There isn’t a brand out there that isn’t trying to get its message out into the world (obviously), but the message is just the beginning. The experience after the message is what makes the message pay off. It’s what turns interest into loyalty, one-off purchases into regular ones, brand detractors into brand advocates. The experience is what makes the work and the investment in the message worth it, and brands are taking notice. 73% of brands are “working towards delivering cohesive customer experiences, rather than standalone campaigns or interactions."
The experience is everything from how the product performs to what the website UX looks like, but taking a step back even further, the experience is about how you communicate with people after that initial message and interaction with the consumer takes place. What should that next touchpoint look like?
It’s mobile. It means brands are accessible and useful wherever and whenever consumers are. That means being mobile in every single way from a website that is optimized for mobile screens to forms that are simple and easy to fill out.
It’s reachable. Customer service hotlines and email addresses are great, but they vastly underutilize the channels in which consumers are communicating. Facebook is pushing more and more users to turn to Messenger to reach out to brands. Consumers who reach out there and don’t get a response will feel ignored and unappreciated. Be reachable through the channels people want to turn to, whether that’s Facebook, Twitter or other channel.
It’s appreciative. When consumers post or share something positive, reward them. This reward could be simple in the form of a social "high-five" such as a like or a retweet, or it could be taken to the next level by spot rewarding some advocates with exclusive VIP packs or other gifts. Elevate the advocates for the brand. Show you’re listening, and most importantly, appreciating.
It’s always learning.
Brands that test and learn with new platforms are the brands ready to deliver on consumer experience expectations in the future. This doesn’t mean go out and create a Snapchat account. It does mean play with different platforms, learn from them and learn how people use them. Get to know the platform when it’s an option instead of learning it when it’s a business imperative.
Brands aren’t just selling products. They’re selling the experiences and the support that comes along with them. It’s good to see brands investing in this area. It’s what makes reaching consumers with a message worth it because experience is what keeps them coming back. Each consumer that comes back on his or her own is one less person that needs to receive that initial message.