Why Your Customer Experience Outshines Everything – Every. Single. Time

To begin, we’re going to ask you a series of questions about your brand and customers:

  • What does your customer see when they walk through your doors?
  • What do they smell when they arrive at your business?
  • How does your business feel and sound, both in person and online?
  • How easy is it for a customer to make a booking with you?
  • If they had a complaint or concern with that booking, what would the experience be like?
  • When someone purchases a product from you, what does receiving that order look and feel like?
  • If someone leaves a positive or negative experience on your Facebook or Google, what is the feel of the response they receive?
  • Do your customers have opportunities to engage with you and even try something new?

You might be wondering why we’re asking so many questions but your answer to each of these can tell you a lot about your current brand experience. This is an opportunity to reflect on the current experience a customer has with your brand and where you could be stepping up to enhance that experience even more. 

This is because to be competitive in today’s marketplace, in any industry, you need to create a brand experience that is not only consistent but unforgettable.

Check out my top 7 brand trends in 2020 that will be sure to elevate your beauty business.

Storytelling will win you friends, fans and raving brand advocates

Your brand isn’t actually about you (shocking I know), it’s about your audience. The key thing to remember when building relationships is that you’re building them with another person. We interact with humans because we want to feel that human connection, your brand is no different. 

People will relate to your brand far better through connection and authenticity. Show the world the humans behind your brand, the brand personality, meaningful conversations, celebrate the wins, listen and respond to every single enquiry, DM, comment, tag, everything.

Start focusing on the listening part, create conversations that are genuine and care-driven, this is what creates brand trust. Brand trust ultimately equals sales.

Switch out your selling sales pitch for conversational storytelling, open up and share a little bit about yourself and why you do what you do (your brand and your fans will thank you for it).

As we know, consumers of the hair, beauty and wellness industries can access treatments and products from many different businesses, but it is the brand experience that keeps them coming back and transforming into loyal clients. 

A brand experience facilitates deeper connections, beyond the product or service, and can truly mean the difference between choosing your business or your competitors. It’s about the thoughts, feelings, and sensations a customer feels when they interact with your brand. This very notion is why so many brands go to great lengths to trial, test and consistently tweak their brand experience to ensure a flawless interaction at any level, on any platform. 

We believe you should place great emphasis on your brand experience and be regularly reviewing it to ensure it’s still connecting with your customers. Marketing trends will grow and evolve, your offerings may change overtime and even your location might differ from when you started but regardless of the changes happening around you, if the experience your customer receives, wherever or however that may be, is consistent, positive, and uplifting, you’re on your way to creating lifetime loyalty. 

If the past year and a half have taught us anything, it’s the power of online connections. Your customers are spending more time than ever online, including doing their shopping, which is why the brand experience isn’t just about what happens in-person but on any platform, including your website, social media channels, email marketing and online store. When brands find ways to make the online experience still personable, personalised and targeted to their unique audience’s needs, their brand experience gets a wonderful boost. 

Consider the ways you respond to messages, reviews, comments, the layout of your website, the accessibility of your text, the ease of shopping or booking and the speed in which you respond to customers. All these interactions may be such simple things on their own but collectively, they can truly create a brand experience for your customer that tells them, you’re one of the good ones. 

A flawless brand experience can be broken up into three key categories: pre-purchase, service encounter and post-service. This encompasses the experience they have before, during and after the interaction with your brand. 

During the pre-purchase stage, this is where the excitement about visiting your salon, spa or clinic can truly kick in! It is this stage where their brand experience will include ease of booking, whether your service menu was easy to navigate, appointment reminders, whether your business was easy to find, the parking situation and stepping into your space. First impressions truly count and each of these elements should be helpful and seamless for the customer to maintain that excitement and begin their brand experience on a positive note. 

The second phase, service encounter, includes all the elements of your in-salon experience and the service they’ve actually booked. This is the stage to take note of your reception experience, waiting room rituals, any consultation experience, the smell, look and feel of your space, any surprise and delight moments, and of course, the service experience itself. 

Leaving their service encounter feeling totally blissful and in love with your brand, they enter the final stage, the post-service encounter. This is an opportunity to observe the check-out process, retail and product recommendation experience, re-booking offerings, the packaging and experience of unboxing products and any follow-up communication from your business. 

Remember, we don’t all depart a blissful massage or divine facial and instantly forget about the experience. We likely tell our friends, family, and partner about our time in the business, think fondly about the smell or feel of the experience and the excitement of re-booking to enjoy it all over again. 

Therefore, the brand experience should not end the moment a client walks out the door – that’s not how you win their loyalty! A flawless encounter at every stage of this three-step model means that when it’s time for that customer to absorb your marketing, they already have a positive brand experience in their minds about you and are more likely to engage with it.

However, it’s extremely important that whatever lengths you’re going to in crafting an incredibly memorable brand experience, keep in mind it only cements itself as ‘memorable’ when it’s consistent. 

Many make the mistake of creating elaborate and grand brand experiences that fall flat on the second time or vary from employee to employee. 

Consistency should be the foundation of every interaction where regardless of where, who or when someone engages with your brand, they receive the same experience.