I happened upon an interesting way to look at how professional services customers feel toward a brand throughout the customer experience. Here’s a rough sketch:

The idea is that as a customer goes through time interacting with a brand via “touchpoints”, each touchpoint along the way influences how a customer feels about the brand. Over time customer sentiment will fluctuate, becoming more positive or negative with each interaction. In the early stages of a customer’s experience with the brand, most of the touchpoints may relate to the brand’s marketing activities. As time goes on, more interactions have to do with the customer’s actual “consumption” of the brand’s services. Both firm and buyer would hope to see an upward trend as time goes on.