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 Keys to Building Exceptional Customer Experience : The First Step

Welcome back, dear readers! As we continue our deep dive into the intricacies of customer experience (CX), today’s focus is on the Expectation Phase. Recall that in the previous article, we mentioned three key phases when designing customer experience. This is the critical stage where potential customers first encounter your brand and form their initial impressions. Here is the truth. Customer’s expectations are high especially with the progress recorded with technology. They expect brands to be visible when they need a solution. How you handle this phase can significantly influence the subsequent Engagement Phase and, ultimately, your business’s success. 

Results from the Expectation Phase naturally spill over into the Engagement Phase. Here is the truth. Without engagement, there is no business. This makes the Expectation Phase crucial for standing out in the marketplace. There are two key circumstances to consider: 

  • When Customers Are Actively Seeking Your Product or Service: Here, you need to ensure your presence in the right places where customers search for solutions. 
  • When You Need to Position Your Product or Service as a Solution: In this scenario, you must strategically position your offering as the best answer to the customer’s needs. 

Let us revisit our example of the husband looking to book a classy restaurant for a dinner date with his spouse. At this stage, he begins to search for solutions to his current need. Knowing your customer is vital, and understanding where they are likely to search is equally important. In this case, he might check restaurant review apps, social media posts, or food blogs. Your brand must have a strong presence in these spaces to capture his attention. 

If your brand is not visible where potential customers are looking, you risk losing them to competitors. For the husband seeking a memorable dining experience, your restaurant should be prominent on review platforms, engaging on social media, and featured on reputable relevant blogs. However, what if he does not yet realise that a restaurant is the perfect solution for his desire for quality time with his wife? This is where strategic positioning comes into play. This is what I call circumstance marketing. 

Many potential customers will not connect your product or service to their problem until you help them do so. Still sticking to our example, positioning the restaurant as an exclusive location for quality time is pertinent. By creating this connection, you increase the chances of engaging customers through mindshare.  

Imagine the husband successfully making a reservation, only to find out upon arrival that all seats have been booked. Such a mishap in the Engagement Phase stems from poor handling in the Expectation Phase. I trust that you can now see that being intentional about this experience at the Expectation Phase will positively impact the Engagement Phase. Therefore, attention to detail and a flawless digital presence are crucial. Your response channels should be efficient, helping customers make informed decisions to choose your business.  

While internal operations are important, customer-centric organisations must balance these with maintaining an exceptional customer focus. This means consistently providing clear, accessible information and responding promptly to customer inquiries. 

Next Steps 

Next week, we will delve into the Engagement Phase, exploring how to maintain and improve customer interactions once they decide to engage with your brand. Remember, the D&I team is here to help you thrive in the marketplace by building a robust customer experience strategy. We are only a call away. 

For now, focus on setting and managing expectations effectively. This foundational work will pave the way for a seamless and delightful customer journey. 

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