Episode 7 - Crafting your Customer Journey

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By elevating your customer experience, you create an army of loyal customers who will be out there talking up your brand and saving you marketing dollars.

This is a big task, and you will continue to do this as your business evolves. It pays out in trust and improved customer experience.

In this episode I run through two methods to build your customer experience.



This is the hot metal brand podcast. I'm your host Martin Sully, founder of snapper studio, a brand strategy and visual design studio in the heart of Newcastle Australia. And I'm on a mission to help you gain clarity in your brand and confidence in what you are. From thoughtful, empowering brand strategies to defining powerful visual stories. I'll arm you with buy size branding tools to help you grow your brand and leave your own unique mark. Welcome back. This is episode seven, crafting your customer experience. Now those of you who are not watching behind the scenes won't know that I just recorded this whole episode. without actually recording it.


So here we go. There's a, there's a little, there's a little intro into, uh, this one. unfortunately, this one's also called crafting your customer experience. Now, if you were to watch that behind the scenes and then find out about not me not recording it, you're gonna be like this. Guy's a phony . So anyway, last week we covered brand promises and culture. How to build a culture. Everyone aligns with, which is really important for this episode. At least I had a chance to rehearse this one. Hey, so crafting your customer experience, the internet is a magical place. There's cat videos and videos of people making homemade a masks, which are literally. Just water cooler bottle people that people have just popped on their heads.


And then there's trolls and disgruntled customers who seemingly love sharing it with the world, which, yeah, we can't control that feedback, but we can control the experience that leads to the feedback. So you need to make that experience unforgettable. In a good way. Not the bad way we don't, we don't need a, you know, unforgettably bad experiences that you are giving customers. This is, this is like, unbranding the general plan that this should be along the lines of person discovers you. There's more steps here. Did, uh, person makes a purchase. More things happen from you. Person leaves a positive review and comes back again after telling six friends. Okay. Ah, oh, that's the wrong one.


Yeah. So here we go. That is the general thing we need to be working on. And that's just a, a short kind of intro. I'm gonna give you a couple of ideas of how you can make your CU plan out your customer experience. But first of all, we need to know what a customer experience should comprise of. So you need to look at surprising and delighting your customers.


That's like that is everything like do stuff that they are not expecting. That's how you create something that is memorable, uh, personalize the experience as well. Uh, because who doesn't like something that's personalized, it feels like, ah, you know, like these people actually understand me. They, they, they get me, they are on board, even if it's just like you've sent out a package and you.


Handwriting and note that's like worth its weight in golden, to be honest, each time that I get something like that, this is me because I'm in branding. I will keep that and use it as inspiration for another project. And to show people that look, this is, this goes a long way. If you are invested, like I quite often get, uh, coffee brought. I buy a lot of coffee. I drink not cuz I drink a lot of coffee. I just like the experience. You know, I love coffee. All right. I'm not gonna lie. But when I get something through the post, something has been nicely printed. It's got, the packaging is good. You know, I'm gonna, I'm likelihood is I'm gonna keep it.


I'm gonna put it on my shelf of inspiration. And at some point it's gonna get dug out to use as an inspiration point for another project. enough by that next thing you need to comprise, you need to add into your experience is, um, value at each touch point. Even if it's free, it does, it shouldn't make a difference. Whether it's paid for you should always add value, um, making it memorable. So like we've said before, surprising delight, make it memorable through being authentic as well. And. Anchor it inconsistency. So everything you do is gotta be consistent from your, your, you know, your online experience, your social media experience, your, uh, packaging, experience, your experience, uh, face to face with people, uh, telephone, email, like you name it.


There's a lot of different places, but you need to make sure they're all aligned. Um, next up. Uh, avoid failing expectations. So people, people expect a certain thing when you don't deliver, um, people, people get NAED and this is when they start leaving the bad feedback, um, and never assume allegiance, you know, You may have been with them for XX X XX. You might have been with them for 10 years using their product. They still want to be treated as a new customer. And every now and again, they're kind of, they want to just be remembered and thought about, and not just kind of like, well, they're gonna stick with me because they've been a Custer. they've been a customer for 10 years.


Uh, a nice one to do is just to, to also practice gratitude and this can be a number of ways can be, uh, and obviously it's dependent on what your business is. So an example of mine, um, one of my clients is a yoga and movement studio and they obviously, other than me going to them. Ways they've practiced gratitude in the past is like birthday cards, Christmas cards, all these sorts of things. Thank you. Note, uh, I've had the odd week of, um, movement for free because I've recommended somebody and these are like really simple little things that they can do that just show you that they value your, you know, your membership or that they value your service. And finally, you need to consistently.


Improve the, the service. You're always gonna be continuously doing it, working on feedback and making sure it's all working together to build this amazing experience. So moving on, if you want to build your reputation with your customers. You need to focus on the, the little details. And honestly, I cannot stress this enough. Uh, like I said earlier, it's those little details in the coffee packaging that make me go real, like, make me re remember, like, I can tell you exactly who I'm not gonna name brands, but I can tell you exactly which, which, uh, brand did it. And. And this was, you know, this probably happened a year and a half or two years ago, but it left an impact.


I may not have, uh, been back since, but that's, that's irrelevant. They're still, they're still planted in my mind. So I, yeah, like I said, I can't stress this enough. Um, and it's the little things that make collectively make a big impact. so instead of, um, yeah, putting together meaningless forgettable, samey expected experiences, you need to work out a journey to elevate your experience to meaningful unforgettable, unique and unexpected. This helps create customers that are loyal, um, who pass on the good word. And they'll be your ultimate fanboy or fangirl. This then saves you marketing dollars. And I'd gonna, I'd put the cheer sound back on, but I do, you know what? I'm gonna just end up hitting like a drum roll or something completely wrong.


So I'm gonna leave that to the pros. all right. Before you cheer and crack out the Don Peron. this task is like I said, it's a continually evolving process. There will always be steps to improve, delete, or new ones to add as well. Um, importantly, the, this sort of evolving process allows you to see the little gaps where the journey is a bit confused. Broken or kind of just missing completely. So this is where we kind of get into in, into the work. And this is two techniques I wanna share. The first is. What I recommend in branding workshops and what I do in branding ship workshops. So this is grabbing a giant sheet of paper. I use a butcher's block typically, and some good old Sharpies, couple of colored pens.


And that's go. So on the left, you wanna write customer, meet your brand name. On the right customer leaves review. Now write down every step they take in between. So in between customer meeting, you and customer leaving a review, uh, you, you might have lots of different ways that they meet you as well. You might have down the left, you might have opt in referral in person networking, search engine, you know, don't skip any, and then there may be. So once you've got all those written down, it may be that there's little steps. You can start connecting up in the middle, but you know, generally. Yeah, you're gonna, you're gonna reach a point where you've got a, you've got a certain set of action points to, to create certain set of touch points that you need to make.


And when you've worked out those touch points in the middle, you need to analyze them. So to see if they are aligned with the early work you've put in. So are they. Are they communicating the right feeling? Uh, is your, are your values kind of yeah. You use, have you used your values to communicate with them and there's a whole bunch of stuff, obviously. Tone of voice, but we're gonna get to that later on. So yeah. Uh, you need to, as I said, you need to analyze these touchpoints. So if it's a phone call, how did it get answered? how was the tone of voice? If it was an email, did the touchpoint elicit, uh, uh, emotive response is copy written in your black brand's language.


It's, uh, it's actually 3:00 PM as I'm recording this and I'm actually a bit hungry so my mind's on food. If you want a brownie point start thinking about also. Uh, customizing a few obscure steps and these could be things like quoting and invoicing and, and I, it was a fun one, you know, uh, rollies, the, uh, the shoe brand they're like super comfortable made in Australia. Like they're quite expensive shoes, but their, their invoice or their receipt that they sent when I bought a pair of shoes. Had lines down it, and you could basically make the invoice into paper airplanes. And they had, then obviously they had they'd printed on it in little bits. And so to the wings looked like they had a cool pattern on like those little touch points there.


That that is cool. Like I know that it's completely useless and nobody needs to pay for airplane. Jay's it was fun for like a minute and the fact is I'm still, I still talk about it. um, other places you could brand, uh, you could, you could, you know, you could pump up your 4 0 4 error page, like 4 0 4 error pages. Like when you've gone to the website you typed in, you've tried finding something or a low link is broken. The like 4 0 4 pages is just the general page to tell somebody that the link is broken, but I've seen some amazingly creative, fun ways to do. Um, to make it a little bit interesting. You can also then point people to, you can give people options to search your website again, try, try and see if you can find a different page.


You can, you know, highlight new, um, new blog posts, new projects you've been working on, you know, they might not have found the thing that they want to come to, but they might be able to find. Better or find something else that, or you might be able to just say, oh, look, you know, shoot me some feedback. I, you know, I didn't know this was broken, um, here getting con contact with our web guy and he'll fix it up for you or point him in the right direction. Those little things are quite, quite good. Other thing you could do is packaging outside of the packaging. So don't just, yeah. You get your packaging done and then it just comes in a brown box. Like that's yeah. You're not put more, put, put more effort in and I, um, you know, is the, is the packaging. By it degradable.


Are you, you know, is it well protected? Is there, is there something else you could do? Could you slip in a thank you card? That's another thing. Um, have you put stickers on the outside that, you know, are you, you know, you planned an, an event, have you branded the event? Is it all. Is it looking, is it part of your experience? You know, are you, are you going far enough? Could you double down and make it even better so that people are like, well, this is, this is incredible. Like these guys put on such an amazing event, um, in personal meetings, what's your, what's your, uh, what's your rhythm? What's your, you know, how do people meet you?


And they get like a, a package or. If they're interested in your product, do they, you know, do you give them something? Are you, are you, you know, have you worked all this out yet? How can you make the most mundane process? An exciting exchange? I don't know. You tell me, um, obviously I can tell you if I know what's going on with your business. But anyway, so you. Find you end up with from all this, you might find you've got a huge to-do list. Um, but you know, I can't tell you how important these are. So chip away and see what happens. The last thing that you could do is a client. When they worked with me, um, they went away and worked on their customer experience.


And then fed back to me so I could see all the bits and pieces that she'd done and she'd did, she'd like thought of her in her own new way to, to kind of do it, that worked for her. So what she did with her touchpoints, she'd cut out little bits of cardboard. And on one side she had written what the touchpoint was. So email or phone call, um, sales call, that sort of thing. Then from there, she'd flipped it over on the other side. And on the back of it, it had written exactly the tone of voice and the, the actual messaging itself. She'd written all this out. and it was a really cathartic experience for her to then just implement all these things.


And, but gradually she could do it. And she told me that she'd just put it in the bin when she was done. So it kind of like, she went from a pile of, you know, a stack of 10, 10, or 12 different things to zero, but of those little changes, we're all, we're all made. So this is a good way to just chip away at them. And see how, you know, see what happens. That is it for today's episode. I have, yeah, that was a really fun one. I love talking all about, uh, customer experiences and how you can, how you can improve them, how you can make them better through little, just little, little things. There's always something you can, you know, you can be more on brand with you can.


More engaged with, and really start working your brand into every little Orus of your life. Do you the point where you become dare I say it a little bit obsessed with it. Anyway, uh, leave that one with you and see you around on the next episode, bye bye for now.By elevating your customer experience, you create an army of loyal customers who will be out there talking up your brand and saving you marketing dollars.