Seven Philosophies for Building Great Brand Experiences
Extracted from the book "Building Great Customer Experiences"
by U.K. authors and brand experience gurus Colin Shaw and John Ivens.
Great Customer Experiences as a source of long-term competitive advantage.
Great Customer Experiences create an emotional attachment
to a company, and once that emotional bond is created it is difficult
to break, and thus can become a long term differentiator.
Great Customer Experiences are created by consistently exceeding Customers
physical & emotional expectations
People talk a lot about exceeding Customer expectations
and yet in reality many companies don't really know what their Customers'
physical and emotional expectations are at each moment of contact. Do
you know what your Customer expectations are when they call your center?
When they first meet your sales people? We list below just some moments
of contact companies have evolved. If you don't know, how can you manage
their expectation. Furthermore, how can you possibly expect to exceed
something you are not aware of? We advocate the breaking down of the Customer
Experience into its constituent parts.
Great Customer Experiences are differentiated by focussing on stimulating
What is the emotion you are trying to evoke in your customers?
Do you know? If not, why not? Emotions are the driving force behind all
human behaviour. The famous Vice President of Marketing for IBM, Buck
Rodgers said: "People buy emotionally and then justify with logic".
The reality is that most organisations leave the emotions
they are evoking purely to chance. Yet, they would never dream of leaving
the delivery of a product to chance!
Great Customer Experiences are enabled through inspirational leadership,
an empowering culture and empathetic people who are happy and fulfilled.
We all know that happy people (employees) give you happy
Customers. Yet poor management and leadership are ensuring that too many
front line people are unhappy and unfulfilled - thus causing unhappy customers.
To build a great customer experience you need to employ people who are
happy and fulfilled. You should also employ people who are naturally good
at evoking the emotion you are trying to deliver. For example if you have
selected trust as the emotion you want to evoke in your customers, then
you need to employ people who naturally good at evoking feelings of trust.
"Emotional Intelligence" has been used very successfully in
the recruitment of people to generate the emotions the company is trying
Your company's culture will also impact the Customer Experience.
If you live in a "blame culture" your people will do everything
by the book and will not take a risk for Customers. Thus, when a customer
wants them to do something that is "sensible" but outside the
policy they say no. Your Culture affects your Customer Experience and
can be measured and aligned.
Great Customer Experiences are designed "Outside In" rather
than "Inside Out".
Despite the rhetoric of Customer Centricity, in the main,
companies are still internally focussed. This manifests itself in what
we call "inside out" organisation, processes, systems and attitudes.
"Inside Out" defines that a company is more concerned about
what is good for them rather than good for the Customer. We propose "Outside
In" is the correct approach. "Outside In" companies build
their systems and process around what is good for the customer.
Companies are spending millions of dollars on CRM and yet
how are they going to improve the Customer Experience if the Customer
Experience hasn't been defined? An inside out approach is imperative to
success. True customer centric organisations define their Customer Experience
and then shape their systems and processes around them.
Great Customer Experiences are revenue generating and can significantly
From practical knowledge and experience of implementing
large change programmes and constructing many business cases, it can be
proven that improving your Customer Experience can invariably save you
costs. In one illustrative case the company
- increased Customer satisfaction with agents by 36%,
- increased customer facing time by 200% and
- saved 17% of costs.
Experience shows that too many people believe that improving
the Customer Experience will cost money. In many cases it can save money.
Her is one simple example - Customer complaints. All the research shows
that if you deal with customer complaints at the first point of contact
it is cheaper and improves satisfaction.
Great Customer Experiences are an embodiment of the brand.
What is a brand? It's a perception, a view, an opinion.
How is that perception built up? By many sources, not least of which is
advertising, the way a company behaves and the Customer Experience people
enjoy. Your brand makes a promise of what you are going to do. In our
experience there is a massive gap between the people who manage the brand
in a company and the people involved in the practical delivery of the
everyday Customer Experience. Again challenge yourself, do you know what
your brand values and brand personality are? Do you know how they manifest
themselves in your Customer Experience? If you don't how are you delivering