Do you know what your customers see when they interact with your business? At every touchpoint, whether online or in-person, you’re communicating something, and it’s either strengthening or weakening your brand in the customer’s eye. So, as your customers embark on their journey with your business, are you communicating what you want them to remember?
In this post, you’ll learn four ways to see your business through your customer’s eyes so you can improve their experience, strengthen your brand, and keep your business top-of-mind for the solution you offer.
#1: Get A Clear Avatar & Voice
Before you can even begin to see through your customer’s eyes, you need to know who’s eyes you’re looking through. To do this, you have to be clear about your avatar (best fit customer) and your target audience. These are the people you serve and with whom you want to connect.
The truth is, you can’t be all things to all people, and you can’t speak in a way that’ll attract everyone. It’s one of those things: if you try to speak to everyone, you’ll reach no one.
For example, if you want to attract young, female Millennials to your brand, you’d speak very differently than if you wanted to attract, say, an older, male baby boomer. They practically speak a different language and even make purchasing decisions differently.
In this Big Commerce article, Marketing To Baby Boomers: Understanding The Boomer Generation’s Buying Habits (To Sell To Them Successfully), the author explains why slang is a no-go with baby boomers and why Facebook is the best place to find them.
Millennials, in contrast, are highly engaged across a variety of social media platforms and are likely more fluent in the language of “emoji”. Without getting deep into marketing psychology, this Inc article about Millenials stresses the importance of making your product “Insta-worthy,” leveraging the power of referrals, using “influencer” strategies, and appealing to FOMO (fear of missing out) and frugality. These are strategies that wouldn’t be as effective if your avatar was much older.
In short, to speak to your target audience, you need to know their language. You need to be in touch with how they see the world, how they think, and why they buy. Then, and only then, can you see through their eyes and effectively communicate your value and purpose, and truly make an impact.
#2: Think Hybridized
To fully understand your customer’s journey, you need to consider both their in-person and online experience. Wherever they interact with your brand, whether in a bathrobe at home or at the mall, they’re receiving information about who you are and what you stand for.
To think hybridized means recognizing that your touchpoints go beyond just the in-person experience or singular transaction. As a hybrid business, you have the excellent opportunity to create every moment your customer has with your brand intentionally, so make it count!
It’s the music they hear when they enter the store. The sleek feeling of the new box in their hands. The follow-up email after purchase. The voice and choice of language your team uses to get the message across. The customer support call should something go wrong. The aesthetic of your social media account. Even your choice of colors.
A company that’s doing a spectacular job of this is Allbirds, a sustainable shoe and clothing company. They are an online company that has recently begun to open physical stores, and they have wonderfully crafted the client experience from start to finish.
Despite never having spoken to a human through the company, I feel like I have a relationship with the brand. The brand is personable, light, and fun, and the customer service is top-notch, even though it’s automated. The brand voice is consistent throughout everything they put out, from the first “Welcome to the Flock” email to the order confirmation email that reads, “Your Feet Thank You” and features a silly dancing animal (a dancing ewe, to be precise).
Allbirds was intentional about seeing their business through their customer’s eyes. By doing so, they make their brand memorable and create deeply connected and raving fans.
Your brand voice and intentional, hybridized marketing plan won’t work if you and your team don’t know and embody it when interacting with customers. When your team is clear on the value your solution brings to your target audience, it helps guide them so training on interacting with customers is so much easier.
Roleplaying with your team is an excellent exercise to practice having these brand-aligned interactions in a way that isn’t customer-facing.
To roleplay effectively, take an interaction a team member may have with a customer and act it out. This could be the process of a customer walking into the store and needing assistance, a customer support call, or exchange on social media. You play the customer and have the team member play their role, or team members could role play with each other.
While having the exchange with the “customer,” team members should stay aligned with the brand voice, communicate the value of what your business offers, and remain empathetic towards your needs. Naturally, they’ll need to know the brand voice, the solution you offer, its value, and who this avatar is before successfully role-playing.
Walk-throughs are another excellent way to literally walk in your customer’s footsteps as they engage with your business. To do this, list out every touchpoint your customer has with your business, both physically and online.
This list may include:
- Your parking lot
- The glass door and front windows
- The entryway
- The bathroom
- The register
- The greeter, hostess, or receptionist
- The cashier
- Text Messages
- The Website
- The Online Ordering System
- Online Support
- Packaging, Labeling, Shipping
- The Service Process & Quality (if a service-based business)
- The Product Experience and Quality (if a product-based business)
Now, engage with every touchpoint on this list as though you were the customer, keeping your brand, what you want to communicate, and what you represent in mind. Can you find any gaps?
Overlooking even the smallest detail can contradict and weaken your branding efforts. For example, if you offer sustainably made shoes and clothing but they get delivered in plastic packaging, what does that say? If you claim a clean, sanitary experience, yet your entryway trash can is overflowing and there are smudges all over your front doors, what are you really communicating?
An easy example is Apple. The Apple brand is known for its clean, minimalistic, modern design. Whether you’re on their site or in their store, you can bet that their branding is aligned from start to finish. The next time you see an Apple store, just take a moment to observe it from the outside. The windows. The doors. The sign. The clean exterior. A peek into the expansive interior through the glass with glimpses of their newest products on clean counters. That experience you just had is no accident. And you didn’t even have to go inside!
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