‘Think Inside the Box’ … and 3 Other Ways to Improve Customers’ Brand Experience
Brand experience can make or break a business, but most companies are too focused on other priorities — e.g., financial planning, partnerships and expansion — to get to the root of whether their brand experience is really a positive one for its customers. A survey from global consulting firm Bain & Company shows that 80 percent of brands believe they’re delivering a superior customer experience, while only 8 percent of customers feel the same way.
Creating a memorable brand experience improves customer retention, drives new customer acquisition and helps to position your brand above the competition. In fact, 86 percent of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience. Such a significant differentiator deserves some creative thinking, and if you’re looking to improve your brand’s customer experience, these four strategies are ideal places to start.
Think Inside the Box
Yep, you read that right. How many times have you ordered something online only to have it arrive on your doorstep in a plain, brown box?
Packaging wears multiple hats for your brand. For one, a branded box on someone’s doorstep acts as an advertisement for your business. Second, in the age of unboxing videos and DIY interior design, creating packaging customers want to share and save gives your brand more longevity and keeps it top of mind for current and prospective customers.
Businesses can literally think (or ink) inside the box too, using printing technology to print designs and extend branding to what’s under the lid. The last thing customers see before the actual product is its package, whether that package is a brown box or a branded one. Custom designed packaging is a creative and memorable way to take advantage of that final moment to share your brand’s message.
Provide Ongoing Touchpoints
Customers’ interactions with a brand shouldn’t end after they make their purchase. Maintaining an ongoing relationship ensures customers never forget about the brand behind the product. The easiest post-transaction touchpoint to execute is simply following up with customers about their product experience. Perhaps they have a question about the product, in which case your brand can swoop in and give them the answers they need. Maybe they love the product and want to write a glowing review.
Of course, it’s possible they had a bad experience, too, in which case asking for more context around the customer’s disappointment can help your brand improve future customer interactions. Another way to foster the post-transaction customer relationship is through social media. Encourage customers to share their experiences with your brand using a certain hashtag. Host a social media giveaway for a product or offer a discount. Celebrate your customers with a social media shout-out.
These strategies go a long way to foster a sense of community and expose your brand to potential new customers.
Create an Emotional Connection
Businesses that create an emotional connection with customers outperform competitors by 85 percent in sales growth, according to a Gallup study.
Long after people forget what they purchased from a business, they remember how the experience made them feel. If they reached out to your brand, were they interacting with an actual person or getting a canned response? If something went wrong, did your brand exhibit empathy or aggravation?
Customers want to feel valued, so brands should treat them like people, not numbers.
Listen on Social Media
You don’t have to be a mind reader to figure out what people like and dislike about your brand; you just have to listen.
An effective brand experience requires happy customers, and active social listening allows you to monitor customer sentiment and fix a problem before it gets bigger. Social listening also allows companies to decipher what its target personas want from the brand.
For example, if you see a certain trend emerging, positive or constructive, you can modify to your business model to keep your customers satisfied and coming back
At the root of a brand’s customer experience lies one question: How can you ensure your brand’s message resonates with customers?
It’s all about capitalizing on the many interaction opportunities to create a bond between the customer and a brand.
The best customer experiences not only encourage repeat customers, but they turn those customers into advocates who want to spread the message about your brand far and wide.
Miriam Brafman is the CEO and founder of Packlane, a company that makes it easy for brands to design beautiful custom packaging.