A recent study found that 83% of marketers think customer experience is more central to their role than it was five years ago.
That same study found that 74% of marketers believe brand strategy is also more important than ever. But the question is: How are these two things—branding and customer experience—related?
Strong branding creates a positive customer experience—and positive customer experiences improve your brand.
How do we define customer experience?
Customer experience is the summation of every interaction a customer has with your business. B2B businesses often confuse customer experience with customer service. A customer’s interaction with a helpful and informative sales rep is considered good customer service. However, a good customer experience is when a brand fulfills a buyer’s expectations. Here’s why customer experience is critical to a brand’s success:
• 50% of consumers would use a company more frequently after a positive customer experience.
• 86% of consumers will pay up to 25% more for a better customer experience.
• 23% of customers who had a good customer experience told 10+ people..
• By 2020, customer experience will overtake product and price as the key brand differentiator.
The impact of branding on customer experience
1. Branding sets customer expectations.
Your brand sets your buyers’ expectations. Customer experience, therefore, is how well you live up to those expectations. Characteristics like honesty and clarity are key components of B2B branding.
2. Branding creates an emotional connection with customers.
However, emotions play a significant role in the customer experience regardless of industry. A recent study by the Corporate Executive Board found that B2B brands achieve twice the impact when they establish an emotional connection before selling business and value..
• Use brand storytelling: Brand storytelling creates a familiarity with your buyers. Explain your brand’s story and how each buyer’s unique customer experience plays its own role within that story.
• Focus less on what your products do and more on how your business will enrich your buyers. B2B buyers are 50% likelier to make a purchase if they anticipate personal reward
• To emotionally connect with your buyers, you must focus on customers as individuals and serve them solutions that meet their particular needs.
• Check out these compelling personalization statistics that make the case for more personalized marketing.
3. A strong brand minimizes customer risk.
Products in the B2B space are often more expensive than those in the B2C space. So, B2B purchases tend to feel like more of a risk for the buyer. Having an established brand minimizes the perceived risk customers face when they enter a business relationship. Reputation is a big part of branding—and a strong reputation makes buyers feel more comfortable.
4. Strong branding encourages post-purchase loyalty.
The customer experience doesn’t end once a customer buys your product. Loyal customers are 5x as likely to repurchase, 5x as likely to forgive, 4x as likely to refer, and 7x as likely to try a new offering.
A recent study suggests that a high percentage of B2B customers prefer to work with businesses they’ve bought from in the past. They’ve already done their research, negotiated pricing, and signed a contract. Interestingly, that same study revealed that most customers are dissatisfied with post-sale content and interactions.
To improve the post-purchase part of the customer experience, you must build your brand on relationships rather than results. This will strengthen your brand as a life-long partner rather than a one-time supplier.
For a no obligation review of your marketing communications program and a chance to win a $50.00 AMEX gift card, call Bernie Prohaska at 732.238.3420 or email bp@ProhaskaAdvertising.com
Author: S. Holman Edited by: B. Prohaska