Brand Intelligence: Why good customer experience is great for branding
7 March 2016 |
A story that sparked my interest this week was the winners of the airports which had the best customer service. It reminded me of all the long-haul flights I have been on and how much I appreciate a good airport in between layovers.
The winner for the Airport Council International Asia-Pacific region was a tie between Singapore Airport and Seoul Incheon, while London Heathrow came out top for Europe in the over 40 million passengers per year category.
Having been to Singapore Airport many times, I could see why it was one of the winners. I have stayed in the airport hotel, visited the movie theatre, the lounge, the many restaurants and shopping facilities and even the butterfly enclosure. I know it is an airport that can keep me entertained and relaxed if I have to wait between flights.
The story brought home to me the importance of good customer service to brand strategy. If a company does not align customer experience with brand strategy it risks backlash from the customers. If a person has a poor customer experience it does bode well for that person’s image of the brand.
If consumers are disgruntled with the service of a brand there are no shortages of outlets where people can voice their opinions on social media and review sites. Many people refer to these sites first before they make any big travel decisions.
That is why it is so important to align brand strategy with customer experience. While a person might be attracted to buying something from a company because of its brand values, if that brand does not have a customer service experience to match it will all fall apart.
Research has shown companies which have customers loyal to their brands also have increased profits.
A study by Forrester Research revealed it costs five times more acquiring new customers than satisfying and retaining existing ones, while another study by Bain & Company and Harvard Business School suggested increasing customer retention rates by 5 per cent raised profits by 25 per cent to 95 per cent.
It is important that companies make sure their brand values and strategy is consistent with the customer experience, if not they could risk alienating customers and losing profits.
I know next time I fly to the Asia-Pacific region, if I have to wait a while in between flights I will be looking at airports that can give me the best customer service and Singapore airport from past experiences will be on the top of my list.