The way we experience the world is a highly subjective thing. In any given moment, the vast number of factors that can colour our experiences are beyond the control of others. Our moods, history, and personal taste determine whether we like, love or loathe something.
Customers connect to your brand across a number of touch-points. Whether through print, web, video, or face to face, the way your customers experience your brand is, again, a highly subjective thing. We can’t calculate their reaction or emotional response to what lies in front of them. But, we can design with a desired experience in mind. Across all of these interactions, visual, verbal, and emotive strategies can provoke positive, helpful associations which keep your brand front of mind. However, the only way we can do this is by truly understanding who your audience is, and what they want from the world around them.
Know Your Audience, Ask Your Audience
Designing memorable customer experiences starts with understanding who makes up your current and future audiences. Once we understand who they are, we can ask why they care about your brand and how you can improve their lives. Further to this, we need to understand the different contexts in which they come into contact with your brand.
Traditional methods of audience research are certainly applicable, for example, surveys, interviews, or observation. If we can see how your audience engages with existing experiences, we can design fresh, engaging, and relevant future experiences.
Design the Experience
There are a number of things to keep in mind when designing a memorable customer experience. Is it useful, usable, and accessible? Is it desirable, credible, and valuable? Most importantly, consistency breeds familiarity. Applying the same tone and values across all contexts will leave your audience feeling certain about your brand. For example, if you are an online retailer, the digital experience should be seamless and effortless as your users shop and track shipping. The experience continues when your customer receives their product. What packaging design have you used? Does it further solidify a positive brand experience? Beyond the sale, the experience continues through issue resolution management, ongoing digital communication and customer service.
To fine-tune the experience, it is crucial to reinforce your communications with actions. After all, the way brands act is far more important – and memorable – than what they say.
Give them what they want… Plus a little more
Finally, give users what they want, plus a little more. In addition to enabling users to use your service effectively and efficiently, create opportunities for them to discover new things. Exceed their expectations desirably. If you do, they will use your website, services or products (digital and physical) not because they have to, but because they love it.