While many companies have based their customer experience (CX) strategy on trying to “surprise and delight” buyers, 70 per cent of the attributes related to driving satisfaction are related to how confident they feel about a brand, according to research published by R/GA.
The New York-based digital marketing agency surveyed nearly 13,500 consumers to produce its second annual Brand Relationship Design playbook. It focuses primarily on four brand categories. These include tech, finance, retail and hospitality.
While it may seem obvious that customers need to feel confident about a brand as part of a strong relationship, R/GA suggested this goes beyond merely being confident in the quality of its products and services. Consumers also need to feel confident that a relationship with a brand will help them achieve their goals, whether it be getting more physically fit, saving money or learning a new skill.
This could explain why barely more than a third, or 35 per cent, said they are completely satisfied with their brand relationships. R/GA’s analysis also showed that “first impression and ease of use” are the top factors that lead to retention and satisfaction.
Loyalty programs may not be an easy fix the way some brands, believe, either. R/GA found that only 32 per cent of those surveyed believe they are being rewarded with things that matter to them.
“In the age of “pull to refresh,” with endless options that confuse and overwhelm, the easiest and most straightforward experiences are most satisfying to customers,” the report’s authors write. “Sometimes it requires a little more initial effort, often on the part of both the brand and customer, to create seamless experiences going forward. It’s about being decisively bold by being intentionally reductive – distilling brand experiences down to the essence of what gives them value. It’s less about what brands should do, and more about being disciplined in what they should not do.”
360 Magazine Insight
You probably didn’t need survey results from thousands of people to know that the customer experience you provide should be easy from the get-go. There is little in most of the statistics published by R/GA that will come as a surprised to even novice CX professionals.
Unlike many other reports that describe themselves as “playbooks,” however, the bulk of this report goes into detail with actionable advice oriented towards the four main vertical markets the survey was focused upon. Much of this looks common-sensical as well, but it includes helpful checklists of questions that could be good to go over before a CX strategy unfolds. Here are a few aimed at those operating physical products and services, for instance:
• Is your educational content easily accessible physically via the packaging,
or is an instructional site clearly signposted?
• Can your receipt be used as a first step for a shopper’s
• For more complicated products, can your customers onboard in-store
with a guide?
• Is access to customer service clearly signposted and easy to use?
• Do you provide thoughtful recommendations related to the customer’s
R/GA also makes its advice easier to apply by citing well-known brands who live out these practices, from Airbnb and Duolingo to Amazon and Discover. These are arguably the best parts of the 76-page playbook, and make this well worth the gated download.
Shane Schick tells stories that help people innovate, and to manage the change innovation brings. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing magazine and has also been Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief), at IT World Canada, a technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and Yahoo Canada and is the founding editor of ITBusiness.ca. Shane has been recognized for journalistic excellence by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.