Traditionally, it has been defined that engagement is at the core of the value-driven relationship between a customer and a business. This coupled with uncertainty over how to manage experiences (how customers feel), has led to the rise in popularity of engagement over experience.
Each time a customer engages with you, they are forming an opinion about you, the business and the brand as a whole. This sub set of ‘engagements’ accumulate to create their overall ‘experience’. Everyone strives to perfect each part of the process to ensure every engagement is positive, including building in mechanisms to grow relationships rather than interactions being purely transactional.
But what if you focus on the end point first? By aligning your practices and services to improve customer experience from the outset, you will accelerate their journey from prospect to advocate whilst reinforcing positive perceptions of your organisation along the way.
This in no way means stopping the focus on improving processes and systems to improve any touchpoints and engagements with customers, but does provoke the thoughts of working smarter to achieve greater experience levels and happier, healthier brand advocates.
Utilise Emotional Intelligence
Experience is a much more emotive word than engagement – it implies recognition of how the customer feels about their interaction with you as well as their perception of the brand and the product or service they have consumed.This concept of emotions stretches beyond the customer’s feelings, but suggests merit in utilising Emotional Intelligence throughout the buying process. In this way sales, marketing and customer service teams are equipped to heighten customer experience levels via a deeper emotional understanding, effective communication and empathy, to overcome challenges, defuse conflict and delight the customer.
The idea of rewarding loyalty is two-fold – one aspect relates to the reward and recognition of employees, and the other to identify loyal customers and advocates to further augment their relationship with the brand.There are all sorts of inspiring ‘reward schemes’ out there – that would be a whole other blog really! The main point is that ensuring each internal and external stakeholder feels valued is the key to building lasting, meaningful relationships within and external to the business.
Go with the flow
How a customer perceives their interactions with your brand (their customer experience) is significant, but it is the flow of experiences that really drives engagement. Also remember that human beings are notoriously forgetful and often their current opinion of a brand or of the service they are receiving, is based upon their most recent experience with you.
With all of these key points in mind, it is crucial to address all aspects of engagement and experience to ensure your brand story – and the perceived value and positive experience gained from interacting with your business/product/service – are aligned, planned and constantly evolving.Customer engagements and experiences are intrinsically linked and should form part of your business and marketing strategies, as well as in some cases even running as deep as your brand values.
At Narrative, we not only recognise the importance of a strong marketing strategy, we also understand how to plan and improve your customers’ journey, be it digital or offline, with tactical ideas and support.
Get in touch if you’d like to explore your customers’ journey and transform their experiences with proactive, meaningful content and marketing activities.
This post was created on 16th January 2020 Under the category Blog