articles:

5 Insights on How to Improve B2B Customer Experience

Is Brand Experience Customer Experience?

9 Ways in Which Brands Successfully Use Customer Experience for Marketing and How You Can Follow Their Example: 

Is Customer Experience Part of Marketing

A few strategies have stood out, from the different strategies used by the brands that have done it successfully.

  1. Creating a Concise Vision of the Brand, Its Products, and Its Buying Experience

Successful brands create a clear image for themselves and their product or service. They then consolidate it in their mission, in their policies, and their strategies. They make sure that all the members of the team have that vision internalized. 

That way, they are more likely to deliver it to the customer successfully.

  1. Making Sure their Vision Is Consistently Communicated to The Customers

The successful alignment between a brand’s promise and the delivery of that promise to the customer is a factor that always results in customer satisfaction. 

Brands that provide exceptional customer experiences focus on that.  With consistency and the internalized vision added to the mix, they can communicate their mission in all steps of their contact with the customers. 

  1. Building an Emotional Connection With their Customers 

Building an emotional connection with each customer humanizes the brand and creates customer loyalty.  Whether through the interaction between customers and staff or through creating a community constituted by regular customers. 

  1. Using New Tools to Improve Aspects of The Customer Experience 

. Making use of technology and artificial intelligence to improve customer experience is one thing brands usually do. The goal is to reduce the effort that the customers would have to make in their experience and remove any friction in the process.

  1. Staying Tuned to Customers’ Feedback on Their Experience 

Brands usually do that by creating a platform for customers to express themselves. Either through a quantitative review section on the brand’s website or a qualitative one. Those sections allow the brand to keep track of their delivery and their customer satisfaction. 

  1. Acting on Customers Feedback 

Adjusting aspects of the company in response to the customers’ feedback is a crucial step in optimizing the customer experience. Brands are willing to make changes in the company and the team’s posture to change the customer’s experience for the better.

  1. Measuring Customer Experience and The ROI- Return On Investment 

ROI (return on investment) is a measure used to analyze whether investments had a good return or not. 

Brands know that a good customer experience doesn’t always have a one-to-one ROI, and sometimes the return might not come directly but translated through actions that in the long term benefit the brand, such as loyalty.

  1. Having an Active Social Media Presence 

Nowadays, most people are on social media and rely on it to decide what products or services to purchase – hence the birth of the influencer. Smart brands make it extremely important to have a noticeable and active presence on it by creating content that interests their customers. 

  1. Being Thoughtful of Important Dates and Events 

The new customer values being seen and heard. Regardless of what a brand’s product or service is, customers appreciate brands that speak up on important matters and stand for a cause. Whether by making a woman’s day promotion or supporting diversity, brands know that those things shape their customers’ experience.

Tips on How To Apply These Strategies To Your Business:

How Brands Do It How YOU Can Apply It To Your Business 
Creating a Concise Vision of The Brand, Its Products and Its Buying Experience-Think about your company’s values and objectives. How would you like other people to see your brand?-Write your thoughts down and define those as your brand’s mission.
Making Sure that Their Vision Is Consistently Communicated to The Customers-Make sure that you and all the people you work with on the company internalize your mission. -Create a customer’s journey map with all the possible steps of your customer’s journey from their first contact with your brand. -See where on the map there’s an opportunity to reinforce your mission and communicate it. Note it and think of ways to do it. 

Building an Emotional Connection With Their Customers 
-Ask your customers to rate your product or service. Incentive them to give their opinion.-Organize events like Instagram lives (for fewer expenses) or in-person launch events. To connect with your customers and for them to connect with each other.

Using New Tools to Improve Aspects of The Customer Experience 
-If your business is an online store and has a regular page on Instagram, switch it to a business profile. That way, your clients will be able to shop without leaving the app. -Put available the customer service chat on your website.

Staying Tuned to Customers’ Feedback on Their Experience 
-Have a review section on your website. -Read your reviews and, most importantly, analyze them.
Acting on Customers Feedback -Listen to your customers’ feedback and think of ways to cease their frustrations with the experience.
Measuring Customer Experience and The ROI- Return On Investment -Revisit your data every month.
 -Keep track of your progress, especially the one that stems from these actions.

Having an Active Social Media Presence 
-Create a profile and be active in social media, having your target customer in mind. Create interesting content. -Reply to comments and play with your customers. Show them your brand’s personality.

Being Thoughtful of Important Dates and Events 
-What causes do you personally relate to or empathize with? Is there any way your brand can support them?-Keep an eye out for world events. Have a voice. 

Some Popular Examples of Good Customer Experience:

  • Amazon: 

They have been working on the implementation of drone delivery, a service they have called Prime Air. By making use of new technology to reduce delivery time, they will guarantee their customers satisfaction. 

  • Apple:

They’ve created Apple Repair Stores to help customers who find any problem with their devices, sometimes even with no costs to the customer. That’s predicting and attending to customers’ necessities and frustrations. It generates satisfaction and a sense of connection.

  • Disney:

They communicate their vision consistently. All their collaborators are expected to internalize the spirit of the park by getting in character. All the park’s elements are decorated following that spirit (yes, even the trash cans!).

Some Consequences of Poor Customer Experience

  1. Bad Reputation:

Just like good customer experience will result in word of mouth promotion, poor customer experience can cause defamation. Defamation leads to mistrust in existing and potential customers. Brands need to avoid that as recovering from it can be really challenging. 

  1. Loss of Customers & Difficulties Attracting New (Long-term) Ones:

Customers will always opt for brands that match their mission to their delivery. Brands that fail to do that or start lacking in their delivery will more likely lose customers and repel any potential ones.

  1. Financial losses:

All the previous points often result in financial losses for a brand, as a brand’s financial stability depends largely on its customers. 

With all that has been said, we shouldn’t confuse customer experience for customer service, as they are not the same. The latter is just one element of the customer experience, referring to specific points of the experience where the customer requests help or assistance.

References and Further Reading 

7 Ways to Create a Great Customer Experience Strategy. SUPEROFFICE 

What 5 Companies with the Best Customer Experience Can Teach Us.HIGHER LOGIC

Emidio Amadebai

For the past 2 years, I have been working as the head of Customer Experience, Sales, Marketing, and Customer Finance at an international pay as you go solar home system company working in rural areas in Africa. After my previous 7 years working in B2B, IT&Telecoms industry, as a Service Delivery and Project Manager, having worked with Vodacom, Huawei, and other multinational companies. My job is to make sure we improve the lives of thousands of families, with access to electricity, utilities (radio, TV, lights), doing our very best so that they get the best-in-class customer experience, and succeed in acquiring the products for themselves.

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