Best Practices to Deliver Your Brand Promise and Improve Reputation Performance

Matthew Patchett

I recently had the pleasure of hosting Reputation’s cross-industry 2024 roundtable event, which was attended by Marketing, CX and Operational leaders from the following renowned brands:

The roundtable event was a remarkable exchange of insights, best practices, and strategies aimed at enhancing reputation performance through customer experience. 

These events are about people sharing their lived experiences, good and bad, as well as their strategies for delivering best-in-class customer experiences to boost reputation performance. So, on that theme, I wanted to take this opportunity to share three key takeaways from the event:

Customer Experience Is Key To Brand Reputation Performance

There exists a misconception that delivering great customer experiences is easy. I can tell you first-hand that it’s not – it’s hard work. The theory might sound relatively straightforward, but putting it into action is a very different matter.

The consensus was clear, customer experience is key to brand reputation performance and it requires a clear strategy and relentless focus. To deliver a best-in-class CX programme you have to have a team in place that are custodians of the customer. This team helps to set the right standards and demonstrates to the business what it looks like to have a winning CX approach.

Listen: Customers can leave feedback about your business in a multitude of different places. They can leave unsolicited feedback via online review platforms or through the plethora of social platforms available today. They can also provide solicited feedback through Voice of Customer surveys. There is a wealth of feedback out there and you need to have a central team that can consolidate the information and determine what’s being said, and the sentiment behind it.

Learn: Once you’ve collated and consolidated your customer feedback, you have to learn from it. Where are the pain points within your customer journey and what’s causing them? What elements are working well? How can you replicate them and ensure best practices are applied?

The toughest part here is educating others to get their buy-in. Context and storytelling are a key element in any successful programme. You won’t be able to get the business to ‘act’ if they don’t know the implications of not making change. Linking customer acquisition, retention and lifetime value data will help make it a priority. 

Act: Making process changes that will improve the customer experience and enhance brand reputation is difficult. There will be multiple stakeholders that you’ll have to engage with, ranging from IT, legal, finance and departmental teams. But, there’s also another angle to consider. Creating a customer-centric culture, where staff understands CX best practices and their role in delivering best practices, is essential to creating the best customer experience.

The role of CX is very broad (and is one reason why I love it so much) and you can’t do it successfully without an effective and dedicated team. I’ve seen numerous examples where individuals have been given CX alongside their other duties of Sales or Marketing. It simply won’t be successful. Cross-functional working is key, but you need a team that is purely focused on “all things customer”.

Suggested Resource: How Brands Are Winning with Customer Experience Over Price and Product

Fostering Employee Satisfaction for Enhanced Reputation Performance

The correlation between employee satisfaction and customer experience was another key topic of discussion. Employee satisfaction plays a pivotal role in fostering a customer-centric culture and driving positive customer interactions to elevate brand reputation performance.

Employee satisfaction can significantly influence the quality of service delivered to customers. A content employee is likely to exhibit increased productivity, heightened commitment to their role, and a more positive attitude towards customers. This, in turn, boosts the level of service provided. Moreover, an employee who feels valued and satisfied is more likely to advocate for the brand, further contributing to positive customer perception and improving brand reputation.

Organisations should strive to create a healthy work environment that promotes job satisfaction. This encompasses providing employees with the necessary tools for success, fostering an encouraging and supportive atmosphere, empowering them to do what’s right for the customer, as well as acknowledging and rewarding exceptional work. Regular feedback and open communication channels can also contribute to employee satisfaction, as they allow for any concerns or suggestions to be effectively addressed, thereby promoting a sense of belonging and appreciation.

Suggested Resource: Why You Need to Administer Employee Surveys

Harnessing Insights for Staff Recognition

Our conversation about employee satisfaction transitioned into one about staff recognition. This discussion shed light on the positive outcomes of recognising and incentivising staff based on customer insights. Many customers leverage Reputation data to foster a customer-oriented environment through staff recognition and incentives, solidifying the dedication to delivering exceptional experiences.  

Recognising staff for their exceptional service not only encourages employees to maintain high standards but also promotes a positive, customer-focused culture within the organisation. By utilising Reputation’s Experience Insights, companies can identify and reward staff members who consistently deliver outstanding customer experience, thereby motivating them and their peers to strive for continuous improvement in their service delivery. This focus on staff recognition can significantly enhance customer satisfaction, leading to positive online reviews and an improved brand reputation.

Employee recognition programs help to instil a sense of pride and achievement amongst staff members. This can lead to increased employee engagement, lower turnover rates, and a superior level of service being offered to customers. Consequently, customers are more likely to have positive interactions with the brand, encouraging them to share their experiences online and further boost the brand’s reputation.

However, a few words of caution – beware of financial incentivisation. Monetary rewards can be used to ensure staff are focused on customer experience but if financial incentivisation becomes the primary driver for delivering a great customer experience, then you will soon see staff members exhibiting the wrong behaviours. For example, staff claiming that they need a 5 out of 5 rating to keep their job! Trust me, I’ve seen it (and far worse). If you’re not careful, staff can become obsessed with purely hitting a number and by doing so, undermine everything that you’re trying to achieve. If your brand is witnessing some of these behaviours from staff members, then you have work to do on your CX culture!  

Final Thoughts

Consistently delivering a great customer experience to enhance brand reputation is not easy. It requires relentless focus and many factors need to be taken into consideration to make a programme successful. 

Having a dedicated CX team, empowered from the top down, focusing on and recognising employees is key to establishing strong foundations. 

To fully leverage the power of Reputation, and make the necessary strides towards elevating your brand reputation and customer experience, reach out to me – I can provide the right guidance to help you act upon these insights and actions for the success of your business.

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