Creating Customer Journeys, Marketing Campaigns and establishing Customer Service standards is not the whole story. Like people, companies also have a combination of characteristics or qualities that form their distinctive character, their identity. And that identity, or personality, will directly affect your customers' willingness to do business with you.
The magic happens when all your people, products, services and systems follow a common spirit, thread or shared values. This is what we call the CX identity. It's the magic glue that helps your customers form a strong bond, remember and feel positive about you.
The Theory (as quick as we can)
When we think about someone we are going to meet, we always have emotions associated with the encounter's anticipation. You may feel anxiously happy, hoping that the time passes quickly, or anxiously dreadful, thinking about ways for the moment never to happen.
The same is true when we interact with a company, product, or service. It comes down to values and personality traits that we can relate to or connect with. Like empathy, kindness or compassion. From a psychological research perspective there are five basic dimensions of personality traits:
Openness: includes creativity, imagination, and insight.
Conscientiousness: a high level of thoughtfulness, structure, and intention.
Extraversion: being energized to interact with social interaction.
Agreeableness: demonstration of kindness, affection, trust.
Neuroticism: emotional instability, moodiness.
The application in real life
Let's say you want a new piece of furniture for your house. You decide what you want and your budget and start the search. You end up finding what you wish in Ikea - you like what you see, it fits your budget, but you start to feel the "pain" of the multiple parts, nuts, and bolts before you can actually have your furniture as you want. And you think, "yes, it's cheap, but it comes with a price." That's Ikea's identity at work: It's good design, it's not expensive, but you have to sweat for it.
Or, if you want a coffee, but not any coffee. You feel the urge to treat yourself with something different and fancy, and you want it to be fast, just grab and go. You remember your experience at Starbucks - the location, the smell, and the convenience of the drive thru. And you think, "not cheap, but exactly what I wanted."
We all have examples of interactions that made us to become loyal to a company or brand, or immediately jump to the arms of their competitors.
What do you want your organization identity to be?
The expression "action speaks louder than words" is very true when it comes to character traits. You can be intentional and deliberate in creating your organization unique CX identity, defining and training your organization to behave in alignment with your values and create a reliable and repeatable experience that makes your customers to do business with you.
Openness: listen to customers, create, and adapt their products and services to customers' needs.
Consciousness: being reliable to their customers, make everything to fulfill the promises and deliver the expected value.
Extraversion: welcome customers with open arms and ears, making sure they feel good.
Neuroticism: predisposition to deal with stress – requires the awareness of the impact of unpredictability
Words spread quickly. When customers share their experiences in reviews, they actually share with the world your CX identity – who you are. And that's what draws other people to become your customers or not. It's not just your product or service, it’s your values and your character traits that bring your business to life.