With the almost complete integration of the online and off-line worlds through mobile and social media and the increasing value of the customer’s* voice, companies need to re-think the way they remain relevant by adopting an outside-in approach at the core to their business strategy. A positive user experience has a direct correlation to positive brand perception and vice-versa.
A few nights ago, I traveled with my creative peers to try a new sushi joint. The evening was very pleasurable- the menu was full of inventive rolls, fish fresh and tasty, we were surrounded by a suitably modern aesthetic that was artfully presented. I couldn’t wait to introduce my husband to this new find, so when I got home, I started Googling.
I quickly located the website and other digital assets- Twitter, Facebook, etc. None of these domains were integrated nor did they remotely reflect the essence of my dining experience. The tone, look, feel, copy, and the way the online experience flowed- did not match the delightful dining I had just enjoyed. In fact, the tasks of finding the menu and providing positive feedback proved to be so frustrating, I gave-up.
In a few short minutes, I’d ditched my pleasant view of the in-person experience. Instead, thanks to a host of aggravating online missteps, I was left wondering if I’d somehow overrated the real-life dinner.
Many companies are adopting the Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a key metric to measure how well their products and/or services are being appreciated by their customers. In essence, the NPS score indicates how many customers are loyal brand advocates (promoters), or brand detractors. This score is derived through surveys where the question ‘how likely are you to recommend this brand to friends and family?’ is posed.
The answer to this question is completely driven by the emotional response the person has with that specific brand. It is clear that what is feeding this emotion is the experience(s) the person has had with the brand in question.
A useful service, an easy to use website or system, a beautifully designed product or a friendly and helpful voice at customer service- all of these experiences contribute to the positive response to a brand. But when these experiences are stale, frustrating, incongruent or aggravating … the emotional reaction will be a negative one.
Imagine the difference in my NPS answer if I was asked directly after dinner or when I got home and had been attempting to show my husband how great this place was…
User Experience (UX) Design
If an external customer or an internal user has positive, meaningful and memorable experiences with a system, person or place, this will convert them into brand advocates. These experiences need to be designed around a full understanding of what your customers want and need. We call this User Experience Design.
Catapult and SlingRock User Experience experts practice user centric design methodologies to design solutions that serve and meet customer (user) needs and accomplish business goals using brand values.
There is a direct connection between customers’ perception of a company’s brand and the brand experience available through all customer touch-points—both online and offline.
Creating brand advocates through carefully crafted User Experiences is the key to a brand and company success. And although the UX practice is often associated with web-design or application design, it should be applied to any experience; a product, service, website, content, social ecosystem, mobile application, packaging, point of sale, TV advert or any other touch point.
By embedding these methodologies at the core of how you shape your propositions and experiences, your brand will truly enable seamless and meaningful experiences for your customers, both online and offline.
- recognizing that both online and offline experiences contribute to brand image
- highlight the importance of consistency between the customer experience across all touch-points
- work from the premise that your organization engages in a broad, complex set of interactions with both internal and external customers
*So who is this mysterious customer and how do you manage the Customer Experience to generate brand loyalty both externally and internally? Stay tuned…