As we embark on a fresh year, it really pays to reflect on some of the fundamentals of marketing a small business beginning with creating the perfect customer experience.

A perfect customer experience will keep the customers coming back time and time again; it can turn first time customers into lifelong customers. Customer experience should be included in your marketing strategy and should be one of the main aims of your business. So how do you make sure your customers are getting this perfect experience?

A bad experience results when customers’ expectations aren’t met. One way to fix this is to communicate well with your customers and set the right expectations for them. If the customer knows exactly what you offer and what to expect from a transaction with your business, they won’t ever be disappointed as long as you stick to your word.

Make sure you clearly communicate to your staff what you are able to deliver to customers and remind them to make it their top priority to provide the customer with the perfect experience. Think of all staff as working in the marketing department; whoever has contact with customers acts as a ‘touchpoint’ and has a chance of influencing the customer experience.

Touchpoints are any department or staff member who comes in contact with customers. A good way to map your touchpoints is to list every department and how they come into contact with customers. Make sure each touchpoint is designed to create a better customer experience. Handwritten notes in orders or on invoices, follow up tips on how to get the most out of the product, or even a simple tool that customers can use to vote on how good or bad of a job you did are all examples of how to make touchpoints lead to a better customer experience.

When planning your marketing strategy for 2014, don’t forget about customer service. Providing the prefect customer experience can be the difference between one-off customers and lifelong customers. To learn more about how the prefect customer experience fits into your marketing strategy, email