The One Thing Brands Need To Know To Deliver A Top-Notch Customer Experience

Carla Johnson

Before we can truly give customer experience the attention it deserves, we need to understand our customers’ path to purchase. If brands wait until consumers reach out, there’s a tremendous amount of ground to make up. That’s why enterprises need to see “invisible” activities as an opportunity to architect each stage of the buyer journey to understand the needs of the customer. Once that understanding is in place, they can work across all departments to deliver value at every step. If companies choose not to do this, their sales representatives will be woefully underprepared when prospects are ready to connect with them.

Interestingly, despite needing to understand the buyer journey to create experience, this is where most companies fall woefully short. It’s the exercise of mapping the buyer’s journey from beginning-to-end that forces most companies to begin collaborating across departments for the first time. Going through this process uncovers many of the frustrations that prospective customers experience.

While it’s hard for any company to create a consistent experience, it’s certainly possible. A big part of doing this is creating consistency across all of the touchpoints. In fact, consistency is the biggest predictor of the overall customer journey experience and potential for loyalty to the brand and ultimately, revenue.

Owning the experience

Sales teams are the front line to revenue. With that, there’s an enormous opportunity for sales people to lead customer experience. Instead of waiting for permission from executives, marketing departments, and even customers, many sales teams see this as an opportunity to hit sales targets with a new level of control and ease. More and more sales managers are jumping at the chance to revamp their roles. They’re anxious to align the business with customers so they can woo prospects, hold onto business, and broaden what they deliver to existing customers.

That’s where a perceived drag comes into play. Can marketing deliver on their part? The line of demarcation between sales and marketing is blurry at best. How do we manage the expectations that marketing messages set with in-person experiences with sales people? If there’s no consistency in what a company says and how it positions itself, it’s only natural that a prospect can misinterpret what they expect. They’ll feel more than a little let down with the brand experience before they ever become a customer.

If brands want to understand what matters to customers, the first thing to know is that consistency stands front and center. Before companies can deliver on enviable customer experience, they first have to understand that an “experience” isn’t an isolated interaction, but rather reliable, consistent experiences across all interactions.

How can you use technology to deliver remarkable experiences in a world of evolving customer expectations? Read the free eGuide Managing Customer Relationships in the New Age of Experiences to learn how.

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About Carla Johnson

Carla Johnson helps marketers unlock, nurture, and strengthen their storytelling muscle so they can create delightful experiences. Through her consultancy, Type A Communications, she works as a trusted adviser at the highest level of blue-chip brands to establish open conversations, instill creative confidence, and inspire an environment of receptivity that develops highly priced teams and stellar business value. Carla has worked with companies such as American Express, Dell, Emerson, Motorola Solutions, VMWare, Western Union, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on how to tap into a wellspring of ideas and unveil new ways to bring their brand stories to life in fun and captivating ways. Recognized as one of the top 20 influencers in content marketing, Carla serves as vice president of thought leadership for the Business Marketing Association, a division of the Association of National Advertisers, and is an instructor for the Content Marketing Institute and the Online Marketing Institute. A frequent speaker, Carla also writes about the future of B2B marketing, leading through innovation, and the power of storytelling for the Content Marketing Institute, Chief Content Officer magazine, CMSWire and other business and industry publications. Carla lives in Denver with her devilishly handsome husband Ron, their three children, Melinda, Abby, and Nick, two parakeets, and seven fish.