Four Brand Management Resolutions for 2017
We frequently stress the importance of delivering exceptional customer experiences; after all, it’s the core of every business and what ultimately drives long-term customer loyalty revenue. Given the shift in the buying process in which customers are now more educated about a product before they even buy, and the fact that they are able to receive a product in a day or less, consumer expectations are at an all-time high. If those expectations are not met or exceeded, your brand will suffer.
What can you do to ensure you meet your customers’ expectations and advance your brand in 2017? Here are a few resolutions to consider for the New Year.
Simply put, if a customer has a delivery or quality issue with your company, they likely will not buy from you again. As simple as this may seem, there’s still a disconnect between a brand’s reputation and core supply chain processes. The process of manufacturing, designing product packaging, or even delivering products can impact a customer’s impression of a brand. Because at the end of the day, the entire buying experience is the first – and arguably the most – important opportunity for a brand to shine in the eyes of a new customer.
Therefore, it’s crucial to team up with a logistics provider who fully understands your brand and mission, and has the capabilities to deliver a seamless experience. Operational excellence is about understanding consumer needs and setting appropriate expectations with your partners so that as a team, you are able to consistently exceed those expectations. Ultimately, aligning your supply chain with the processes that impact your customers’ experience can greatly improve their satisfaction and overall perception of your brand.
Flexibility also plays a key role in high-performing brands. Customers expect to receive products as quickly and easily as possible, so the entire buying experience from in-store or online to final delivery needs to be scalable to a multitude of customer preferences. If you’re an E-Commerce brand, optimize each stage of the online buying experience so that products can be quickly and easily purchased, serviced and delivered anywhere in the world.
As part of that, having multi-channel distribution capabilities – including innovations like ModusLink’s 4-Minute Click to Ship – and multiple fulfillment centers across regions provides the flexibility needed to shorten the delivery time and the time it takes for a product to be restocked.
Outsourcing certain operational tasks to a third party is pretty standard and allows brands to focus on core competencies. However, it’s essential to monitor your partners with metrics that go beyond internal KPIs like inventory or cost, and implement metrics that your customers can see first-hand like on-time delivery or overall customer satisfaction scores.
It also goes without saying that exceptional customer service is crucial to building customer lifetime value. Ensure that your contact centers, whether staffed in-house or via a third party- are fully trained and knowledgeable about your brand, product and operations to eliminate the need for extensive scripts and repeat calls. Also offer customers as many contact options as you can. At ModusLink, we use intelligent routing and a choice of contact method — call, email or chat — in multiple languages to connect customers quickly and increase first-contact resolution.
An important part of any brand experience is the visual component, like packaging. While packaging was initially conceived simply to contain and protect the goods inside, packaging today is an important final chapter in your branding efforts. Packaging material and color play a large role in how your product is perceived, and large amounts of time, effort, market research are needed to correctly identify materials and color pallets that properly convey brand messaging. Whatever the case for your brand, make sure your packaging connects the dots of the customer’s journey.
At the end of the day, customers have unlimited options from which to purchase products, so it’s never been more crucial to maintain a stellar brand reputation via exceptional experiences. By recognizing that your brand’s image is impacted by core supply chain processes and by ensuring that the outsourced components of customers’ buying experiences are given proper attention, you will be set up to deliver memorable experiences at every touchpoint that will leave your customers wanting to come back.
For more information on how ModusLink can help support your brand’s mission and identity, click here.
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