Do you know why master chefs consider the dessert as the most important course on the menu? Because it’s the last part of their guests’ dining experience and the first thing they’ll talk about on the way home. That’s why a fine restaurant will never spoil serving a premium juicy steak or award-winning wine by finishing off with a cheap strawberry popsicle.
In many ways a dining experience is like your customer communications. If your ads are seasoned to perfection but your service communications fall flat like a failed cake, your customers could acquire a taste for the competition. Make sure you serve a consistent customer journey and leave them hungry for more.
The worlds of marketing and transactional or service communications are converging. Over the course of the past ten years, marketers have been gradually shifting their focus further down the marketing sales funnel. Today, a lot of them have come to realize that the finish line is not sealing the deal, but creating long term customer relationships. As a result, customer loyalty and retention are high on the agenda, as marketers show more and more interest in post-purchase service communications.
Consistency, what else?
However, still a lot of companies are playing catch-up. Their marketing communications are very attractive and appealing indeed, but once you go from prospect to customer, the customer experience will worsen.
Take a look at this boring invoice (a replication of an actual one) on the left. Can you guess from which premium coffee brand this is? The line items should ring a bell. Correct. When you’ve seen the quality brochures and a handsome movie star suavely whisper “Espresso, what else?” on TV, you know this invoice is a far cry from your initial customer expectations. Post-purchase service communications are often generated through legacy back office systems, but it’s doubtful that the style of this invoice represents the brand as it was intended by marketing.
When you aim for customer loyalty and customer retention, this is a real no-go. As a company, you have to make sure your communications are consistent over the entire customer journey and across all touchpoints. This allows you to provide predictable and satisfactory customer experiences that build trust and a fine reputation for your brand over a longer period of time.
Every touchpoint holds opportunities
This doesn’t mean that every communication should be the same. While a consistent customer journey is key, every touchpoint holds specific opportunities for you to engage with your customers. To capitalize on these opportunities you have to find out at what stage your customer is in the buying cycle. What’s catching his or her attention? Use these insights to get the most out of each communication as well as provide relevant content every step of the way.
Do you want to know more about gaining proper customer insights and how to profit from them? Read it all in next week’s blog.
Discover other ways to become more customer centric in our blog ‘5 ways to become more customer centric‘