Have you noticed that the competitive landscape has changed? More than selling a product or service that solves a problem, the new way to compete is by delivering a brand experience that creates loyal advocates in your customers.

Word-of-mouth recommendations are king when it comes to getting new business. So ecstatic customers are your new sales team.

We’re now in the age of technology, where everyone is using tools and integrated systems to deliver better services to their customers. The companies who are killing it are the ones that have focused on creating an exceptional brand experience to put themselves apart from their competition.

Your customer’s experience starts before they become a customer, and continues after they have left. It is created through every interaction with your brand: visual, spoken and written.

So to create an awesome experience for your business, first get clear on what you want your brand reputation to be.

Define an ‘ultimate’ brand experience and that’s what you work towards.

Here are 4 simple tweaks to kick-start your progress towards being a customer-focussed business.

1. Refocus your customer communications

This is the easiest way to make a quick change for the better.

Always write your customer communications from the customers’ perspective. Ask yourself “so what?”, “why should I care?”, “what’s in it for me?” – if you can’t answer those questions you need to adjust your content to make it very obvious.

Be critical and try to forget what you know about your business because your customer probably does not know it as intimately as you.

For example, your customer doesn’t care that you have moved office. But instead if you tell them that the venue for your monthly networking evening has changed, suddenly they are interested because they need to know where they are going.

2. Clarify your marketing message

Be clear on your brand promise. That’s what’s tying your customer experience to your brand.

It needs to be strong and consistently applied to everything that your business does in order to make it a memorable experience and aligned with your brand.

3. Map your customer journey

Map your customer journey to identify the critical points where you can either win an advocate or customer through a good experience, or lose them forever with a bad experience.

Research shows that once you have had a bad experience with a brand, you are unlikely to change your perception to a good one.

Those critical points in your journey are where you should start creating a great experience because that’s where you’ll see the most benefit immediately.

4. Ask your customers about their experience

Talk less and listen more.

To uncover some hidden truths in how your customers view your business interactions, I recommend you do regular surveys to get some real and raw feedback from them on what it’s actually like to do business with your company.

This doesn’t need to be a massive survey to get some useful insights for you to use; start with calling a few of your longer standing customers and having a chat over the phone.

Or set up a survey monkey with a couple of questions and send the link in your next newsletter or email.

Read more: Why your brand reputation will deliver more profit than your marketing campaign