How to Build Awesome Brand Experiences For SMB on A Shoestring Budget
Irrespective of whether you are a startup or an enterprise, everything your business do should be aimed to create a world-class brand experience, right from customer service to your social media presence.
This is because, a positive brand experience is what that creates the difference between a lost and won customer, and so it is important to get it right.
Nevertheless, what exactly does brand experience mean, and how can small business and startup organizations on a budget get it right?
Therefore, read on to find how you can create a great brand experience for your consumers, no matter how tight is your small businesses’ budget.
What is brand experience?
Brand Experience is difficult to define and a nebulous concept, and so who so ever seeks to pin down exactly what is meant by brand experience mostly describe it vaguely in excessive words.
Now as the word suggests, brand experience is all about the customer’s experience with your brand, where ‘experience’ is the aspect that is most important among these two words.
Your customer experiences your brand in several ways: paid ads, your logo, social media, in-store and online experience, product packaging and the list goes on.
These interactions between your business and your customer are popularly known as ‘brand touch-points’ and collectively these touch-points make up your brand’s customer experience, which is how they think or feel about your brand.
Therefore, by carefully orchestrating and engineering these ‘brand touch-points’ you can easily create a rocking community of strong and trusted consumers who are engaged with your brand.
How to achieve awesome brand experience on a shoestring budget?
You need not break the bank to create an awesome brand experience.
Hence, let us look at some of the main ‘brand touch-points’ to evaluate why they matter, and how you can make them perfect even on a shoestring budget:
1. Accelerate customer service using AI tools
Customer service is the most happening place where customers interact with your brand, as in all industries customers communicate and contact most with businesses with complaints and issues.
Therefore how you handle your customer service creates a direct impact on the reputation of your brand, which makes it arguably the most important brand touch-point on your list.
Now the key to successful customer service lies in sincerity and speed. Hence, replying to a customer’s complaint quickly shows that the customers that they are valued by your brand, which in turn increase the goodwill of your business over time.
Unfortunately, it is highly doubtful that as a small business or a startup your business will have the funds needed to pay 24/7 live helpdesk support.
Nevertheless, a close approximation is possible by using AI (Artificial Intelligence) powered chatbots.
This is because; on-site chat plugins are capable of guiding your customers through the most common pain-points and questions they face, using language that appears natural instead of robotic.
Although chatbots are never the same as real persons, they are sufficient to placate the users of your offerings and make them feel appreciated.
2. Find the right moments for social media engagement
Social media is equally important as a brand touch-point.
This is because, as all your customers are virtually regularly active on social media, it offers a fantastic opportunity for a brand to get creative with their support services and offerings.
Moreover, as social media is mostly free (unless you are using paid ads); it is also an affordable way of building up a memorable brand experience for your customers.
The best brands on social media websites are those that post regularly, since a token post here and there never provide your followers any value.
Hence, start by planning your brand’s social editorial calendar in advance and share your status updates, social shares, and so on in a planned and scheduled manner with an affordable social media automation tool.
Now, simply posting general contents is not enough to create an awesome brand experience for your customers. You must actively engage your customers in social media by inviting interactions and showing them that you value their inputs.
Of course, it is true that replying to every single comment on every post (as a small business or a startup) can be a drain on your time.
You can certainly use a social media auto-responding tool to automate this task, although it lacks the warmth of human responses.
Hence, instead of using automation, focus just on the top comments for each post and only respond to those, which will be most visible to your followers, enhancing their experience with your brand even if you are not replying to all of them directly.
3. Create a low-cost pop-up experience
From Volkswagen’s piano staircase to Carlsberg’s beer-dispensing billboard large business establishments use events to enhance their brand experience.
Now these events not only cost a lot of money, but they are also prohibitively expensive for startups and small businesses.
Nevertheless, small businesses can also create effective but affordable real-world events for their consumers with launch-events and pop-up shops.
These are inexpensive and effective ways to build an experimental brand event on a budget and are often used by small businesses and startups to quickly grow customers, boost sales and increase brand awareness.
Therefore, for ‘solopreneurs’ seeking to grow their business into a profitable brand, pop-ups are an excellent way for scaling up the brand experience for business growth.
Additionally, you can even invite your customers to share your events on their social feeds with a hashtag that is branded or provide your customer free samples and goodie bags for an experience that your customers will not forget over their lifetime.
For example, if you are in e-commerce business you can consider adding a dash of flair to your product packaging for your top customers along with a handwritten thank-you note (and make customers feel appreciated) or for non-e-commerce businesses provide your frequent buyers with exceptional after-sales service.
In a gist, pick up the right moment to show your gratitude, and you can be sure that your efforts will pay off in a big way.
Finally- Optimize your business processes
Lastly, some of the internal processes in your business can also fetch a direct impact on your brand touch-points by determining the nature and quality of your customer-targeted materials, such as invoicing.
A sloppy or late invoice makes your brand look bad.
Therefore if you are using a CRM you can consider using QuickBooks CRM software, to not only keep your invoices timely and accurate but since paying attention to brand details will also help you to scale up your business.
Additionally using an easy to use CRM, (especially Salesforce Alternative CRM for small businesses that are price-performance leaders) protects you against piecemeal adoption of silo business software solutions; because this will strengthen your internal brand experience since it matters how your employees see you because it affects how they represent you to customers.
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