Understanding customer perception is like exploring uncharted territory. Just as explorers need to navigate unfamiliar terrain, businesses must navigate a complex web of factors influencing how customers perceive their brand.
Just as an explorer needs a comprehensive map to navigate new terrain, businesses need a complete guide to customer perception to help them navigate the complexities of customer perception.
In this blog post, we’ll provide a roadmap to understanding customer perception, showing you how to measure customer perceptions of your company and strategies for improving it. Whether you’re a seasoned business owner or just starting, this guide will equip you with the knowledge to successfully navigate the terrain of customer perception and build a strong brand that resonates with your customers.
What is customer perception?
Customer perception refers to how customers view and understand a brand or its products or services. It is shaped by customers’ experiences with the brand and their attitudes, beliefs, and expectations.
An example of customer perception is a customer willing to pay higher for an Apple iPhone because of a positive brand perception.
When a customer goes to the store to purchase a new smartphone, he may have a positive attitude toward Apple products and expect a good brand experience. If he encounters any issues with the product or the customer service provided by Apple, it could impact his negative perception of the brand and influence future buying decisions.
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Why does customer perception matter?
Customers are the prime source for the survival of a business. Naturally, what a customer thinks about your business influences customer perception and matters the most. Here are a few pointers on why customer perception matters:
- Repeat Business: Customers who positively perceive a brand are more likely to make repeat purchases, which can lead to increased revenue and profitability for the business.
- Brand Loyalty: When customers have a positive perception of a brand, they are more likely to remain loyal to it even in the face of competition and may even be willing to pay more for its products or services.
- Word-of-Mouth Marketing: Satisfied customers are likely to share their positive experiences with others, which can result in positive word-of-mouth marketing. This can attract new customers and drive growth for the business.
- Reputation Management: In today’s digital age, customer perception can significantly impact a brand’s reputation. Negative reviews or feedback can quickly spread online, potentially damaging the brand’s reputation and losing sales.
- Differentiation: A positive customer perception can help a brand differentiate itself from its competitors and become a key selling point for its products or services.
Overall, customer perception is important for a brand because it can directly impact the business’s success, including sales, revenue, and profitability. By building customer loyalty, brands can improve customer retention rates and loyalty, drive growth, and differentiate themselves from competitors.
Ways to measure customer perception
Customer perception may be intangible, but still, it can be measured using different ways. Since the impact of customer perception is wide-reaching, you may need help understanding customer perception. Nonetheless, each method could tell you whether customers’ perception of it is negative or positive.
Once you have gauged this information, you can further improve your customer perception. So, here are a few ways to measure:
Study online mentions
It is different from looking at what people say about your brand online to measure customer perception. In the age of digitalization, people are voicing their true opinions on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Nike, a leading athletic wear brand, also monitors online mentions to study how people feel about their campaigns and brand overall.
In a 2018 interview with Adweek, Nike’s Global Head of Social Media, Josh Benedek, stated that the company uses listening tools to “help inform and guide [its] business decisions.” He also noted that Nike uses this data to gain insights into customer sentiment and identify trends in customer behavior.
Tracking your online mentions gives you insight into whether customers perceive your brand negatively or positively. So, studying online mentions is one of the best ways to understand customer perception of your brand.
Collect customer feedback
According to a study by Qualtrics, 80% of companies believe they deliver “superior” customer service, while only 8% of customers agree. This statistic highlights the importance of customer feedback for measuring customer perception, as it shows the true picture of what customers believe.
Collecting customer feedback will help your brand to identify areas where you need to improve your customer service, providing insights into what people think and want.
One example of a brand that through social media posts collects customer feedback to measure its customer perception is Starbucks. Starbucks has a dedicated online platform called the “My Starbucks Idea” portal, where customers can share their feedback and ideas with the company.
With the ideas and feedback Starbucks receives on this portal, they get ideas for improving their customer service and understanding the customer’s perception of their brand.
Use CSAT and NPS metrics
Tracking your CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score) and NPS (Net Promoter Score) is another great way to understand how others see your business.
Here is a simple example of how a brand can use customer service metrics to measure its customer perception:
Let’s say you are a clothing retailer, and you want to measure and improve customer perception after a recent promotion you ran. Here’s how you can use CSAT and NPS:
CSAT: You can survey customers who purchased during the promotion and ask them to rate their satisfaction with their purchase on a scale of 1 to 5. Then you can calculate the average score to measure customer satisfaction.
NPS: You can also ask customers how likely you are to recommend the store to a friend or family member on a scale of 0 to 10. Now, you can calculate your Net Promoter Score (NPS) by subtracting the percentage of detractors (customers who rated 0-6) from the percentage of promoters (customers who ranked 9-10).
Using both CSAT and NPS gives you a complete picture of customer perception. CSAT provides a more detailed understanding of satisfaction with a specific purchase, while NPS offers a measure of overall brand loyalty and likelihood to recommend to others.
Look at customer ratings and reviews.
Customer pain points often lie in the ratings and reviews they leave for your brand. Your company can understand customer sentiment and satisfaction by looking at ratings and reviews.
Amazon is a great example of measuring customer perception using ratings and reviews. Amazon provides the option to rate each product. By looking at these ratings, the brand can understand what people like and do not like about their product.
Dig into attitudes and lifestyles of your customer
Understanding the lifestyle, attitudes, beliefs and thinking of your customers will give you a great insight into measuring customer perception.
The lives of your target audience can be better understood with psychographic data, from their self-perceptions brand values and hobbies to their careers. Show them that you are aware of their motivations and meet their needs.
Next, using these insights as a roadmap, you can begin the process of reorienting perceptions in the desired direction.
How to create a positive customer perception
Creating a positive customer perception is not a complex process but a continuous process consisting of repeated activities. Here are a few ways in which you can make a positive customer perception:
Understand who your customers are
To build a positive customer perception, you’ll first understand who your customers are and what they expect. You can only fulfill their expectations once you are aware of them.
Understanding your customers is not limited to surface-level information like age, nationality, demographics, or preferences. You need to go into the nitty-gritty of things. It is about understanding consumer behavior and related expectations.
Airbnb is the perfect example to be quoted here. The company has listened to customer feedback and introduced new features like Airbnb Experiences and Airbnb Plus to meet customer demand. Airbnb has also built a community around its online and offline brands by creating forums and groups and hosting in-person events.
By understanding its customers and tailoring its products and services to meet their needs, Airbnb has built a positive customer perception and has become a leading player in the travel industry.
While Airbnb may have spent millions doing all this research, you can also start small. Start by sending surveys, questionnaires, or interviewing customers to understand your customers.
Improve your communication
Effective communication is critical in building a positive customer perception of a brand. When customers feel heard, valued, and understood, they are more likely to develop trust in the brand and have a more positive view of the company overall.
Effective communication includes multiple aspects ranging from quick resolution to multiple communication channels. You must look at all customer interactions when using effective communication to build positive brand perception.
Here are a few ways you can improve your communication to improve customers perception and build a good customer perception:
- Be quick with your resolutions: Effective communication can help resolve issues and concerns quickly by being responsive and providing clear information. This can prevent small problems from escalating, leading to negative brand perception.
- Be clear and concise: When communicating with customers, it’s important to be clear and concise. Use simple language and avoid jargon or technical terms the average person may need help understanding.
- Use a customer-focused approach: Frame all communication from the customer’s perspective. Make it about them, not about the brand.
- Invest in multi-channel support: Multi-channel support makes reaching out easier for your customers. It offers convenience, accessibility, and speed and improves customer engagement. With the multi-channel backing, your customers can easily reach out to you, and they’ll love you for that.
Build a connection with your customers.
Customers are more likely to have a positive attitude toward your brand if they feel a personal connection with it. When customers feel a relationship with your brand, they always remember it. Here is how you can build a connection with your customers:
- Provide personalized customer service: Personalized customer service is the best way to make customers feel connected. When you use a customer’s name and remember their preferences while responding or tailoring individual messages, customers think they are buying from real humans, not just a profit-making entity.
- Bring emotions into the picture: Our brains have two halves, one of which is emotion and the other of which is reasoning. By focusing on their emotions, you may successfully connect with your customers. Celebrate, for instance, key occasions, seasons, or events on your public platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).
- Foster two-way communication: Building a customer connection requires open and honest communication. Brands should encourage customer feedback and respond promptly and thoughtfully to customer inquiries or concerns.
- Align with customer values: Brands that align with customer values are more likely to build a connection with customers. This can include supporting social or environmental causes that customers care about or promoting ethical business practices.
Use positive language
Using positive language is a powerful tool that brands can use to create a positive customer perception. Positive language can make an emotional connection with customers and convey a sense of optimism and confidence.
When communicating with customers, use positive words that convey optimism and confidence. For example, instead of saying, “we can’t do that,” say, “we’ll do our best to make that happen.”
When customers have a problem or complaint, use positive language to focus on solutions rather than the problem itself. For example, instead of saying, “we can’t help you with that,” say, “let’s see what we can do to resolve this issue.” This can help create a positive of the brand as committed to finding solutions.
When creating marketing materials, use positive visuals such as happy people, bright colors, and uplifting imagery to make a positive emotional connection with customers.
Share customer testimonials
Sharing customer testimonials is an effective way for brands to build a positive customer perception. Customer testimonials provide social proof, which is a powerful tool for influencing the perceptions and behaviors of potential customers.
Customer testimonials help demonstrate a brand’s credibility by using customer interviews and providing real-life examples of people who have had a positive experience with the brand. This helps build trust with potential customers, who may be more likely to choose a brand that they perceive as trustworthy.
Testimonials can also build an emotional connection with prospective customers, by providing a human element to the brand. When potential customers see that real people have had positive experiences with a brand, they may be more likely to feel a sense of affinity or connection with the brand.
Provide excellent customer service
In the end, it all boils down to providing excellent customer support to your customers. When your customer support is overall amazing the customers are bound to have a positive impression of your brand. Positive customer service is multifaceted but one of the important aspects for providing great customer support is choosing the right help desk software for your needs.
If you’re a brand that uses email for customer support, Keeping is the perfect solution for you. Keeping converts your Gmail inbox into a fully-featured support desk. With Keeping you get multiple features like agent allocation, collision detection, app integrations, workflow automation and much more.
If you are ready to start providing excellent customer service and building a positive customer perception start your with Keeping by clicking below.