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Learn more about the Customer Experience Best Practice Checklists and take the Health Check for yourself
Many business owners only think of marketing and sales when looking at their customer experience business practices.
In our business best practice analysis we identified 3 critical areas each of which is broken down into several checklists: (No wonder so many businesses struggle with customer acquisition and retention – there is a LOT to get your head around!)
- Brand Identity
- Brand Promise
- Market Position
- Ideal Client Analysis
- Marketing Strategy
- Marketing Activities and Analysis
- Sales and Customer Relationships
- Sales practices
- Customer Service
- Customer Communication
- Customer Feedback
- Reputation Management
Benchmark your business health and get real clarity
Our online, checklist-based Business Health Check is free, easy to use and directly related to business profitability.
Learn more about what’s in the Checklists
Your brand health is guaranteed to have a significant impact on the consumer awareness of your brand AND your bottom line. It directly affects your ability to attract and retain the right customers and clients, to hire the best employees, and to grow.
A healthy brand is the hallmark of a best practice company or not-for-profit.
Effective branding can also help your organisation build trust, gain a higher profile and encourage people to support you.
Unfortunately it is also the most common thing most SME businesses either don’t understand or neglect.
Your brand identity is everything that is communicated publically to portray the personality of your organisation, it’s products and services. It’s the feeling that someone has when they think about your product, service or company.
Your brand is not simply a logo! A company’s logo stands as an emblem for all that your brand encompasses.
Your brand is everything your customer or potential customer, your staff and your other stakeholders see, hear, feel, experience, believe and remember through all of these various channels:
- Customer Experience
- Staff ? appearance and behaviour
Are you conveying the message you want?
Your Brand Promise
Your brand promise is crucial to your differentiation as it represents everything a company stands for — or does not stand for. It is the unique statement of what your company offers, what separates it from its rivals, and what makes it worthy of your customers’ consideration.
A brand promise is the tangible, emotional, and aspirational benefits your customer can expect to gain by using your brand or dealing with you.
With every interaction your customers have with your brand, your customers are either learning what your brand promises, or experiencing the reality behind that promise. If consumers know a brand promise is empty, they’ll just scoff at the disconnect between the message and the actual customer experience.
A great brand promise reflects careful consideration, courage, and creativity. The bolder and clearer the better. The best brand promises go big, challenge the status quo, and connect with consumers on a deep emotional level.
Some example brand promises:
- H&M: “More fashion choices that are good for people, the planet and your wallet.”
- Nike: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”
- BMW: “The Ultimate Driving Machine”
- Starbucks: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit ? one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time.”
Positioning is the place in the consumer’s mind that you want your brand to own. It is the benefit that you want your consumer to perceive when they think of your brand. And it must be different to your competitors’ and be defendable.
It isn’t enough merely to be different from the competition. It’s important to be different from the competition in ways that matter to your market/buyer persona.
To thrive and grow in today’s competitive landscape you need to find spaces in your market for which there are fewer or no direct competitors. It is a different approach from the traditional attempts of beating the competition with price and quality improvement wars.
And because our brains love to find things that are new, unusual or unexpected ? a brand that is unique will grab attention and have an advantage over its competition.
You can choose to have one overarching positioning statement or multiple positioning statements for each of your products or services.
The 4 parts of a good Positioning Statement:
- Target Market: Your ideal customers or clients
- Category: The category of your business, product or service.
- Differentiation: One single defensible point of differentiation stated from your ideal customer perspective.
- The Payoff: the value your point of differentiation provides for the customer.
Apple Positioning Statement:
For individuals who want the best personal computer or mobile device, Apple leads the technology industry with the most innovative products. Apple emphasizes technological research and advancement and takes an innovative approach to business best practices — it considers the impact our products and processes have on its customers and the planet.
One fundamental problem most businesses have as they try to grow is the inability to really look at what they are doing from an outside perspective. That is the perspective of the consumer. A clear understanding of your Target Market and Buyer Persona will address this.
To get noticed today you need to understand your audience’s top concerns so you can address their problems by building a brand, and then formulating marketing messages, around how you solve their pains, wants and needs.
Strategy, Planning and Analysis
- They don’t see sales as building a customer relationship… merely as a way of making a sale.
- They don’t do due diligence to all the other steps in the customer relationship system
- ongoing communication with your clients and customers to ensure a lifetime of repeat sales, testimonials and referrals.
- an effective customer feedback process
- an effective customer service and support system
- an effective reputation management system
A clear and effective sales process shows you and your prospective clients the steps that you take with them to help them make an informed personal or business buying decision.
This essential business tool then allows you to manage your business and walk each potential client through the sales process to ensure that you are converting the maximum number of opportunities that come your way.
Your sales process shows the methodology you use to engage with customers, when you will provide certain information and when you will ask them to buy from you. It shows you, your staff and your prospective clients how you engage and helps to clarify what is expected of them and you at each step.
A great sales process will clearly show people how you operate and what is expected of them at each step and importantly why they should invest this time with you and take these steps with you and achieve a better informed buying decision.
Sales is not just the responsibility of sales staff, but of every member of your organisation, from the people who create and deliver your products and services, and those who follow up after delivery, to the people who issue the invoices.
Customer communications is how you communicate with your leads, prospects and customers across every aspect of your business.
Today’s customers expect personalised, relevant communications that are available in real-time and accessible through the channel of their choice.
These interactions can happen through a widespread range of media and output, including documents, email, Short Message Service (SMS), phone calls, in person meetings, social media channels, video streaming, podcasts and Web pages.
An effective customer communications process results in reduced customer acquisition costs, increased client retention and maximised lifetime value of each customer.
According to the Customer 2020 Report, the customer experience has overtaken price and product as key brand differentiators.
If you deliver poor service, even if you charge low prices you will lose customers. If you deliver better than average customer service you will not only retain customers for longer, but will be able to charge more.
Best Practice Customer Service involves meeting your customers wherever they are, treating them with genuine care and respect, and building exceptional customer service standards into every engagement with every customer without exception.
Best practice companies build strong customer service principles into their company culture and ensure that they are consistently applied by every employee, every day that they’re on the job.
Customer feedback is information provided by clients about whether they are satisfied or dissatisfied with your product or service and about general experiences they had with your company.
Companies that listen to their customers grow faster. Customer feedback helps you to:
- Improve your products and services.
- Improve your customer relationships.
- Make your customers feel valued and important.
- Develop new products or services.
- Generate personal referrals and recommendations.
- Acquire new customers.
Top performing companies understand the important role that customer feedback plays in business. They consistently ask for feedback using customer feedback surveys.
If you want to stay ahead of competition you should never stop asking for, listening, and responding to customer feedback whether it is positive or negative.
According to data collected by Invesp, 90% of customers read online reviews before visiting a business website and 88% of customers trust these opinions almost as if they were personal recommendations.
In this day and age, working hard and being honest is not enough. It’s a must nowadays to keep track of how your customers feel and what people are saying about you, especially online. One thing hasn’t changed and that’s the human element, particularly in circumstances where someone believes they are in the right and they demand to have their concerns responded to and acted on immediately.
Reputation Management is key to staying on top of this. The consequences of doing nothing or not even knowing in the first place can be enormous and in some cases devastating. Unfortunately, and it’s a bit like tabloids, people believe everything they read on the internet. That’s why it’s crucial to be on the front foot with the management of your reputation.