Why User Experience is the New Brand Loyalty Program

user experience

It’s a scenario we’re all too familiar with: You get a new toy–a TV; a bookshelf; a new phone–and the second it’s out of the box, you want it to be fully functional. But we’re also all too familiar with the woes of something new, and from assembly frustration to a steep learning curve, you might be stuck reading manuals and using trial and error to learn how to use or put together something new. Not a great user experience.

If the idea makes your blood boil, you’re not alone. And chances are that calling customer service is the last thing you want to do. In a recent poll, digital consulting firm Accenture found that 89 percent of customers get fed up when having to explain the problem to multiple customer service agents and 83 percent would rather check a company’s website before calling in. Fifty percent of consumers would rather solve an issue themselves and 70 percent expect some sort of self-service option on a company’s website.

Obviously, consumers would rather educate themselves than wait around for a company to walk them through an issue. So, whether you’re selling televisions or eLearning, customer education is key to a consistent user experience. When customers feel empowered and respected, they’re more likely to stick with a brand. (FYI: if they’re not happy, 13 percent of consumers will tell 15 or more people about their unpleasant experience, so user experience is worth your consideration.)

The YouTube Effect: Creating the “How To” for Customer Experience

If there’s one thing that YouTube does better than most brands, it’s a how-to video. In fact, if you don’t know how to set up your new TV, there’s probably already a tutorial posted on someone’s YouTube to answer your questions. There’s the rub, though: Those videos aren’t made or endorsed by the brand, and the brand has zero control over the content. They could be wrong, dangerous, or confusing. Still, when faced with questions that a brand won’t answer, many consumers would still rather watch a YouTube video than spend hours on the phone with customer service.

If brands were more concerned with brand loyalty, they should also be concerned with a better user experience as a whole, including considering the after purchase woes. A branded video tutorial or new product primer doesn’t only give power to the people but gives the brand complete control over the customer experience. Instead of turning to a stranger on the Internet for answers, customers could find comprehensive, branded, and correct answers from a company that they trust–or, at least, beginning to build trust through positive interactions.

Putting a Lens On a Positive Customer Experience

Modern customers are more discerning than ever. Whether it’s finding the best price or scouring reviews for the best products, services, and brands, you can’t afford negative experiences and interactions. With a world of information at their fingertips, consumers always have access to better options and prices and won’t be loyal to a company or brand that falls short of expectations.

By focusing on a positive customer experience, ELM has been able to differentiate itself in a market that is no stranger to loyalty issues. After all, while we do pride ourselves on creating a unique product, we’re not exactly the only fish in the pond. Clients always have other choices, so it’s up to the experience that we’re able to provide. Something totally proprietary to the companies we’ve worked with. We’ve seen firsthand the difference that an elevated user experience can make in promoting loyalty, which is why it remains a top priority for us.

We use (and HIGHLY encourage others to use) Net Promoter Scores as a way to gauge how the customer experience in going, and if it’s time to take a look at making some changes.

You could be selling eLearning or bookcases, but the concept is the same. When you make customers feel like they’re a proactive part of the process (instead of clueless consumers), you engender long-term loyalty that will pay off in the long run.