Here’s an important question that comes up way less frequently than it should.
“What is the difference between a good brand experience and a good customer experience?”
Answer: There is absolutely no difference between a good brand experience and a good customer experience. Period. Your customer experience is your brand experience.
Thinking that there is a difference has resulted in a serious problem — an internet of unusable and frustrating-to-the-customer websites.
If your brand’s site isn’t organized around your customers goals, the site is leaving multiple salaries worth of revenue on the table. If your primary concern as a brand manager is “telling the brand story”, you’re buying into the idea that your brand’s website has a job other than supporting its customers online. That mindset only contributes to the problem.
You could be doing what you consider to be the best brand storytelling possible: flooding your brand site with the coolest graphics, social media feeds, and celebrity sponsors. But when your customers pull up to your brand site and can’t get what they’re looking for quickly, the cool graphics and LeBron endorsements are just a really fancy brick wall between bouncing and converting.
Rather than going to great lengths to create a brand experience, your main concern should be listening to the stories of the experiences your customers are actually having with your brand online.
Success online is not about effectively helping customers get the brand messages you want them to understand. It’s about making sure you understand your customers enough to help them effectively get what they want from your brand.
If your brand’s CEO asked, could you answer these questions?
- What are the top 3 reasons customers visit our site?
- What are our top 5 products by revenue?
- What are our top 5 products by volume?
- What are the top 5 customer searches on our site?
- What is the first name of someone on our customer service team?
If you can’t answer all of the above, right now, you’re wasting money driving people to a site that doesn’t convert anywhere near the level it could be converting.
There is no difference between creating a great customer experience and creating a great brand experience. If you give your customers anything other than a simple, usable, and helpful experience on your brand site, the only story you’ll be telling is why you didn’t hit your sales numbers.
Help your customers succeed, give them a site that works for them.