Sing one song with many voices: how to ensure customers have a consistent brand experience

Stephen Mulligan
On: 11 Aug 2016
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Business growth is always a good thing, but with it comes the risk of a diluted brand message and inconsistent customer experiences. One way to ensure your business is `singing one song with many voices’ is through an enterprise-class communications system – and as Three’s Technology Consultant Stephen Mulligan explains, that doesn’t have to be complex or costly for any size business.

With two or three people sitting in one small office, it’s easy to communicate one consistent brand story to customers. But as the business grows, you will have many different people, possibly in many different locations, all interacting with your customers via numerous different channels.

Every customer interaction tells a story about your business. When a customer gets lost on hold, it says something. When your employees’ personal numbers show up on caller IDs during business calls, it says something. So how do you ensure that your communications system helps you consistently convey your brand story and a professional image? And more to the point, how can you achieve that kind of professionalism without a huge financial investment?

1. Define Your Brand Story

The first step is to ensure you have clearly set out what your brand story is. You and your fellow founders will know it, even if it’s never been set-out in writing, but as your business grows – or, better still, before it grows – you need a clear definition and description so that everyone who joins the business knows it too.

2. Define a Company-Wide Social Media Policy

Part of this work on your brand story should include a policy on how your brand is represented in the public domain. Your employees will have their own personal social media accounts. They probably use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, even Snapchat. Do you want them to identify as your employees in some or all of these personal channels? If you do, they must be brand ambassadors in everything they do and say. If not, perhaps they should not display any association with your business. Do you need business accounts on these channels? Who will hold the responsibility for customer interactions and marketing on each channel?

3. Consistency is Key

All emails should have the same address format and branded signature format. All social media business accounts should have the same corporate branding. Even all your phone calls should have the same caller ID – wherever the call is made from and whoever has made it.

As an example, using our 3Connect mobile app, your staff can place a call from their mobile phone and their mobile number will not display. Instead, the person they call sees an appropriate number, e.g. your main fixed-line number, to call back if they want to. This kind of innovative technology doesn’t actually require a huge investment as the service is delivered from the cloud on a `per-user-per-month’ or `pay as you grow’ basis.

Customers who want to contact you have a wide variety of ways to do so too, and consistency of experience is essential in every single case. Today, a typical `call centre’ is more often referred to as a `contact centre.’ This is because your customer service agents now must receive, handle and co-ordinate every type of customer contact across all the different channels; from emails to texts to social media mentions – and even a phone call or two. By centralising all of this contact into the same group of agents, you can deliver a consistent customer experience. So if there’s an incoming tweet, for example, the tweeter can be automatically identified in your CRM database. Then, based on the customer’s contact or purchase history, the most relevant person to handle the contact will be identified, and the tweet will be routed to them.

The same process applies if the contact comes via email, through the company’s website or, indeed, through a telephone call. So even if over time the same customer makes contact through a variety of different channels, they will always receive a consistent experience.

From the very first days of your business, you have been building a strong brand. Now that you’ve got something to shout – or sing – about, make sure all your voices are in harmony.