We all focus upon our Brand integrity and promises delivered. We are ever gleeful when all the pieces unite, all points of light align and all ‘touches” tremble with delight. Our strategy has come together to create that memorable Customer Experience. Fortunately, we have some tools at hand to validate our efforts. We may employ QA, perhaps Mystery Shopping, certainly some means to communicate with our Customer and seek their insight and feedback. If we do not tap our toolbox, we are forgotten, passé, like yesterday’s newspaper.
It is all about the Experience and how that Experience with our Brand creates the relationship. Our Customers want us to be different, and we romance them with engaging practices, hopefully, building those relevant experiences around what consumers actually want.
The NRA Restaurant Smart Brief ran a thought provoking outlook to help us improve the User Experience in our retail businesses, whether they are lodgings, restaurants or retail stores. The recommendations came from the global brand experience company, Jack Morton Worldwide.
Elevate brand experience within the organizational structure, says Katie Chatfield, head of strategy in Sydney. “Experience is enormously complex,” she says. “Think of all the touch points in a customer’s set of brand interactions: No one person controls them all, but if one goes wrong, the customer doesn’t blame the call center manager, she blames the brand.
Appoint someone to champion excellence in brand experience. Whether you call him or her a chief experience officer or a chief customer officer, he or she must centralize and lead experience, Chatfield says.
Rethink your definition of user experience. The term no longer applies only to online experience, says Leesa Wytock, head of digital in the agency’s New York office. Experience is the net sum of every interaction a person has with your brand, online and offline, she says. In practice, you should building experience around human needs and behaviors that can influence action. That defines how great brands build customer interaction and develop products.
Another way to stand out is by developing content that engages guests. “Brands are desperate for content,” says Dan Carter, senior creative director, Shanghai. “They want campaigns their consumers will want to participate in and share.” Carter anticipates brands will invest in owned media strategies next year that create intrigue, fuel conversations and foster engagement. For consumers, experiences are the ultimate currency; they represent something to remember and share across social networks.
The agency also advises restaurants and other companies to use big data to improve user experience. “Big data is one of the most over-used, least understood terms in our industry,” says Steve Mooney, managing director of Jack Morton’s Boston office. “In 2014, the big opportunity for brands is using information to enhance customer experience -- to ‘get small’ with big data.”
The above gives us the chance to pause, peruse and recalibrate, if necessary. There is no panacea. However, we all must look at those integral facets we lay out there and make sure that when integrated, they provide that Memorable Experience for our Customer.
John Hendrie is the author of the LRA blog 'A Guy Walks In'. LRA is a leading research and consulting company in the emerging discipline of Customer Experience Management (CEM). We work with our clients to help them design and deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences in order to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, and company growth and profitability. We have built a range of quality assurance, mystery shopping, research, training and consulting solutions to help them do so.
Today, we are a growing company operating in more than 120 countries throughout the world, servicing our clients from offices and resources in the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific regions and helping clients such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, the National Football League, Avis Budget Group, Madison Square Garden, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group deliver exceptional customer experiences. Every touch. Every time. For more information, visit www.LRAworldwide.com.
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