Awhile back, we realized something about the average marketing agency that astounded us, which is this: Many of them have never actually experienced their clients’ brands. Does that blow your mind as much as it did ours?
At StringCan, our team has been incredibly intentional about becoming actual customers of our clients’ brands whenever possible – and it has provided our team with great insights and even better results. We believe it’s one of the main reasons we can make informed recommendations about redefining customer experience, conduct true brand assessments and be a deeply valuable partner. If we didn’t know what a customer really goes through in their journey with each of our client’s companies, we wouldn’t be as well equipped to do these things.
If you work with an agency who has never stepped into your customers’ shoes, consider that a big red flag. And if you’re looking for how to improve client relationships of your own, you might want to consider becoming a client of theirs, like we do. It can work for a variety of industries and relationships, and here’s why it works.
1. It opens your eyes.
We love to go to the front lines and experience each of our clients’ entire customer journeys firsthand. Here are a few examples:
Sarah H. orders food from Sunfare
Andrea’s son is enrolled at Hubbard Family Swim School
Jay and Dietz have used Horizon Eye Specialists for their vision needs
Many of our team members work out at The Village Health Clubs & Spas
…and the list goes on.
When we do an initial deep dive with our customers to learn more about their particular companies, industries and teams, we gain a lot of knowledge. But when we actually go through the customer journey, from filling out a webform online to receiving a shipment (or service deliverable) to placing a repeat order and beyond, we learn valuable lessons that we never could from endless meetings or discussions.
This shift allows us to see the customer experience more objectively, without the context that clients will often add when describing their vision of how they’d like it to be. It helps us identify positive things that will make customers want to come back, and it also gives us a chance to organically come across those things that may be hurdles to retention or satisfaction.
2. It establishes good will and trust.
When you’re working on how to improve client relationships, the effort you put into understanding them and their customers counts for a lot. No client wants to feel like another logo on your website; they want to know you’ve invested time and attention into them, and have done all you can to learn about them so you can help further their success.
To that end, actually becoming your customer’s customer shows that you care. It demonstrates your level of commitment to them, and builds more trust in your relationship.
3. It makes you knowledgeable and empathetic.
When you step into the role of your client’s customer, you immediately gain firsthand knowledge into what that relationship between a customer and that brand looks like. But you also know how it feels to go through that experience, making you more empathetic to other customers. By being able to truly relate to the journey that other customers go through, you can craft messaging that really resonates and reach them with better marketing and support.
Our mission is to help accelerate the growth of businesses that are dedicated to improving people’s lives and this is one small example of how we accomplish that goal. We really believe there’s no better way to experience your clients’ brands than to actually become a customer of theirs. It’s worth it every time. And if you want to work with an agency of people who love to immerse ourselves in our clients’ brand experiences, please contact us any time.