Today’s customers are connected customers. They’re active on social media, they engage with the brands they love on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and other social platforms, and they’re always online whether they’re at a desktop or using their smartphones on the go.
Such an accessible audience is a dream come true for brands, but it’s also an opportunity for tremendous failure. Not only are today’s customers well-connected, but they have high expectations and plenty of access to research their options (aka your competitors) if your company falls short.
Here are our favorite tips for making your online brand experience so successful that your customers will feel as though they’re in heaven.
1. Keep it simple.
Start with your website and take a serious look at what you offer. Customers come to your site because they’re looking for something. Make sure they can find it quickly and that you give them clear instructions for taking the next step (whether that means making a purchase, scheduling a demonstration, or getting in touch with you to request more information).
2. Be consistent.
Your brand identity is how your customers recognize you. If you present one image on your website, a different one on Facebook, and yet another new face on LinkedIn, you’re setting them up for confusion. It’s true that different platforms should necessitate a different strategy and approach, but things like your logo, colors, and styles should match across the board.
3. Reach your customers in their favorite spaces.
Think about who your customers are and what they enjoy, then tailor your approach to give them what they want. For example, if you know your audience is made up of busy moms, don’t just catch them on Facebook. Catch their attention and quickly make it clear how your company can make their lives easier, better, or more fun – then follow through on your promises.
4. Take every opportunity to provide 5-star customer service.
Social media has given users multiple platforms on which to voice their discontent with brands and products, and they take advantage at every turn. Every company makes mistakes, but patching things up with dissatisfied customers is a great way to restore goodwill and demonstrate that you really care about keeping your clients happy. Make sure that you check Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Google+, and other social sites daily and respond quickly to any concerns.
5. Never stop improving.
A brand isn’t something you can build once and forget. Big brands are constantly evolving, refreshing, and improving, and small brands need to do the same if they want to remain competitive. Small changes – an updated logo, a new marketing program, a new homepage design – can have a big impact on how your brand is perceived.
6. Ask for input.
A 2013 study by Jack Morton Worldwide found that 80% of brands think they offer “superior” experiences. Only 8% of customers agreed. That’s a huge disparity, and it tells us that too often, companies overestimate their branding success. Instead of assuming that your company is doing a stellar job with its online branding efforts, ask for outside input from experienced professionals (like the user experience team here at ImageWorks). You might be surprised at what you discover.
Are you ready to give your customers the best experience they can imagine? We’re ready to help. Request a brand experience review, and we’ll get you on the right track, right away!