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Aligning Your Marketing Promises with Real-Life Customer Experiences

by | Marketing Strategy

Your marketing promise and stories must align with the customer experience both online and in person.

A good marketing campaign makes promises to customers about what they can expect from a brand or company. When those marketing promises align with the customer experience you provide, it builds brand devotion. When those promises don’t align, it leads to disappointment, frustration, and a loss of trust.

Recently, we had a frustrating experience with Avis car rental. Our rental experience was a far cry from the marketing promises that made them great and the historic Avis “We Try Harder” campaigns. Instead, the whole thing highlighted the importance of delivering on marketing promises with great customer experiences.

Following a flight to LAX, we proceed to the rental car shuttle pickup area. After watching buses from every other rental car company drive by 5-6 times, the frustration was growing. There was no Avis shuttle in sight, and calling for information was no help.

They informed us, “Yes, the shuttles run 24 hours a day.”

But… “they come by, on average, every 30-40 minutes.”

So, while every other major rental agency had a steady stream of buses available to serve customers. Avis was already dropping the ball.

After a long wait, we finally arrived at the Avis lot, where the disappointment continued. Our first interaction was a stop at the “preferred” area, with a bustling building full of people and employees in view. The driver was quick to point out that all non-preferred renters should not get off because this stop was not for us. We continued to another building with a long line of people and only a couple of employees working.

Immediately I’m wondering why Avis saw its non-recurring renters as second class, and how I can speed up the process. But it was to no avail. Having reserved through Priceline meant there was nothing we could do to speed things up or bypass the line.

As we wait, the disconnect is increasing between what we are experiencing and the marketing promises on the walls of the waiting area.

They promise a first-rate Avis experience and portray amazing customer service interactions. But I’m looking at slow-moving, unmotivated agents, a dried pile of vomit on the floor which appears to have been there for hours, and a room full of frustrated people.

When we finally get to the counter, the negative experience continues. They don’t have the vehicle type we reserved, or anything smaller. So instead of a high-efficiency car, we are left with the choice of three full-size, extended cab trucks that get garbage gas mileage. It’s 1 am, I’m stuck, and there is nothing we can do, so I accept a truck and head to the lot.

On a whim, my wife decides to do a walk around the vehicle… and I am glad she does. Because the passenger door has damage to it. Not the, “oops a car door opened into it,” type of damage. More like the, “I drove into a pole and crunched the door,” kind of damage.

Frustrated and exhausted we climb in and proceed toward the exit. Discovering trash in the doors and glove box that Avis hadn’t bothered to take out when they cleaned the vehicle.

This was a far cry from the high-quality, first-rate experience Avis promises in their marketing materials.

Don’t get me wrong, making promises in your marketing is great. But you have to deliver on those marketing promises to complete the process. When your customers have an experience as we did, that doesn’t match the promise, it damages your reputation. And, in a world of Google and Yelp Reviews, it will affect the opinion of others as well.

But, when you deliver on the promises you make and provide a positive customer experience, which exceeds expectations, everything changes. Brand loyalty increase, positive reviews pick up, and your customers refer friends… all leading to higher sales.

So, as you create marketing campaigns for your brand, and work to tell the story of what you do and who you serve, remember…

The marketing promises you make must align with the experience you deliver.

You can’t overstate the importance of aligning your marketing promises, with your customer experience. It will mean the difference between a brand people trust and rely on, and one that slowly fades into obscurity.

If you’re too close to the process and aren’t sure if you’re doing this well there are two options for you:

1) Survey Your Customers

Ask them for insights into what was good, what needs help, and suggestions on being better.

Where you do fall short, own it. Don’t hide behind the survey and make excuses. Your customers are giving you a way to bridge the gap between the marketing promise you’ve made and the product you deliver.

Use the lessons as a chance to learn and build your business into the one you want it to be.

2) Perform a Marketing Audit

Find an outside consultant, who can give you an unbiased review of your marketing.

That consultant should start with a Discovery process where they dive into your business goals and roadblocks. Then review your existing marketing and customer experiences with an eye on your analytics and customer feedback.

With that information, they will provide an Assessment of what is working, what isn’t, and why. Outlining potential approaches for moving your business forward and getting unstuck in your marketing and customer experience.

The final step for a consultant is the opportunity to take the lessons learned during the Assessment and transition them into a Strategic Marketing Plan that can be implemented. That plan should be multi-step and give you the opportunity to test and scale as you see success.

Are you struggling with surveying your customers or performing a marketing audit? Put an end to the hassle and let us help!

We can provide you with a comprehensive report and analysis of your business. Helping you make informed decisions about how to improve your customer experience and grow your business.

Book your Introductory Call Today!