BlogDagmar 26.03.2024

The brand promises, will the customer experience deliver? At every stage of the buying process?

Brand development Marketing development Marketing effectiveness Sales growth Marketing optimization Brand Conversion optimization Customer insight Sales modelling

Do Finnish organizations build a brand together, along the entire customer journey? Which stage of the purchase path do companies often forget from a customer experience perspective? Why do we need more bangs? What steps should you take to get the customer experience in line with the goal in all customer encounters? Can all customer service be outsourced to a chatbot? Tired of loyalty programs? How do they best stand out and support a good customer experience? Dagmar’s Anni Haavisto, Raisa Summanen and Laura Siltanen shared their views.

Do Finnish organizations build a brand together, along the entire customer journey?

Anni: Unfortunately, do not build. A brand is often assigned to a unit – and that’s where it ends. We need a lot more cooperation and thinking together about what the brand promise means from the perspective of different functions.

Raisa: Agree with Anni, even today the entire staff of Finnish companies may not have an idea of what the brand means in its full scope. At its narrowest, it is thought to be a company logo or logo – fortunately, this is already less common. But until the entire organization has a shared understanding of what is meant by brand, it is impossible to build a cohesive brand at all stages of the customer journey.

Laura: Unfortunately, brand understanding that permeates the entire organization is rarely seen due to silos between different functions: each function does its part, and customer experience is measured in parts. The significance of building a brand and its redemption should be clarified for the entire organization and made into a common mission, led by common goals.

Which stage of the purchase path do companies often forget from a customer experience perspective? Why do we need more bangs?

Raisa: It’s easy to promise things in marketing communications, but delivering them in everyday encounters with customers is often challenging. There are many touchpoints (e-commerce, brick-and-mortar sales, telesales, personal sales, customer service), which makes it demanding to redeem a consistent, branded customer experience. The most challenging phase is often the one where the “baton” moves from more branded communications that increase demand to more concrete customer encounters.

Laura: Indeed, the promise of the brand is not always fulfilled when doing business. If, for example, a brand communicates quality, but the product or shopping experience leaves a bad taste in the mouth, the marketing messages have no meaning. You must be able to put yourself in the consumer’s shoes both at the information search or reflection stage, at the time of the purchase decision and in after-sales.

Anni: Purchase paths often include stages that companies do not even recognize when looking from within their own organization. These can be, for example, different waiting phases between the purchase decision and the delivery of the product, where building the customer experience is completely forgotten. More effort is needed to map the customer journey from the customer’s point of view – what is actually happening there on the customer path.

What steps should you take to get the customer experience in line with the goal in all customer encounters?

Anni: The first thing I would stress is understanding the customer. It is almost impossible to reach goals or even define meaningful goals if you do not know what kind of experience will be good from the customer’s point of view. This understanding should be tied as an integral part of the company’s operating models.

Another essential aspect is that good customer experience and profitable business are not in conflict with each other. To put it more bluntly, a good customer experience does not mean selling an expensive product at a low price, but developing the product with features that are essential to the customer.

The third point is to involve the entire organization in creating the customer experience. All employees need to understand what customer understanding means to us, why we consider it important and how we implement it.

Laura: Everything starts with understanding the customer’s needs, purchasing motives and barriers. Based on these, it is possible to perceive and develop the customer’s entire purchasing process. The better the customer’s needs are known and understood, the better they can be met in every customer encounter. In my opinion, it is important to share customer understanding throughout the organization and lead the quality of the customer experience with common indicators. An organization can only be truly customer-oriented when the customer’s voice is taken to decision-making.

Raisa: We need both information and new operating models. In information gathering and the development of customer experience, it is advisable to utilise the means of service design and involve both customers and your own personnel in order to create as comprehensive an overall picture as possible. Once the design work has been completed, it must be ensured that your own operating models support the creation of the desired customer experience and, if necessary, train the personnel. It is seldom possible to finish a matter all at once, which is why it is advisable to study the desired experience – both among customers and among the personnel who produce customer experience. It will give direction for the necessary further development.

Can all customer service be outsourced to a chatbot?

Laura: It is definitely not worth outsourcing, but a chatbot can certainly help customer service. According to our research, Finns currently feel that chatbots provide limited help, and bots often do not provide solutions to complex problems.

Anni: From the customer’s point of view, almost nothing can be outsourced to a chatbot. Most of the people don’t want to use chatbots because of bad user experiences. They are ready to use chat, but want to talk to a real person. Experience has shown that bots can usually only answer questions that the questioner could easily have answered themselves.

Raisa: The ability of chatbots to answer more challenging questions is still poor, but on the other hand, if they are not deployed and “trained”, how can they play any bigger role in the future? As chatbots’ conversational abilities develop, their role may grow, but they won’t replace humans for a while.

Are customers already tired of loyalty programs? How do they best stand out and support a good customer experience?

Laura: According to our survey, 75% of Finns have a positive attitude towards loyalty programs, which means that there is potential. Above all, loyalty programmes are expected to provide concrete benefits: valuable benefits and consideration for the customer. The customer loyalty program must also be built on strong customer understanding in order to identify the customer’s needs and stages of the purchase path and to be able to provide them with personal service. For example, the client can be helped in decision-making with a selection curated specifically for them and personal benefits.

Raisa: It can be difficult for customers to determine for themselves what other than tangible benefits and discounts they want from a loyalty program. When studied in the right way, we can also get to grips with other things that add value to the customer. In this case, the customer loyalty program could be built to be genuinely beneficial to both parties. The customer feels that they get real added value and the brand gets an even more engaged customer.

Anni: Finland has not been particularly adept at building an emotional bond through loyalty programs. Therefore, loyalty programmes are expected to bring tangible benefits and tangible added value. At best, these benefits are designed from the customer’s point of view with the customer. Perhaps loyalty programmes could take more account of brand character and offer customers benefits that match the brand image and are personalized to the customer, in addition to pure financial benefits.

Written by

Anni Haavisto

Lead strategist


Raisa Strang

Business Director


Laura Siltanen

Senior Client Director


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