The customer's experience is always right...right?
In terms of branding, client experience has got to come first and foremost.
We’ve all been there. Hurriedly fumbling with our passports at check in, wearily eyeing up the priority boarding queue, wincing slightly at the oh-so-familiar bright yellow and blue of the plane’s cabin. The Ryanair customer experience is almost a rites of passage for those travelling for work, long weekenders and the apparently ever-present stag party. Love it or loathe it, Ryanair’s customer experience is certainly a distinctive one.
Not a man to hold back, the airline’s CEO Michael O’Leary once declared that customer experience was not priority for his company. Ryanair knew its place in the market. It was a budget option that people could rely on for a good price while ‘putting up with’ the experience, he claimed.
Understandable from a business point of view? Or a missed opportunity?
While we admire Michael’s bold self-assertion, we disagree. In terms of branding, client experience has got to come first and foremost. It goes beyond the product itself – and that’s all because it’s a real experience taken in by real people. It’s a crucial consideration that undoubtedly translates to real results for your business, either positively or negatively depending on how well thought through it is.
But what do we mean by customer experience? Well, it’s all the things that contribute to the impression your client walks away with after working with you or buying your product or service. When it comes to this area of business, the devil’s in the detail – and there are quite a few details! These could be anything from the face-to-face conversations with a member of staff proudly displaying your brand on their uniform, to the tone of voice of the buttons on your website. ‘Pay here’ has a much less relaxed feel to it than ‘Ready to check out?’ for example. It all adds up to some kind of impact on how the customer feels about your offering.
Of course, this feeling will inform your client’s likelihood to return and recommend you to others. They might even be moved to praise or indeed blast you on social media! These details all matter because they ultimately inform the success of your company.
We should point out that O’Leary has since changed his stance on customer experience – great news for fans of stag parties and good customer service!
What do you think? We’d love to hear your good, bad and ugly customer experience stories. Or if you’d like to talk about how Streamline can help you improve your brand experience get in touch, we’re full of ideas.
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