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Nailing that Customer Experience: Take 1
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Warning: this post will contain branding buzzwords, but that’s okay, because this post will also break down some helpful tips to actually achieving that buzzword success. It’s all about customer experience. All brands are concerned about it, some are actually delivering on it, and many have no idea where to start. Today it will all become a little clearer with a foundation of where to start and where brands should focus their energy. Customer experience is one of those pesky little competitive advantages and the more brands can focus on delivering, the more success they might receive.

Create a knowledge base: In order to be successful in customer experience, brands need to have a knowledge foundation. This includes knowledge about the business (products, services, company) and knowledge about the customers. And then don’t just walk away! In order for the knowledge foundation to be useful it must connect to business applications that actually touch customers. This is the first step in using what a brand knows about its business and its customers to actually create an experience that delivers success.

Self-service might be the key: Not all customer experience is an overabundance of associates helping a client get what they want. Many times a great customer experience is giving customers the ability to find what they want, do what they want, BY THEMSELVES. That’s right, it’s almost the opposite of what many brands associate with customer experience, but that’s because many brands forget that it’s all about what the customer wants. Self-service systems can be a great option for the customer and for the brand by delivering easy access to certain knowledge and tasks while also allowing associates to focus on other customer duties. It’s a little bit of a win-win.

Know who’s on the frontline: A brand has the knowledge foundation and the self-service option, so it must be all set, right? Wrong. The brand still needs to employ a dedicated set of associates that manage the frontline. Customers will still have questions, still need their help, and the brand needs to over-deliver in this area. This means giving associates the ability to go above and beyond (and ensuring that they do) to make that customer experience the best brand interaction yet.

Contact any way they want it: Today multi-channel support isn’t only preferred, it’s expected. That means brands need to offer customers various options to interact with them. Phone, email, social media, and yes, snail mail. This allows customers the ability to interact with the brand the way they want to and feel most comfortable. Yes, that’s more strain on the brand, but if it helps provide a better customer experience then it makes sense.

These are only some initial ideas on how to tackle that buzzword "customer experience." But they set up an important foundation of how to truly succeed by putting the customer first.


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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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