6 Ways to Differentiate Your Brand Through Incredible Customer Experience

photo credit:  Michele Lee Photo  | creative direction & styling by us

photo credit: Michele Lee Photo | creative direction & styling by us

Branding is the process of crafting an experience, one that evokes emotional connection, so people can distinguish you from everyone else. 

Think about your go-to clothing brand, coffee shop, even grocery store, or anything that you’d rave about and recommend to your friends...

I bet the biggest reason why you became a fan is because of what the business makes your “feel” through different experiences you had with them - from the shopping experience, the product or service delivery experience, to the experience after you’ve purchased the product or service. 

Instead of operating as a service or product focused business, crafting an extraordinary overall customer experience is the key to stay on top of mind, make people come back for more, and most importantly, stand out from the crowd.

So, how should you start creating this experience for your customers to make an impression and create people’s emotional desire to purchase?

Here are the key touch points where people’s experience with you starts to build...

1. Website

This is almost always the first touch point you have with potential customers, especially for online shops and service businesses. The main purpose of having a website is so that when people land there, we know exactly what you do and how you can help. Keep it simple and clear.

This is not where you write your auto biography. Instead, focus on why you’re the best person or why you got the best product to help them achieve the result they want. This is where you start building trust, which is why it’s important to include social proof like testimonials as well as a range of your products or past work. People need to know what you can achieve for them, so showcase anything that would help letting them know that you’ve got it, and that you’ve got them!

2. Social Media

This is where you build your know and like factors. When it comes to social media, most small business owners’ and entrepreneurs’ biggest headache seems to be visual content. The key here is find that one style that speaks your brand best, don’t over complicate it, and stick to it consistently. The same goes with how your write your captions and engage your people. Use the same voice that you’d use if you were speaking to a new friend at a coffee shop, consistently - friendly, warm, genuine, not overly personal that makes people uncomfortable. 

Also, show up in your feed once in a while. People connect with people, not with businesses. They need to know the heart behind the brand, and that’s you whom they will have a relationship and engagement with.

3. Ongoing Communication 

Usually this would happen in the forms of emails, phone calls, video calls, or in-person meetings. When you’re at this stage, it probably means that a potential customers reached out for more information or you are in the middle of serving an existing customer. Remember that this is about them, and it’s important to make them feel that you’re excited and enjoying working with them. 

The biggest concern people have when they decide whether to work with a small business, as opposed to a more establish business, is whether or not you’re reliable. So, it’s so important that you show professionalism in your emails. This seems like a no-brainer, but I’ve seen so many businesses missing “email 101”. Your emails should always address the recipient(s), include either a signature or your name as the sender at the end of the email, use proper paragraphs, spacing and punctuations.

Also, always respond in a timely manner and always remember to acknowledge that you’ve received an email.

For remote meetings, I personally prefer video calls over phone calls. I find that it’s easier to build a rapport when we can see the person we’re talking to. Plus, communication is often way more effectively when you add on body language and facial expression. 

When you’ve scheduled phone, video or in-person meetings, make sure you show up on time! This is a business, and we got to do the part that our customers expect.

4. Purchasing Experience

This applies to both product and service businesses. If you’re running an online shop, it’s important that people know exactly where to click to browse your products and how to place an order easily. And if you’re a service business, make the process for people to work with you as easy as possible, including how they contact you and how they can process payment.

Also, support services also part of this customer experience. Include your contact information in case people run into any issue or have any questions.

If you run a brick-and-mortar store, the same concept applies. Your store layout, product placements, sales rep assistance determine how easy it is to browse through your products. And having more than one method of payment helps make the purchasing experience much more convenient. The music and aroma you choose for you store can also take people’s in-store experience to the level!

5. Post Purchase Experience

Many people send physical thank you cards, keep past and existing customers in the loop on latest updates and promotion via newsletters. Many small businesses forget this crucial stage and focusing on acquiring new customers only. Retaining existing customers is always cheaper than getting new ones, and referrals that come from quality past customers are almost always quality customers as well!

6. Visual Brand Design

Having a cohesive visual style across your packaging, business cards, thank you cards, service packet, catalogue, flyers, and any other marketing collateral helps enhancing overall experience with your business.

When it comes to your visual identity, outsource it to a professional graphic designer to get it done instead of wasting your time and energy on DIYs. However, there’s really no need to spend too much time on getting “the one right” logo or colors. After you got your logo and colors, the most important thing is to use them consistently and cohesively. Pretty logo and colors don’t sell if you don’t use them the right way. So, if you already got professional help to design your logo and colors, there’s really no need to waste time on multiple revisions. Get them done, and use them right!

Did you miss any touch point you can improve one? Let’s take your product or service business to the next level, and turn it into a credible and impactful brand!!