Customer experience (CX) programs have been laser-focused on numbers ever since the experience space came into being. A lot of organizations consider achieving high scores in NPS, OSAT, and the like to be the holy grail of customer experience, and a goal that every program must be tuned to. After all, if scores are high, that must mean customers are consistently happy, right?
The truth is a bit more nuanced than that, which isn’t to say that metrics aren’t useful—they’re great for letting an organization know that a problem might be occurring at one touchpoint or another. Unfortunately, that’s about all they can telegraph. They’re good for letting brands know that a problem is occurring somewhere in the process, but there are two major brand experience factors beyond that that they can’t clue brands into: brand perception and shared values.
Key #1: Brand Perception
Numbers alone cannot tell you how customers perceive you. The only way to gather that insight is by allowing your customers to submit unstructured, open-ended feedback, then analyzing that feedback for intelligence that you can act upon. Understanding how your brand is perceived can be tricky, even frustrating if you’re contending with perceptions you feel are beyond your control. However, knowing how your customers perceive you is vital to building long-term relationships with them.
More directly, brand perception plays a huge part in individual customer transactions and product experience. In many respects, it may not seem like perception should impact individual interactions, but remember that how customers see you influences whether they want to do business with you in the first place! Understanding how your brand is perceived can give you an opportunity to achieve Experience Improvement (XI), so compare customers’ unstructured feedback to your own messaging goals and work on the gaps preventing a bridge between the two.
Key #2: Shared Values
Every brand has a perception it wants to achieve for both its target audience and the wider world. We’re sure you’ve seen how many companies strive for an environmentally friendly or ethical image. That idea of shared values is also tremendously important to customer relationships, customer experience, and brand experience, and it’s another factor that brands can’t account for with numbers alone.
Much of customers’ trust in your brand is built on the values and identity they feel they share with you, even in a product experience sense. So, similarly to brand perception, go beyond numbers by letting customers tell you why they feel that bond with you, or why they may not. You can then create experience initiatives that build upon what customers see, or want to see, in your organization and the values that you express in your brand mission. When customers feel that fundamental connection to a brand, they’ll continue to come to you even when competition and other market forces are intense.
Click here to read our full-length point of view paper on brand experience. Expert Simon Fraser takes a deep dive into how these forces impact everything from transactions to relationships, and how your organization can leverage them to create Experience Improvement!