Marketing used to be a one way exercise. The company would tell you what they stood for, what their position in the market was, what their value proposition was and why you must have their product.
We either bought or didn’t. We might have told our spouse or the lady in the newsagent or the barber about how good, bad or indifferent the product or service was. But typically the marketing was company driven, from the inside to the outside.
New world marketing
Then came the internet. We became connected like never before. We were given a voice like never before. Now, businesses can no longer dominate the conversation. They are who we say they are.
We have the platform to tell the world what we think. Social media lets us celebrate or complain about our customer experience to anyone who cares to listen. Online review sites are increasingly guiding buying decisions. Blogs are the new super-niched media that help form our opinions.
Marketing has been turned inside out. Or rather, outside in.
Customer experience, you say?
Customer experience is, in a way, inside out marketing. It’s not about who the business tells us they are, but rather how the customer feels about the business and what they tell us the business is. And remember, they have a voice like never before.
Customer experience is a the result of a mishmash of interactions, each one creating a perception. Just like individual bricks build a house, individual interactions build a perception of a business. The odd scuffed brick won’t bring down the house, but a few crumbly ones can have it crashing around your ears.
“For every five negative experiences you will probably lose one customer.” John A Goodman, Customer Experience 3.0
Exceptional customer experience
It’s not all about poor experiences though (we’re not Negative Nancy’s!). Your business can create customer experiences that turn customers into your own team of marketers.
Imagine people tweeting that they are so glad they chose your company because you’re just a pleasure to deal with. Or raving to their friends that you did something unexpectedly nice for them. Something as simple as including a movie ticket in your welcome pack, or telephoning them to ensure a query was answered to their satisfaction can make all the difference.
Of course these special touches need to be backed up with good products and services – there are no silk purses from sow’s ears. But creating little moments of “Wow” can lift your business above the competition. That’s something we could all do with.