Why what a customer experiences impacts marketing
Firstly, you may be wondering what we are doing writing about customer experience. It can be expensive for companies to assume that they know how customers feel when they interact with you. For example, it can lead to lost sales, churn, failure to recommend you or even create a backlash against brand or campaigns. A single bad experience, or worse, a group of people who suffered a bad experience with your product or service, can quickly become viral in the age of instant news and social media. Enter customer experience marketing.
What is customer experience marketing?
In the same way as customer advocacy seeks to understand customer feedback and advertising ‘sells the dream’, customer experience marketing aims to measure how you made a customer feel and to help you invest in the right areas of improvement. Yes, that’s right, we can go beyond ‘likes’ or ‘dislikes’ to understand how a customer reacted emotionally to an experience or campaign.
Are you customer experienced?
Many of us would like to think that we understand what our customers think of our brand, our products and services, our invoices and even how we communicate with them. You may even have a lot of data from customer feedback surveys or a positive Net Promoter Score (NPS). There is still a place for traditional customer research methods and they do provide some insight into what a customer thinks of you.
Four questions arise when asking customers what they think:
- Are they telling you the truth?
- Dependent on personal bias and the gut reaction in the moment.
- Can they articulate how they feel?
- Typically, something that humans are poor at translating into words.
- Are you asking about how they feel?
- Tangible numbers can mean that ‘hard’ questions are used to uncover ‘facts’.
- Did your subconscious bias impact the questions?
- Potentially, reducing the usefulness if you ‘think’ you know the answer.
So what are customers experiencing when they see our marketing?
This is the £1m question and something that the world of psychology is trying to help with. From experience psychology to applied neuroscience in marketing, there are methods and techniques to get closer to the truth of how it makes people feel.
For example, psychologists construct specific questions and interviews to delve deeper into feelings and what motivates you. A new video marketing campaign for a premium subscription service may appear likely to succeed based on ‘likes’ but what if they didn’t buy? Do you know why?
Walking out of an airport terminal or railway station, you sometimes come across three push buttons to rate your experience in the moment (red for sad, amber for neutral, green for happy). Were your border control queues short but in the moment the customer hit the red button? Do you know why? Probably not because in the moment something else made them feel disappointed.
Happy customers are your best advocates
In summary, customer experience marketing is trying to stimulate positive emotional reactions in customers and understand how a user journey can be improved. Involving and engaging customers in this way carries some risk at the outset but the rewards can be a superior experience, more sales and more recommendations – a self-sustaining boost to revenue. Spending a little now saves a lot of money and hassle later.
Customer satisfaction or advocacy is often owned by marketing and it has ramifications for product launches, website design, marketing campaigns and where to invest your marketing funds. After all, how many businesses know if their prospects and customers are detractors, engaged, supportive or recommending you? Wouldn’t you like to know how to unlock more sales?
Try the Think Beyond experience
We are a marketing consultancy agency offering marketing consulting services and marketing agency support to all types of business. Based in Wilmslow, our Chartered Marketers and trusted partners, Doctors in Applied Neuroscience, help improve your customer experience.
Also, you can fill in our handy contact form and one of the team will reach out to arrange.