A brand’s chance of finding genuine and long-lasting business success is contingent upon its ability to furnish an outstanding customer experience (CX). Per PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), one of the “Big Four” accounting firms, 73 percent of consumers cite customer experience as a crucial factor that can either hinder or facilitate purchasing decisions.
But unfortunately, many businesses have a misconception that CX is confined to customer service (CS). Thus, they fall short of providing their customers with an exceptional customer experience they could otherwise offer by simply following a brand guideline.
In this blog, we explore what customer experience is and how brand consistency and online reviews factor into it. Along the way, we share some tips on how you can improve your digital customer experience strategy.
What Is Customer Experience?
Customer experience refers to customers’ overall perception of your brand during the entire buyer’s journey. Every aspect of a business’s offering falls under the umbrella of customer experience, including but not limited to brand reputation, advertising, features of products and services and, of course, CS quality.
Therefore, fashioning an excellent product at an affordable price is not enough to make up for a satisfying customer experience. Consumers have become wiser and no longer solely base their loyalty on pricing or products; instead, they patronize you because of the entire experience they expect.
Customer experience management (CXM), on the other hand, is the implementation of a digital customer experience strategy. CXM is where you determine consumer touch points, examine patterns and seek ways to foster customer experience, which translates into loyalty and advocacy.
Because it exemplifies a clear interest in customers’ demands, a digital customer experience strategy is crucial to a customer-centric approach. Through CXM, your business continually strives to provide consumers greater value since you’re focused on tracking and improving essential touch points along the customer journey.
Now, customer experience is the common ground of brand consistency and online reviews. So let’s zero in on those two below.
What Is Brand Consistency?
Brand consistency is how your brand communicates and delivers experiences that align with your brand identity. It is how you ensure your brand’s image and messaging are consistent throughout your marketing channels, helping your consumers recognize and recall what you stand for.
Moreover, brand consistency is reflected in how coherent and in line your marketing materials are with your brand’s identity. It can also allude to the consistency of experience consumers have with your brand at every point of contact.
The Importance of Brand Consistency
Without brand consistency, consumers are less likely to trust your brand. Companies that successfully convey and consistently uphold their brand — be it through their products or tone of voice on Twitter — are more likely to exceed customer expectations. Through brand consistency, businesses establish themselves to become memorable and credible while fostering enduring relationships with their customers.
Here are some data to the importance of brand consistency:
- Using signature or brand colors increases brand recognition by 80 percent (Reboot)
- People form an opinion about your website in 0.05 seconds or half a second (8ways)
- Consistent brand presentation increases revenue by up to 33 percent (Lucidpress)
How To Improve Customer Experience With Brand Consistency
If you want to improve customer experience, you need to deliver consistent messaging. Buckling down to enhance customer experience with brand consistency allows you to instill the sense of familiarity and trust that drives purchasing decisions.
#1 Create Brand Guidelines and Make Them a Gold Standard for Your Team
Brand guidelines serve as a rule book or instruction manual on how your brand should be presented to your audience across all channels. The ultimate goal of having an established brand guideline is to shape and sustain the consumer’s impression of your brand, fostering consumer recognition.
Here are essential elements of brand guidelines:
|Elements of Brand Guidelines|
Writing style and format
Brand guidelines transform your company’s core values, mission and vision into a unified look and feel, helping you be consistent and memorable.
#2 Consolidate Your Marketing Assets
Marketing assets are any company’s resources used to inform the public and its market about its goods, services, or brand. Gathering them will allow you to see how well you’re doing in terms of brand consistency and discuss within your team what you need to eliminate, retain or improve.
Marketing assets include:
- Sales pitch
#3 Invest in Local Listing Management and Reputation Management Services
When customers search for your company online, your listings appear in the search results. But more than search engine visibility, local listing management is paramount in protecting your brand reputation and consistency.
Take advantage of the expertise of reputation management consultants to maintain consistent messaging across prominent business directories. With a local listing management team dedicated to overseeing crucial business touchpoints, accurate and consistent dissemination of business information is guaranteed.
The Importance of Online Reviews
A collection of positive reviews is a strong trust signal for consumers online, said Tim Clarke, Rize Reviews’ senior reputation manager. When consumers want to learn more about a product to purchase, 55 percent use search engines like Google, while 33 percent look at online reviews (Statista).
Through online reviews, consumers and brands alike catch sight of a business’s brand reputation. As such, the importance of online reviews isn’t make-believe.
Furthermore, online reviews are also gold mines for user-generated content (UGC). With 79 percent of consumers stating that UGC significantly influences their purchasing decision (Stackla), you can be confident that banking on the credibility of online reviews isn’t a fruitless endeavor.
How To Improve Digital Customer Experience Strategy With Online Reviews
To design a better experience for your customers, you must not settle for familiarizing yourself with the importance of online reviews. Instead, you must scrutinize your current customer experience management and online review monitoring efforts, or lack thereof.
#1 Gather Feedback by Asking for Reviews
The road to customer experience management begins by yielding the floor to your customers. So, if you have a review generation strategy in place, good for you. Otherwise, encouraging and asking for reviews could be as straightforward as placing Yelp signage on your store or a Google review widget on your website.
#2 Analyze Online Review Trends
Recurring comments, especially negative ones, are worth probing into. Identify the reason for common issues your customers are having and commit to resolving them. On top of this, ensure that you take the time to respond and acknowledge customer feedback.
#3 Invest in Online Review Monitoring and Reputation Management Tools
Gathering feedback, analyzing trends and responding to reviews can be backbreaking work if executed manually. With a reputation management tool, you can automate your online review monitoring efforts, from managing your customer database to launching review generation campaigns.
Amplify Customer Experience With Rize Reviews’ Reputation Management Services
A shoddy customer experience is enough to persuade 89 percent of consumers to do business with your competitor (Oracle), while 83 percent of U.S. consumers conduct a search online before visiting a store (Google and Ipsos). These numbers decode why an impressive and consistent customer experience is essential for a buyer’s path to purchase, from awareness to consideration and decision-making.
As we mentioned, customer experience is a concoction of every business aspect. But while improving it can be a tall order for some, you can simply start with online reputation management (ORM). With ORM, you get to pursue facets of brand consistency and online reviews, taking you a step closer to providing your customers with a satisfying experience.
Book a free demo with our reputation management consultants to learn how Rize Reviews can help devise a better customer experience.