We see this all the time in our Customer Experience consultancy:
We come in with a Customer Experience program that we want to deliver.
We have detailed emotional outcomes that we have orchestrated deliberately and meticulously.
We give it to the customer-facing teams…
…and then, they carry on doing what they always did!
Why do they keep doing the same things? Because the employees have only been given the job description, what we want them to achieve in their daily work. We haven’t taught them how to deliver the Customer Experience we designed.
The other day, I walked into a coffee shop that smelled like a damp basement. It only took me a couple of minutes to decide that I didn’t really want coffee after all.
That same week, I was walking through an airport when I smelled the aroma of hot cinnamon rolls. Cinnabon was calling me. Even though I wasn’t hungry, I wanted one of their hot, gooey, calorie-laden treats. It’s a good thing I was in a hurry to catch my flight!
Smells can have a dramatic impact on customers – luring them in and tempting them to purchase, or driving them away. Because smells send signals directly to our brains, they can strongly influence customers’ subconscious behavior. Because of this, scent-based marketing is on the rise – with mixed results.
There’s been a lot of press recently about the decline in the American Middle Class and the rapid increase in the incomes and net worth of people at the very top of the socioeconomic scale. Increasingly, these high income people have lifestyles that don’t involve mingling with everyone else. They segregate themselves in posh gated communities, send their kids to private schools and camps, and join elite social clubs.
These trends have led travel companies to rethink the experiences they offer to customers, especially the ones with lots of money to spend. They are starting to realize that the ultra wealthy who segregate themselves at home also want a separate, ultra-luxury experience on the road.
In a recent New York Times article, writer Frank Bruni laments the erosion of higher education as a result of the growing adoption of a consumer model positioning students as customers and colleges as mere providers of goods and services. This trend toward the development and marketing of upscale amenities such as resort-style pools and water parks, state-of-the-art fitness centers, and restaurant-style dining halls at the expense of investment in areas critical to academics is said to be transforming colleges and universities into “country clubs with libraries.” Indeed, students are now calling the shots and their demands are eliciting unprecedented reactions by many schools.
To be fair, higher education is only following the herd. The move toward putting the end user’s wants and needs at the center of an organizational strategy (optimizing the customer experience) is being adopted everywhere, beyond the hospitality and retail settings where it was first envisioned to every area of business, including B2B, healthcare and even the federal government.
What do a Bank, an Airline, and an Online Retailer Have in Common?
Consorsbank, Lufthansa, and Zalando—three very different companies—have both undertaken a Customer Experience improvement program. Consorsbank is a bank; Lufthansa is an airline; Zalando is an online clothing retailer. Whilst they each have their unique challenges, their insight on Customer Experience shows us the common obstacles that all of us face when tackling such an important facet of our business.
Econsultancy heard from the people working on the Customer Experience improvement efforts. In a recent article on their blog, representatives from each company shared excellent tips based on each of their involvement so far: