Brand Loyalty Increases with These 6 Components of CX

To create brand loyalty and customer evangelists, you must (1) operate at a high level in six distinct areas of business and (2) constantly evaluate your company’s customer service across each category, separately, and as categories overlap.
6 components of CX that drive brand loyalty

  1. Physical:

    Deals with the actual brick-and-mortar component of your operation. These are the physical elements that are more permanent or long term, that cannot be changed daily.

  2. Atmosphere:

    Refers to the controllable atmosphere you create daily. As Disney says, “Everything speaks from the doorknobs to the dining rooms sends a message to the guest.” The atmosphere communicates a message about what you can provide your customers. This isn’t always visual, it may be the music your customers hear when they call and are placed on hold or the mood your web site creates. The atmosphere reveals the characteristics of your business as they appeal to the five senses of your customer: sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste.  Crave-able atmospheres drive brand loyalty

  3. Functional:

    Refers to the ease of doing business with you—return policies, hours of operations, and other factors. Functionality has nothing to do with human interactions, such as being pleasant or saying please or thank you.

  4. Technical:

    Refers to your staff’s level of expertise in their particular skills and in the company’s systems and equipment, such as product and job knowledge. Again, this has nothing to do with whether they are nice.

  5. Operational:

    Refers to the actions that team members must execute behind the scenes before, during, and after a customer’s experience. These actions assist in the day-to-day transactions with customers, the tasks, compliances, and duties of our jobs.

  6. Hospitality:

    Refers to the actions that team members execute while interacting with the customer. Those actions that make the customer say “WOW!” The customer is delightfully surprised. Hospitality actions are the reason why customers return, refer others, and become brand loyal. These include Secret Service, personalization, anticipating customer’s needs, and others.  Customers can be employee loyal as well as brand loyal.

*Related – Download the White Paper on The 9 Customer Experience Strategies to Dominate Your Industry and Make Price Irrelevant

Build Brand Loyalty Using Six Components of a Customer’s Experience:

  • Your server is the most incompetent waitress (technical) you have ever met, but she is trying her hardest and being extremely nice (hospitality).
  • The place needs a good paint job (physical).
  • The store where you shop is always out of what you want (operational).
  • Your favorite store is difficult to get to and has barely any parking (physical).
  • This salon has high energy and always smells great (atmosphere).
  • The quality of the food (technical) is unfit for human consumption.
  • An associate overheard that you really wanted a diet drink and ran across the street to the drugstore to get it for you (hospitality).
  • At the diner, everything is themed 1950s style (atmosphere).
  • It is impossible to get a human being on the phone. No matter what you try, you cannot get out of the company’s voice-mail maze (functionality).
  • The company has a 24-hour answering service and guarantees a call back within 60 minutes (functionality).
  • My sales rep always screws up my order (technical).

Specific examples of the components of a customer’s experience that build brand loyalty are:

Physical

Brick and mortar
Building
Structure
Architecture
Location
Accessibility
Parking availability
Design
Décor
Public areas
Floor coverings
Signage
Spaciousness
Handicap accessible

Atmosphere

Ambience
Candles
Theme
Lighting
Acoustics
Grounds
Furnishings
Comfort of chairs,
beds, etc.
Mood
Signage
Sound system
TV placement
Noise level

Functional

Policies
Hours of operation
Ease of doing business
Accessibility to a human being
Product selection
Design of your web site
How well you are staffed
Reliability of vendors
Security
Payment options
Phone number on web site

Technical

Employees level of expertise
Speed of your technology
Computers
State of the art technology
Ability to use your web site
Equipment
Phone system
Software
Product knowledge
Quality of product
Timeliness
Knowledge

Operational

Daily tasks
Cleaning
Dress code
Preparation
Answering the phone.
Duties
Checking people out
Processing orders
Functions of the job
Compliances
Paperwork

 

Hospitality

Hospitality
Customer engagement
Personalization
Above and beyond
Using the customer’s name
Remembering preferences
Presentation of food
Verbiage/vocabulary of staff
Congeniality
Willingness to help
Anticipating needs
Service recovery
Soft skills

Physical Excellence

An example of physical excellence would be the beauty of Disney parks or how The Cheesecake Factory restaurants are designed. Starbucks has mastered atmosphere, from the comfortable, inviting furniture to how well they merchandise their cafes, just as Disney has mastered how well they theme their parks and hotels. A couple of great examples of functional excellence are Nordstrom department stores and Zappos.com who have simplified the process of returning merchandise.

Operational Excellence

Cleanliness is a great example of operational excellence. When you are considering your customer’s experience, you need to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Consider a hospital room, or massage or facial room. Because patients and customers are lying down for extended periods of time, they may notice the condition of areas of the room employees never look at.

Customer Friendly

Keep in mind that it is important to constantly review how customer friendly your company is in each department if you want to create brand loyalty. With regards to training of new and existing employees, the majority of your training will deal primarily with technical, operational, and hospitality.

Technical plus Hospitality Equals Brand Loyalty

The vast majority of companies focus their training on the technical with very little if any emphasis on the hospitality. Having been fortunate to work with some of the best customer-service companies in the world, I have both learned and helped create some amazing training that truly prepares new employees to be able to provide a world-class experience, regardless of their backgrounds.

“People don’t remember what you said as much as how you made them feel.”

Are any of the components more important than another in increasing brand loyalty? No, all are critical and all need to be reviewed and tweaked on a regular basis. The components differ significantly in terms of required people skills training. Physical, atmosphere and functionality have little to do with training or people skills, but the other three components absolutely do involve people skills and training. There is a difference, however, in the training required for each component. It is much easier to train employees on technical and operational skills; they are job-specific, and they include easy-to-train subjects, such as product knowledge, and checklists. Also, technical and operational skills tend to be present and thorough because of prior education, degrees, licensing, certifications, and trade schools. Many industries today mandate continuing education credit hours. The vast majority of companies are weakest in the hospitality category.

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Episode 140: How to Build a World-Class Sales Team 23646 222 10x10 MorneSmit Scaled, The DiJulius Group

Chief Revolution Officer John DiJulius of The DiJulius Group talks to Morné Smit, a leading sales guru. Morné is the founder of The Emerse Group, who is focused on building systemized sales growth for small to medium sized firms. His clients habitually achieve sustainable growth of 30% – 130% year over year.

 

CX Video of the Week: Is your company’s brand loyalty strong enough for the foxhole?

Untitled Design 4, The DiJulius Group

About The Author

John DiJulius

John R. DiJulius is a best-selling author, consultant, keynote speaker and President of The DiJulius Group, the leading Customer experience consulting firm in the nation. He blogs on Customer experience trends and best practices.