The interactions between customer and brand: the customer experience. This consist of brand awareness, discovery, cultivation, advocacy, purchases and service. The overall customer experience is what will turn your students from one-time shoppers into lifetime customers. Outlined below is the life cycle of the customer experience.
Need: Some students might not be aware there’s a problem until you point it out. That’s your chance to step in. Students don’t know they need something until they do. Tell them what they need and provide them a solution.
Awareness: Awareness comes from your students becoming aware of your store. The best way to spread awareness of your store is through word of mouth, but this might also come from marketing and advertising efforts.
Consideration: Once your students know that you exist they’ll look at your prices and compare them to competitors. You do have some things working for you here: convenience is key. You are located right on campus!
Purchase: After your students have done some comparing they’re ready to buy.
Experience: If you’ve gotten to this point, give yourself a pat on the back. The purchase is complete. You did it! This is a turning point in the customer experience life-cycle as this is when your customer decides if you met their expectations. Be warned though, 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. You’ll need to bring the “wow” factor to turn your students into repeat customers.
Loyalty: Once your students shop at your store just one time they’ve already made the decision if they’re going to go back. Give them something [good] to talk about.
Advocacy: There is no better way of marketing than by word of mouth. If your students are satisfied with the service they received they’ll tell all their friends, and those friends will tell their friends, and then it’s a fun cycle for you.
Although customer service is a huge part of the customer experience, there is a difference between the two. Your business will not exist without your customers and delivering excellent customer service is only part of the deal. Understanding the customer experience life cycle will help you provide better service for your customers.