Often cited inappropriately as a replacement for brand positioning or brand experience, customer experience goes far beyond that. In reality, customer experience is the result of how you implement your brand and how customers experience it across every touch point.

Put yourself in your customers' shoes: What is it like to call customer service? Book a flight on your website? Read the Terms and Conditions to understand your rights?

Customer experience is about meeting customer needs, about choosing and using certain words, about aligning touch points, and about creating relationships. To create a memorable and fulfilling customer experience, you need to get into the weeds to understand what customers want and expect, and then deliver that. The ultimate goal is to inspire loyalty.

Basic Tactics

When thinking about and developing your customer's experience, remember the following three basics.

1. Meet customer needs

What better way to inspire loyalty and keep current customers—or acquire new ones—than to really understand what they want, when they want it, and how they want it.

Remember, not all customers are created equal. For example, "twenty-somethings" who are on-the-go crave information via mobile and social platforms, whereas other groups would rather stay with more traditional methods such as postal mail.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christine Mauro is strategy director at Siegel+Gale, a strategic branding firm that provides ethnographic research among other services.