Customer Experience Marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on how your customers feel about their experience with your brand. Notice, that’s how your customers actually feel, not how your top executives think your customers feel.
Customer Experience Marketing becomes important for marketers when they onboard a new client and/or when they see that brand experience is impacting marketing conversions but aren’t sure how to fix the issue while staying in their own lane.
What does it look like? Let me give you a couple examples.
Dental client with locations performing differently.
High-level Problem: One of our dental clients was confused about why one of their practices was growing and the others were not, despite similar marketing efforts in all locations. They weren’t sure what the problem was, and they were making staffing and marketing decisions based on assumptions.
Marketing Tool Development: To engage this high-level conversation, we developed a Customer Experience Journey. We talked to staff, tested their numbers/appointment forms, and completed some basic mystery shopping. We then compiled our findings into a giant workflow sketch showing the customer’s actual experience from start to finish. Once the workflow was compiled, we highlighted “gaps,” drawing attention to potential issues in the experience.
Presenting the Findings: The customer experience journey revealed many gaps, but the biggest takeaway was that the successful office’s first question was, “What do YOU need?” which led to being able to schedule the patient in under 30 seconds. The less successful location’s first question was, “What’s your insurance?” This led to a 5-7 minute conversation about insurance and did not result in an appointment.
Present Recommended Solutions: Based on the gaps identified in the customer experience journey, our solution recommendations included better online form management (such as switching to online chat or at least giving an expectation of how long before someone would respond to an appointment request), better online review management, fixing some broken links, recommending better out-of-office messaging, better promotion of new location phone numbers on the website, and recommending a different script for new customer inquiries.
Follow-up: The client appreciated the workflow and insight. We had the green light to go ahead and update the mediums we managed while also helping them with online review responses and designing review request cards to increase reviews after appointments. For operational issues, we did not manage within marketing. Instead, we passed the findings over to the management and let them decide whether to make any changes. In this case, the manager of the successful location was shocked that the other locations were operating so differently and was able to have conversations to streamline their workflows.
Automotive Location Wants to Reach More Hispanics.
High-level Problem: An automotive client wanted to reach more Hispanics. The client was particularly concerned with understanding the Hispanic experience, but since they had many locations and no Hispanic background, they weren’t sure where to start.
Marketing Tool Development: To engage this high-level conversation, we developed a Customer Understanding Journey and a Customer Experience Journey. The Customer Understanding Journey was based on interviews with several of their actual Hispanic customers. To build understanding and empathy of this demographic, we compiled their interviews into a journey that showed the typical life path of a Hispanic customer leading up to his interaction with the brand. To develop the Customer Experience Journey, we talked to staff, tested their conversion options, and navigated their website pages to test ease of scheduling. Since the Customer Understanding Journey clearly showed what their Hispanic customers wanted from the brand, our Customer Experience Journey questions largely centered around whether the brand was providing the desired experience. We then compiled what we found into a giant workflow sketch showing the customer’s actual experience from start to finish. Once the workflow was compiled, we highlighted “gaps,” drawing attention to a potential issue in the experience.
Presenting the Findings:
The customer understanding journey allowed the leadership of the company to understand specifically how Hispanic customers are impacted by family, language, and culture. For instance, because of immigration and parents passing trade knowledge down to children, the Hispanic customer-base is particularly entrepreneurial and likes to fix things themselves. They’ve already overcome many challenges including confusion and isolation due to language and cultural barriers, and even though they can now speak English, the English language speaks to their head while Spanish speaks to their heart. In other words, they feel more at home if Spanish is available, but since it was so much work to learn the language and “fit” into American culture, they also want the option to show they are capable of speaking English. Furthermore, mechanical failures aren’t just mechanical failures to Hispanic entrepreneurs: they mean more time away from family and threaten the job-security of family members they have hired.
The customer experience journey revealed many gaps, including 12 points throughout the experience where a Hispanic customer would feel confused, unable to communicate, have bill-pay difficulty, or struggle to navigate toward customer conversion.
Present Recommended Solutions: Based on the gaps identified in the customer experience journey, our recommendations included culturally-relevant translation of the website, easier scheduling navigation, Spanish phone options, bilingual staffing considerations, scripting and cultural training for non-bilingual staff, and on-location posters that invited them to ask for the on-shift Spanish-speaking staff member.
Follow-up: The client absolutely loved it! Executives were able to take the study findings to make high-dollar decisions, pursuing more bilingual staff and identifying a pilot location for launching a better Hispanic experience.
We hope these examples give you a clear picture of the process and benefits of Customer Experience Marketing. In our next post, we’ll talk about how you can develop Customer Experience Marketing for your brand.