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B2B Marketing

Customer Experience – From Consumer to Advocate

When executives are looking at customer experience, they are hoping to see not just satisfied customers, but avid fans who are not only loyal, but will engage others in such a way that one would think they worked for the company. Perfect examples of brand advocates include the late Saturn brand – where customers weren’t just loyal, they outright sold the brand to others. Other examples include Chevy and Ford. They have some of the most avid loyalists who will outright argue about whose brand is better.

There are many ways to examine customer experience for satisfaction, brand loyalty, and advocacy. Importantly so, there are four areas where customer experience matters in order to bring consumers from satisfied, to loyal, to brand advocates. This is where marketing needs to pay attention – to customer experience.

Consistency – Checking in on Customer Experience

Every division in the company needs to be aware of customer experience – how they are enjoying or not enjoying the product, ways to improve the product. If all divisions are aware of customer experience, then they can generate ideas from their unique perspectives on how to improve a product. This shouldn’t just belong to R & D (although they can be the intake for suggestions).

Awareness of Impact on Customer Experience

Important decisions that will change a product or change its appearance, and other similar decisions should always be made with the customer experience feedback in mind. For example, if a product can be made at a greater cost-savings – check with customer experience first – if the customers aren’t going to appreciate a change that may cheapen or compromise the product, they will walk away, and the cost-savings will be a false savings (as profits diminish).

Integration of Customer Experience Feedback

If customer experience feedback trends toward demand of an improvement or change to a product, it may very well be worth integrating and rolling out at a compensatory price. Satisfied customers who just want to see “one little adjustment” will often be inclined to purchase the improved product, simply because the company listened.

Continuous Monitoring of Customer Experience

Chevy and Ford have something in common – they check in on customers. They ensure that the product they have sold is satisfactory – not just for the first year, but for the life of ownership. Satisfaction surveys, etc., tend to help the customer feel that he or she will be rewarded for their loyalty, and, should something go wrong, they have a place to go for remedy. Continuous customer experience monitoring will help spot trends and can even help foresee issues that might arise, for proactive correction.

These four areas of measuring customer experience will roll out to the consumer. The internal measurements and monitoring of customer satisfaction, repeat sales, and the eschewing of competitors’ products will only produce better marketing strategies, improved products, and success for the company as a whole.

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Adam Vandergang

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