great brand cx

Create Your Tribe: How Great CX Makes a Lifestyle Brand

Two weeks ago we talked about the underutilized post-purchase touch point of the customer journey. Brands rarely leverage it. At the end of my CX journey with HelloSpud the CEO used her inventory management challenge to make me a loyal customer. Today, we’re looking at other small businesses that leverage customer experience to gain loyalty and brand power.

Smaller brands cherish every customer they have.

Newcomers to the market realize that their business is only as strong as the growth of their customer base. With that in mind, senior leaders work hard to shorten the distance between them and the customer. The CEO of men’s apparel brand Masorini does this very well. And he is using email, a traditional method of communication, to standout in a crowded market place.

Masorini sends a personal thank you note from the CEO after every purchase. With it the small online store recognizes the value of every customer and every customer’s experience. By doing this, the CEO himself shows his personal commitment to his customers. He inserts himself into the customer journey in a unique and powerful way.

Gratitude Creates Relationships that Promote Brand Goals

With the thank you note, the Masorini CEO accomplishes three goals: create a relationship, build loyalty, and increase sales. The email creates a customer-brand relationship first by thanking the customer, then by asking for feedback. Connecting and listening in this way builds and promotes customer loyalty in the shortened space between brand and customer. Next, the email aims to increase sales by offering 20% off indefinitely, and delivering a memorable customer experience.

Lastly, in a pop up window on the website, the brand welcomes email subscribers to “the Masorini tribe.” Words matter. He has clearly thought through how he wants his customers to feel. Loyal. To their tribe. Buy more. Belong to the tribe.

Brand Culture and Values are more than Ideas

Many brands claim that they have culture and values. Some even paint those value statements on their office walls. Far fewer use them in their hiring and performance management processes. While that is good from internal management perspective, the real differentiator is sharing your mission and values with your customers on their journeys.

llifestyle brand Thursday Book Co customer experience

This type of brand management requires a deeper dedication to the customer and his/her experience than any other expression of values. Shoes brand Thursday Boot Co. has done this in an exceptional way. It is exceptional, because it is bold. It takes courage for a brand to send its mission statement to every customers who buys a product.

Bold Brand Commitment

What if the customer does not agree with the brand’s belief system? Thursday Boot Co. is not trying to be everything to everyone. The brand knows who they want as a customer and that is who they are talking to. They are not out to get just anyone. This is how a brand has the opportunity to become a lifestyle brand. A brand with loyal followers, repeat purchasers, and loud brand ambassadors. I am one of them. Both my husband and I buy shoes from Thursday Boot Co. Guess what my mother’s Christmas present will be this year?

These are just two examples of great customer experience that were executed well and in a timely manner. Masorini and Thursday Boot Co. managed brand and sales expertly. In so doing, both companies are case studies for the ROI of CX. When brands nurture their customers, customers respond with their wallets.

The value of memorable experiences and well-managed customer journeys is powerful both for the customer and the brand. Aim to build more unique journeys for your customers. If you need help designing memorable touch points on the road, reach out to us. We love ideating, co-creating, and DoingCXRight with brands!

 

*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

Getting Customer Feedback

How To Get “Voice Of Customer” & Apply Best Practices

Getting Voice of Customer (VOC) feedback is an essential part of conducting business. I’ve seen too many companies develop new products and features without asking customers directly what they want upfront, and then wonder why sales goals are not attained post-launch. Continue Reading →

Learn The Importance of Measuring Customer Experiece and NPS

How To Measure Customer Experience

There has been a ton of research about the value of delivering exceptional customer experiences (CX). Allocating budget and resources towards customer excellence is no longer a “nice to do” but rather a “have to do” to win in a competitive marketplace. Continue Reading →

Brand Image ROI

Two weeks ago we discussed the power of employee engagement for your brand and the true meaning and ROI of a working corporate culture. Today we will examine the business case of the engaged customer, the powerful brand image and the brand loyalty it generates – loyalty that drives repeat purchases, higher revenues and more engaged customers.
 
An engaged customer requires the investment of the ongoing conversation. The “conversation” dollars go to social media campaigns, closed-loop systems for customer feedback, and a responsive loyalty customer service, among other customer experience levers.
 
Invest in people as much as product
 
Two weeks ago, I received a complaint from a JetBlue customer. In order to keep the conversation going with this customer, I had to relay the information to the teams that were accountable for his experience and get back to him with a comprehensive and empathetic feedback about his experience. CX professionals call this close loop, but close loop is a policy. My taking the effort to connect with people across the organization and CARING to get answers is employee engagement on my part, and that is generated by our corporate culture.
 
This culture is what maintains customer engagement and, which, as a result will create an ancillary purchase in the future. Often, people and service are more important than the product of an organization.  People and service build an organization’s brand image when customers interact with the brand. Customer experience relies more on human interactions with the brand than on the technology that enables those interactions.
 
Empathy and Innovation
 
Magazine Luiza is another great example of impacting ancillary sales and seeing a 35% ROI as a result of deliberate investment in empathy and innovation.  The Brazilian virtual store offers products on credit to the under-served customers in rural areas. Customers can see pictures of their desired products then go home and wait for the delivery in the next 48 hours.
 
To achieve loyalty and repeat business, Magazine Luiza also functions as community centers that offer free internet, literacy, cooking and basic banking classes. This investment contributed to the build out of a strong emotional connection between the brand and its audience, transforming Magazine Luiza into a powerful lifestyle brand to its customers. Even customers apprehensive of taking credit visit a place where a friendly face walks them through the experience of borrowing money while their child learns how to write for free.
 
The brand image of growth and development that come from the education components Magazine Luiza provides is, in a way, transferred to the “product” of buying on credit.  Once customers are empowered to buy on credit initially, they return to buy more things because each of those purchases makes them feel economically empowered.
 
Engaged customers are the blood of every business
 
Without engaged customers, business cannot grow. They provide the steady cashflow and the free cashflow that allow a business to invest in products and customer acquisition. The ROI of engaged customers lies in the growth of the organization and the incremental revenue that ensues. Depending on the growth stage of a particular organization, that ROI also can mean an organization’s survival.
*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

Culture Is King – The Power Of Employee Engagement

In 2017 we introduced our ROI series recognizing the challenges all customer experience professionals have to obtain funding for CX initiatives and to prove their positive returns. Our second ROI post covered how a well built customer experience can increase revenue and customer growth of your organization. Today we will walk you through the positive impact customer experience has on employee engagement.
 
Great Culture is the Enabler of Great Service
 
Excellent corporate culture creates engaged employees who are proud of their company and make it a personal mission to deliver great experiences. Engaged employees love the brand they work for so much that they will go above and beyond to “convince” their customers to feel the same way. Actions like this transform employees from brand ambassadors to brand builders. When leadership takes the time to build and maintain an engaged workforce the impact is significant, and profitable.
 
Yet, if culture is of such high value to organizations, why do so few succeed in creating this kind of customer experience advantage for their organizations? Because it is hard, and expensive.
 
Let’s say your cultural values have FUN in them. How do people live that value at work? They celebrate holidays with social events, they go on interesting off-sites, they  have fun contests in the operation, etc. Each of these cultural artifacts of the fun value costs money. Most leaders will say they believe in the fun value; very few will approve the expenses for the discreet activities that maintain that value.  When companies grow, all those activities include the added expenses of travel in order to connect employee teams.
 
Culture is Not an HR Function
 
Culture cannot be achieved with all-hands meetings twice a year and a daily corporate communications email. Culture is a business strategy, a guiding principle that informs how product and service decisions are made. If, for instance, CARING is part of your corporate culture, there are several business decisions and practices you need to invest in to express that care (internal funds for supporting fellow employees during hurricanes, sponsor travel so senior leaders can visit front line employees to better understand their day-to-day challenges, willingness to walk away from a product enhancement that will benefit the customer but also make your front life processes more complex and hard to maintain).  Caring costs money. Real money. Caring is even more expensive than FUN.
 
Caring can save an organization. If you have a product that is not the market leader in terms of quality and you marry it with an engaged workforce that delivers exceptional service, you actually have a shot at keeping your position as the market leader. If you don’t, there is not much going on to motivate your customers return.
 
How Do You Quantify the ROI?
 
It is fair to say that all the people who returned to you after an exceptional service experience would not have done so without having received that exceptional service. Quantify the lifetime value of those customers, and that is how you calculate your customer experience ROI.
 
Culture is a Critical Corporate Mindset
 
People are hired for culture in the true sense of that expression. If transparent leadership and instilling employee trust are values for leaders, then the pay scales of the organization should not be locked for only selected people to see. Transparency is a big word that is often repeated, but transparency is rarely backed by actions like this.
 
If transparency is on a corporation’s values list, then that corporation’s leaders must be ready to be vulnerable and to be challenged by their employees. With the right mindset, this is not a difficult value to live. Being authentic and “walking the talk” can inspire more than any other corporate action can. Transparency and vulnerability is a challenging mindset for leaders, but it gets easier to practice over time, and it is worth the investment.
 
Generally speaking, employees want to (prefer to) respect their leaders. We all need hope, we need someone to look up to, something to keep us moving forward. Employees are much more forgiving and patient with their leaders than we think, so apply a brave mindset to lead wholeheartedly. Be seen and be prepared to have an organization follow you no matter where you lead through the culture you create and the actions that support it.
 
Successful brands have strong corporate cultures that drive their employees to consistently deliver memorable experiences. Culture is the most difficult ROI to prove. It is impossible to replicate, so it can be a competitive advantage. It can also be a deterrent to hostile takeovers and mergers. Having the freedom to grow organically while creating value for customers is the greatest return on investment any business can dream of. In that sense, the ROI of culture is the highest we will ever see.
*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

How to talk to your CFO about customer experience and revenue growth

Last month we introduced the topic of Customer Experience ROI and the complexity of building a good business case for it. The Customer Experience business case is strong, but not easy to prove. Today we will focus on two big wins of a successful customer experience investment – revenue and customer growth of your business. Continue Reading →

Customer Experience ROI. Is It Worth Doing?

The business case for Customer Service is complex. Gone are the days when we bought a piece of hardware that depreciates over 5 or 10 years on the balance sheet. Customer Experience does not even show up on our assets list. At least not with that name.

The ROI of Customer Experience is in the revenue and customer growth of your organization. It is in the engagement of your customer base that leads to ancillary sales. It is in the strength of your brand image and the worth of your brand equity.The challenge business leaders face justifying investments (especially big ones) is because these relationships  are not linear. Today’s CFO need’s to understand the value of marketing more than ever. Customer Experience is equal to brand management and if you underestimate the importance of either, you might not be in business in 5 years.

Customer Experience ROI is the same as your company’s strategy ROI. If you don’t have a defined brand and marketing strategy backed up with a complimentary communications strategy you will not see Customer Experience ROI regardless of your investments. Think about your strategy and argue the case for Customer Experience investments as an execution of a strategy, not as a business case.

 

 

*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.