Four ways your marketing and customer experience need to match up

In most companies there are two key ways in which we connect with our customers – through our marketing and customer experience. And it’s essential that both are in alignment.

There will be some lines of communication that fall purely under the marketing umbrella – sales ads, for example. But others, like emails and social media, will be used by both marketing and customer service. And if you do’t have both areas of your business in alignment, if their messaging, promises and actions don’t match up, then you’ll quickly come unstuck.

It can take years to build a strong brand and a trusted product and customer service reputation – and one poor decision or mis-handled situation to destroy it.

So your customer experience needs to live up to the impressions your marketing messages are giving of what it is like to buy from and interact with you.

Four ways your marketing and customer experience need to match

To help you get this basic, but essential, aspect of your business right, here are four important ways your marketing and customer experience need to match.

1) Be consistent

Both your marketing and your customer experience must be consistent. Your tone of voice, and your approach to resolving any complaints, must be the same across channels, and from week to week, and customer to customer.

Consistency builds trust and cements your brand values. So any time a customer visits your social accounts, sees an ad for your products or services, receives an email from you, or makes a complaint, they need to experience the same messaging, tone, promises and results.

 2) Live your brand

By the same token, your marketing strategy and your customer service must be true to your brand values and promises. So if your brand is disruptive and challenging, customers will expect every interaction with you to align with this approach.

Equally, if your brand is caring and customer-focused, customers will expect their interactions with you to live up to these qualities.

Every single thing you do as a business needs to align with your brand values – from the way you treat your employees, to the decisions you make about seemingly small, inconsequential matters. But nowhere is your brand more important than in your connections with your customers. 

 3) Don’t over promise

It’s easy to get excited about the plans you want to make. Or the things you’d love to make happen for your customers. But unless you’re 100% confident you can deliver on them, don’t make any promises.

So, for example, don’t invest in an ambitious marketing campaign that can leave you unable to fulfil orders. Or, like Hoover, promise an incentive you can’t afford to deliver on. Or even launch an app without knowing for certain it will do exactly what you say it will. 

This is where your customer experience and your marketing do truly need to be aligned. Before any promise is made, check that you have the resources, systems and budget to actually make them happen. That way you won’t end up with unhappy customers and a ruined reputation.

4) Deliver on your promises

In a similar vein, if you say you’ll do something, make sure you do. So if your marketing promises a particular service or customer experience, ensure that you follow through on it.

This will, like the point above, require the marketing and customer service arms of your business to connect up. In a larger company, if you have different people or teams handling these, this means all parties communicating. So if marketing has promised something, they need to let customer services know.  

If you’re a smaller company and perhaps both responsibilities are down to you, it means doing due diligence on your own promises before making them. And if you offer customers a service, level of quality or delivery deadline, make sure you absolutely meet it.

Photo by Katy Belcher