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The #1 Way to Happy Customers and Amazing Brand Experiences

By: Elaine Fogel

 

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Are your business or nonprofit customers happy? Do they toot your horn and contribute to your revenue? If not, perhaps you need to analyze why.

 
According to a recent McKinsey article, consistency is the secret ingredient to making customers happy. Some of us may have suspected that might be true, but, how to get it right?
 
“Using a variety of channels and triggering more and more interactions with companies as they seek to meet discrete needs, customers create clusters of interactions that make their individual interactions less important than their cumulative experience.”
 
McKinsey’s most recent customer-experience survey found that individual experiences aren’t enough to excite customers and build their loyalty. 
 
It takes effective customer journeys—what customers experience as they encounter products, services, companies, or organizations.
 
Take a look at why this is important:
 
“Measuring satisfaction on customer journeys is 30% more predictive of overall customer satisfaction than measuring happiness for each individual interaction. In addition, maximizing satisfaction with customer journeys has the potential not only to increase customer satisfaction by 20% but also to lift revenue by up to 15% while lowering the cost of serving customers by as much as 20%!”
 
The research points to three keys to consistency:
 
1. Customer-journey consistency
 
Every customer touchpoint must be superior with “each area of the business having clear policies, rules, and supporting mechanisms to ensure consistency during each interaction.” Not an easy feat for any organization. The example the article authors use underscores this challenge.
 
Let’s say each individual customer interaction out of six yields a 95% satisfaction rate. That still means that up to one in four customers will have a poor experience during the entire journey. Ouch.
 
My take: Map out your customers’ journeys from first contact to action completion and beyond. Read, “Dig into the Customer Experience BEFORE Launching New Products, Services, and Programs” for ideas.
 
2. Emotional consistency
 
The research also uncovered that “Positive customer-experience emotions—encompassed in a feeling of trust—were the biggest drivers of satisfaction and loyalty in a majority of industries surveyed.” Consistency is important to forging relationships of trust with customers and it’s important for long-term growth.
 
My take: Uncover where the  emotional triggers are on customers’ journeys. Ensure there are exceptional brand experiences in those touchpoints.
 
3. Communication consistency
 
“A company’s brand is driven by more than the combination of promises made and promises kept. What’s also critical is ensuring customers recognize the delivery of those promises, which requires proactively shaping communications and key messages that consistently highlight delivery as well as themes.”
 
My take: It’s so important that multichannel marketing communications are not only consistent, but as frequent as the target audience wants or needs it. Ask customers how frequently they want your communications and what their preferences are. Give them total control and they may stick around to listen to your brand messages.
 
Customer satisfaction is no longer the pinnacle of success. People expect a lot more today. They want to be wowed and amazing custom experience consistency can get you there.
 
How consistent is your organization with its customer touchpoints?
 
This article was originally published by Elaine Fogel
Published: March 19, 2014
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