Where can companies make the most lasting impression on their customers?
Is it through an ad? A social post? An email?
Chances are, it will come through a direct interaction with your company, not through marketing. There’s a growing belief that customer experience is the biggest factor shaping brand perception, leading to increased spending and loyalty.
And while that customer experience includes all interactions – online and offline – it is the human interactions that stand out the most.
It is people that make the most lasting impression on us. What they say and how they make us feel has a lasting impact on us.
This is the moment of truth for brands. Every chance to serve the customer is the golden opportunity to win them over, and the best brands recognize that.
The employees on the frontlines hold the key to those interactions. They decide whether that interaction will be positive, helpful, and possibly uplifting for the customer. On a recent episode of The Curated Experience podcast with Amas Tenumah (episode link here), I explained that frontline employees are the “gateway” to the customer. The magic happens (hopefully) during those connections, not the interactions with websites or chat bots.
Brands measure customer attitudes after that moment is over. The measurement we all know is Net Promoter Score (NPS), but all brands have some form of customer satisfaction score. Companies gather feedback from customers on whether the interaction met their needs and if they were satisfied.
By focusing solely on the customer’s perception after the interaction, brands are missing the opportunity to impact the conversation before it happens. The frontline employees’ attitude, perceptions and biases all impact that moment.
Our team at InnerView designed the Brand Transfer ScoreTM (BTS) to better understand the mindset of the frontline employee to predict what that interaction with the customer will be like. What do they think the customer wants? What image of the brand will they project? Where do they have the most confidence in the brand they represent? Will they be “on message?”
The BTS is a proactive tool for marketers to answer these questions. Measuring how the marketing message is reaching the frontlines can quickly identify misconceptions and misalignment. Marketing executives know the message is getting lost in translation, but brands typically cannot pinpoint the problem until after a poor interaction with a customer.
Customer experience is evolving, and technology will play a big role in enabling the modern customer interaction. However, technology can’t make the human connection that is so important for brands to stand out. People will make the difference in the moments that matter most. Measuring employee mindset before that moment will lead to better results when it is over.