Your brand promise, given through media messages, doesn’t have the same weight as before. Today’s customer expects brands to keep their promises! How your customers feel when dealing with your products or services has become increasingly important. It’s not enough anymore to provide a positive experience; customers expect your products and services to be affordable, pleasant and easy to use, and to fulfill their needs.
With the growth of social media platforms, customers have become empowered to communicate with brands on one side and share their experience, with a large audience, on the other. As a result, the gap between brand promise and customer perception influences customer retention and future purchase behaviour more than ever.
7 steps to bridge the gap between brand promise and customer experience
1. Be where your customers are
Today, customers have a wide array of available channels through which they communicate and acquire information. Do you know where your customers are? Instead of waiting for them to come to you, be in all the places where they search for information.
2. Listen to your customers
The best approach and starting point to bridge the gap between the promise and fulfillment is listening to your customers. Use a multi-channel marketing strategy to engage with your customers outside of your business realm. You will be able to learn more about them, and ways in which you can improve their experience, when you meet them in their territory.
3. Build customer loyalty with premium support
When it comes to support, most customers prefer using a self-support service rather than approaching you directly via phone or email, but they have limited patience. Having a reliable and effective customer support portal can be beneficial for your company and customer experience. Furthermore, your support site can be a great tool to gather valuable insights from your customers. Placing a simple question, such as “Was this information helpful?”, at the bottom of every page, has the power to get an instant and honest answer.
“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.”
~ Steve Jobs
4. Act on what you’ve learned and focus on the right activities
When you start to understand your customers, you have to act on the information you’ve learned and gathered. Focus on activities that evoke trust, and feelings your customers like to remember.
5. Make sure your brand promise and values are understood within your company
Brand promise is not meant just for your customers; it’s also appropriate for your employees at all levels. Make sure you translate your brand promise, values, and vision into a set of expected behaviours. Only if you communicate your brand clearly, can your employees deliver on the promise when interacting with the customers.
6. Engage and nurture your brand advocates
Encourage engaged customers to become your brand advocates, and commit to nurturing customer relationships as one of the primary parts of your marketing strategy.
Engage with your brand advocates in all channels, provide value in the form of helpful content, coupons and special offers. Create customized experiences and ask for their feedback. After you receive positive responses from your brand advocates, amplify their testimonials on your website and social media pages.
7. Deliver consistent branding in all channels
Consistent branding is an important part of the customer experience. Ensure that you implement your brand identity accurately across all marketing channels and customer touch-points. Wherever your customers can find you, make sure to achieve instant recognition, and foster an emotional connection between the brand and your customers.