Your Customer Experience Must Reflect Your Brand
by Betsy Burton
I’ve had a few customer experiences (CX) that got me thinking about the relationship between customer brand and customer experiences/expectations.
Many organizations are still thinking about customer journey from an inside-out perspective rather than understanding their customers’ context and deploying technology to connect with their customers in a way that enhances their brand.
Does your customer experience strategy reflect your brand or harm your brand? In this blog, we explore two real-world examples of organizations with strong brands and the need to engage with a highly diverse customer base.
Innovative Tesla Brand Damaged By Customer Experience
Tesla’s customer experience challenges are well documented. Tesla customers tend to like and even love their products (87% report say that they “love” their Teslas). But even the most positive Tesla customers will complain about not being able to reach support—waiting on phone lines and having no other options. I had the opportunity to experience this recently as I am trying to buy and install a Tesla Powerwall. I waited 50 minutes to speak with a customer service agent. The issue is exacerbated and amplified because Tesla’s customer support and sales experiences are directly in conflict with their brand.
Tesla is promoting a brand of product innovation, environmental sustainability and Tesla community. But Tesla is not taking advantage of chatbots, AI assistants, or on-line scheduling assistants, or even any call-back appointments or notifications. The only way to reach Tesla is to sit on the phone or at a service center and wait.
This customer experience disconnect invites the customer to question the brand. If Tesla’s customer sales and service are not taking advantage of innovative and emerging technologies, then what does that say about the company and its products?
Admittedly, the bar is high for Tesla given their brand. But organizations of equal size, demand, and complexity are leveraging technology to be more responsive and proactive in managing customer service to its brand.
Kaiser Permanente Customer Experience Reflects Its Brand
There are people who like Kaiser Permanente’s healthcare business model and those that don’t. But regardless of your view of their business model, Kaiser’s brand is focused on preventative care, total health and wellness, and complete care. To support its brand, Kaiser supports a number of channels for its customers to easily communicate with care providers and administration, including video, email, appointment scheduling, voice conversations, apps and web sites, and in-person care.
I recently had a customer experience of needing to contact a Kaiser care professional because of a non-emergency while hiking in Tahoe. I was responded to with care instructions within a few hours after sending an on-line secure message.
By leveraging emerging and mainstream technology, and humans to deliver easy access through a diversity of care channels, Kaiser’s customer experience reinforces its brand.
End-user organizations, evaluate your brand and differentiation to ensure that your customer experience supports and reinforces your brand—or at least doesn’t damage it. Use your brand and business strategy to guide how and where to take advantage of emerging technologies to deliver customer service and sales.
Technology and service providers with offerings to support customer engagement must help their customers through this strategic planning effort. Increase your customers’ satisfaction and increase the value of your products and services by helping them design a customer experience that supports and enhances their brand.