How do you maintain a consistent customer experience when your brand has multiple touchpoints?
This is one of the biggest challenges facing brands today: keeping up a consistent personality, voice and appearance when different aspects of your communications and marketing are developed by distinct teams.
In this article, we’re looking at some of the challenges associated with creating a seamless customer experience, and what you can do to join the dots.
The long and winding conversion process
One customer order may involve ten different interactions with your organisation.
A customer might…
- Receive a recommendation from a friend.
- Read a post from your brand on Facebook.
- Sign up to your newsletter.
- Browse your website.
- Follow you on Twitter.
- Sign up for a trial.
- Receive a text message confirmation.
- Receive an email.
- Sign an agreement.
- Receive documents by email.
As you can see from this list, there are many different formats and platforms involved, which might be developed or managed by IT, marketing, sales, admin, communications or external agencies. This fragmentation makes it immensely challenging to unite the messaging and provide a seamless experience.
For customers, any confusion is unacceptable and can rapidly diminish trust.
For example, imagine if your website focuses on the cost savings associated with your services, but then the confirmation message highlights the premium nature of your offering. Or if your email marketing is beautifully designed in subtle pastel shades, don’t sow doubts in customer’s minds by linking them to an unresponsive support site that was last updated in 2001.
Everything must make sense as a unified whole.
Brand guidelines are not enough
Of course, brand guidelines are important. But they’re not enough. In too many organisations, brand guidelines are forgotten and ignored. Different teams deviate in different directions, creating a splintered brand identity. A brand book, contained in a PDF on your intranet, is not going to corral your teams and encourage everyone to collaborate.
Common technology platform
Divergence is inevitable when you’re using five systems to manage your communications and marketing. Using a common technology platform to create and send messages is a simple way to ensure messages follow the same tone, style and content across all platforms and touchpoints.
Collaboration and sharing
Beyond technology, it’s essential that your different teams come together and share ideas, strategies and messaging. For some organisations this means re-thinking how teams are organised. If departments can’t be reshaped into multi-disciplinary teams, it may be wise to create working groups or regular playback sessions to encourage cross-pollination and consistency.
If your teams report on their performance, why not include a new metric that quantifies compliance with brand and messaging guidelines? While this may be difficult to quantify, it is an effective way to refocus attention on your brand guidelines, and remind everyone of its central role in all marketing, branding and communications.
Customer journey mapping
With a clear customer journey map, you can identify all of the touchpoints that must be managed. This can help highlight gaps in the journey, areas that need attention, and ways to unify your efforts. Read about the customer journey mapping solution - an integral part of the Inspire Customer Communications Management platform from Quadient, the key solution we offer to our clients.
You could easily have three different teams involved in marketing and communications, with each group engaging external consultants and technologists. It’s important to look at any consultancy or development project holistically and consider how one partner can work with all strands of your marketing and communications. This can also help to prevent duplication of effort (and spend).