After five years of planning, late nights, alpha and beta releases, Mynd (fictitious company) was ready to go to market with its project management software. Feeling that all of the bases were covered, Mynd developed a strong brand identity: a modern logo, solid mission and vision, and a brand promise to deliver a premier product and user experience.
Six months after launch, the product had become a disruptor. Website conversions were high and sales doubled projections. However, without warning, things took a turn.
A few small bugs led to major customer issues—and an influx of calls, emails and support requests. Mynd was totally unprepared. Essentially, Mynd renounced control over their brand perception because they hadn’t prepared for this portion of the customer journey.
Too often brands fail to document their customer journey, and like Mynd, they end up playing a reactionary role when service issues arise. Ultimately, not living up to their brand promise and impacting the customer experience.
Customer experience is the sum of every individual interaction your customer has with your brand, from when they first learn of your brand through the use of your product or service. Are you in touch with what each experience on that journey is like for your customer now? You should be.
If you’re not, create a customer journey map that defines how you fulfill your brand promise with your customers with each interaction with your brand. To get started, consider the basic stages in the customer journey:
- Demand: The journey begins when they realize they need your product. Focus on brand awareness and high-level education while promoting your solution to their problem.
- Research: Give your customers information to make a decision that your brand meets their need. Consider how you will engage customers and simplify their research efforts.
- Choose: Define what differentiates you and why the customer should choose your brand.
- Buy: Reward the customer for their decision to buy from you. Keep the purchasing process simple and say thank you!
- Acquire: What’s it like to open your packaging? What’s the first meeting like? For this stage, consider what it is like for your customer to receive what they bought.
- Consume: Understand the experience the customer has as they use your product. Is it meeting their original need? This stage is where your brand promise shines, or you end up like Mynd and your brand is tarnished.
- Endorse: If you deliver on your brand promise and provide an experience that wows, your customers are likely to share their experience with your brand. Thank them!
Understanding the customer experience and their journey allows you to deliver on your brand promise with each interaction. Great brands take a deliberate and planned approach to customer experience.