Providing an excellent customer experience is becoming the new battleground for brands, and continuous engagement between brands and consumers is now expected.

In the past, many brands got away with the approach of ‘sell and forget’. You sold your product or service, the customer left with the goods, and that was it until the next transaction. Nowadays, continuous engagement is what consumers expect, as they want to be fulfilled not only with their purchase, but with their whole customer experience.

Consumers want to be delighted at every stage of the customer journey, and brands must create positive experiences every time they interact with their customers in order to build brand loyalty. This is integral to the growth of business – and is especially true today, where the Internet and social media make it so easy for people to broadcast their opinions to the world.

Digital technology is altering not only how, where and when consumers shop, but is transforming their expectations of, and interactions with, all suppliers — from retailers and manufacturers to governments and utilities.

According to a HubSpot survey, 65% of customers surveyed said they’ve cut ties with a business over a single poor customer service experience.  Consumers are demanding the perfect experience when shopping with brands, and over the past decade an abundance of psychological research has shown that this is because experiences bring people more happiness than do possessions.

The anticipation of the experience is one of the main drivers of happiness, with the peak and the end of the experience being the main parts people remember, meaning they control a person’s perception of the experience.

This ensures that a person’s memory of a brand experience is largely influenced by the post-purchase phase of the consumer journey, and is the reason why post-purchase service is becoming an increasingly important focus for companies.

As a result global brands such as EasyJet, Lloyds Banking and Marks & Spencer find the importance in hiring a customer experience officer. These brands recognise that it’s not just the physical product or service element that people remember, but the whole brand experience and how it made them feel.

According to a Gartner Study, 89% of companies are now competing mostly on the basis of customer experience. In order to win this battle, brands must deliver a positive experience across every customer touch point, including all consumer communications.

As a race, we know that social interaction is one of the most important determinants of human happiness – we crave attention and love to be involved socially with our friends and colleagues, and this also extends to an organisation we make a purchase from

Small interactions create the larger experience, and every interaction can either build or destroy trust.  As consumer expectations continue to rise, it is only by delivering an all-round positive customer experience that companies can build strong and loyal brand communities.

Jane Blakeborough
Director of 

Trend-Monitor are an online market intelligence resource delivering important insights into trends which affect the UK home improvement industry.