For me, making a significant purchase is an emotional decision. I do my research, I check out different brands, I compare products, and ultimately decide to give my hard-earned money to a particular company.
Once I make that decision, I'm entering into a relationship with the brand. I'm giving them my trust.
Based on several recent experiences, I'm left questioning the extent in which companies understand the modern consumer. I'd argue it's the single most important lesson for future success.
If you simplify it a bit, Marketing teams spend every cent trying to get in front of you. Print, broadcast, digital... Any tactic possible to get your attention and pull you in.
Juxtapose that with the good folks in Service / Support functions who do almost the exact opposite. While a simplification, these folks are often measured on how quickly they can get off the phone with customers.
All too frequently, these organizations aren't talking to one-another. What's the impact? No one is looking at the end-to-end customer experience.
This graphic from HBR does a nice job of illustrating the point. In our digitally enabled world, the post-purchase experience is as, if not more important, than the act of purchase itself.
Why? Because the consumer can be your most powerful marketing tool... Assuming you treat them well.
If a brand delights me as a consumer, make no mistake, I'll tell everyone I know. I'll uncover opportunities that you never knew existed, and couldn't discover even with an endless budget.
Do the opposite and you'll breach that trust that I've placed in you.
In a recent Nilesen survey, 58% of respondents suggest they share their brand experiences via social to "protect others". As peer sentiment continues to be among the most trusted online sources of information, you can see the risks associated with not properly focusing on the post-purchase experience.
In the past, I've discussed the emerging need for a CCO role, or Chief Customer Officer... Someone to rise above the functions of any one organization, and advocate for the most important audience out there... The consumer.
At the end of the day, we're talking about a fundamental shift in how brands engage consumers, and also about an enormous opportunity. Social has given consumers an extremely powerful voice, enabling them to serve as your biggest advocates, or your most critical detractors.
Now's the time to look at your end-to-end customer journey, and set the standard in which you want to be measured by the modern digital consumer.