Is your customer experience living up to your brand?
Recently we were having an online discussion with another group that stated, “Your customer experience is actually your brand, not your ads, logo, tagline or colors,” which is 100 percent, completely false. Now, what your brand actually is can be debated by professionals until they’re blue in the face, but in our opinion it’s the exact opposite from what was stated by another agency.
But that did bring up two good questions: Do you know what your company’s brand actually is? Are you living up to your brand when a customer purchases a security system through your company?
First, what is a brand? Your brand is simply what customers or potential customers think of when they hear your company name. It’s everything they think of when it comes to your brand offering and what they see in your visual brand elements — things such as your advertising, commercials, radio, etc.
Think of the tagline “15 minutes could save you 15 percent or more on car insurance,” and who comes to mind? GEICO, right? And probably the little gecko and all the ads that come with their advertising. That’s a good example of great branding.
Now comes the second question: Are you living up to your branded messaging? Do you even know what your key messaging is to your potential customers? Better yet, do your staff members such as your sales, service, receptionist and techs know what it is?
Imagine if you called GEICO and were on the phone for about an hour, only to find they couldn’t save you 15 percent or more — how would that make you feel? Are you likely to recommend them the next time you hear friends talking about insurance? Probably not, right?
Within the industry the No. 1 differentiator that our customers say makes them different from competitors is their customer support/experience, and that their customer support is bar none. So we exploit that within their brand. Our brand messaging revolves around that differentiator within our social media ads, Facebook posts, LinkedIn ads, TV commercials, etc. And we make sure that the visual elements of their brand help to support that message.
But how do you make sure that if your company’s brand is focused on great customer support that it’s being backed by your staff members?
A good place to start is to create a brand guidebook. You can talk to your advertising/marketing agency to help you create one or, to keep it simple, you could simply create a word document outlining your company’s differentiator. If it’s great customer support, like most of our customers, how will you ensure that the experience with new customers coincides with your branded messaging? We suggest writing down all the scenarios you can think of when it comes to your staff members or yourself engaging with your potential and existing customers.
How will you answer the phones? What procedures will your techs practice to make your customer experience a great one? If someone asked an employee what makes your company different from a competitor, would all your employees answer the same? If you focus on these questions and all the other ones you wrote down, your word-of-mouth/referral count will increase tremendously, guaranteed.
Lots of our clients have monthly meetings with staff members and will practice how to answer the phone, answer questions and be in sync when it comes to creating the perfect experience that’s been promoted through their advertising/marketing efforts.
Take the time to really think about your brand; it’s an important part of how consumers make decisions about whom to purchase security from. And make sure that you can control and live up to the expectation you have set forth. If you promise customers top quality, make sure you give it to them and that they understand how and why the products and hardware you are installing are top quality. If your key messaging is “Lifetime support for all our installs,” then make sure you’re living up to that message, because we all know unhappy customers will tell 100 friends that your company sucks and write 100 bad reviews on Yelp.
We love all the feedback and suggestions, so keep them coming. Until next month, adios muchachos!