An amazing customer experience is one of the biggest competitive advantages a company can have. Instead of competing on price, more than two-thirds of companies now compete mostly on the basis of customer experience.
Great and super successful customer experiences goes beyond your normal day to day customer care. It is about going that extra mile, for both your internal and external customers.
These little extras are very special as they are not always included in the business’s Customer Experience Strategy.
Doing that little extra, shows great initiative. And I can promise you that your customers are taking note of it too.
It is about leaving people with that amazing “feel good” feeling about your business! That feeling which also results in them wanting to come back again.
72% of businesses say that their top priority is to improve their customer experiences. As it results in a decrease of business churn and staff turn around.
This is great news. But unfortunately most businesses do not realise that their customer experience strategy should be aimed at their internal customers as well. Meaning, not only for their external customer, but for their internal (employees) customer too.
Customer Experience and Your Employees
The best advice I can give you is to treat your employees as your first customer. Great customer service and experience starts with those delivering it, your employees.
When employees are happy, so will your customers be.
Go the extra mile for your employees, and they will go the extra mile for you.
Southwest Airlines has been consistently ranked as one of the best places to work. This is because they built a work culture of putting their employees first.
The airline company has a team-based environment. One that is fun and inclusive. Their airline business has core values that remind their employees to enjoy their work.
They motivate employees to take pride in the work they do, which often leads long lasting customer service experiences.
Southwest Airline’s Famous Customer Experience and Service Example:
A famous example of how Southwest Airlines went above and beyond for their customers occurred in 2011. A man booked a last-minute flight to Denver in order see his 3 year-old grandson one last time. Due to heavy traffic, he arrived at the airport 12 minutes after the plane was scheduled to leave. But, the pilot had specifically waited for him before taking off.
As I mentioned previously, go the extra mile for your employees, and they’ll go the extra mile for you.
Why We Are Not Seeing These Super Successful Customer Experiences Everywhere Then?
The big question is then, what are organisations actually doing to improve their customer’s experiences with them?
And if they are prioritizing their customer experience strategy, what are the tips and tricks to the ones that are working?
These are the hottest questions going around right now! Especially since prices are becoming very similar no matter who you customers buy from.
So, how do you stand out from your competitors?
That’s where customer experience comes in…
Think about Disney land, why do you think people love going there? Yes, the rides are one of the important reasons. But now go a step further, think about the psychology behind why customers love it there. And think about why their customers keep going back there
Because they make them feel good. Even adults love it, as it brings out the kid in them again!
Think about it – on arrival, you get greeted by one of your favorite Disney characters. And from there you step into the magic!
That’s customer experience, the way you make them feel.
You absolutely must find a way to create that magical customer experience. And in today’s economy, that is how you will get that competitive edge for your business.
It’s great if customers know your name, but if they don’t remember:
- What you did for them
- And how you made them feel
Then you will just be marginalized into the background. And this is why now is the best time to re-evaluate and reinvent your customer’s experience!
Companies Creating Innovative Customer Experiences
I’d like to highlight a few real world, massively successful customer experience examples for you.
So, whether you work at a Fortune 500 company, or a small and medium sized business, you can use these customer experience examples to reinvent and improve your own business’s customer experience, from the first touch point, right through to the end of the journey, where they walk out with a massive smile, even telling you and your staff that they hope you have a good day!
Now that would be a killer customer experience journey, wouldn’t you agree?
Customer experience has evolved immensely. From the interaction between brand and customer, to an important factor in their overall experience from the first touchpoint.
According to research done in 2017, it was found that 86% of buyers, are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. Today’s consumers don’t only prefer a great buying experience, they now demand it.
Because they can!
As competition intensifies amongst brands, companies have to innovate and differentiate themselves. They can do this by delivering customer centric campaigns, and experiences. Ones that give their target audience a compelling reason to become customers.
62% of companies now recognize customer experience as a key competitive differentiation. This is why businesses and marketers definitely don’t want to miss out on the advantages it can bring to their business!
Below are some unique and engaging examples to inspire your brand’s customer experience strategy…
McDonald’s Store Revamp
- The Problem – Customers use to complain about standing in the long lines just to place their order.
The McDonald’s team took note of this feedback…
- Solution – In addition to upgrading its store interiors for a more sophisticated look, McDonald’s introduced digital self-order kiosks and table service in late 2016, in order to cut queue times for customers.
- The Results – As McDonald’s adopted a new ordering system, business researchers and analysts predicted the fast food chain’s efforts to pay off in 2018 – with an improve in comparable sales by nearly 100 basis points.
- Why It Works – Lunch and dinner time crowds are never ideal for hungry customers and can put them off ordering altogether.
McDonald’s initiative showed their understanding and responsiveness to such situations. Furthermore, with fast food fads rising and disappearing quickly, coupled with how easy it is for competitors to introduce similar offerings, McDonald’s store upgrade helped elevate its overall customer experience.
Tesco’s Virtual Stores
- The Problem – Tesco was looking for ways to stand out from all the other grocery stores, get more exposure and more customers. They focused on customer experience, and how they could make the customer’s total customer experience more enjoyable and convenient for the busy customers.
- The Solution – Knowing the hectic schedules of working adults in South Korea, Tesco launched virtual grocery stores in public areas with high foot traffic, such as subway stations, where customers could use a mobile application, Homeplus, to scan an item’s QR code and schedule its delivery.
- The Results – The Homeplus app was downloaded 900,000 times in less than one year, making it the most popular shopping app in South Korea. Online sales increased by 130%, and app users increased by 76%. As a result, Tesco became the country’s top online retailer, with overseas sales bolstering the company amidst falling domestic profits.
- Why It Worked – Instead of waiting for customers to visit their stores, Tesco innovated and brought a digital customer experience to them. By doing so, Tesco used their knowledge of local consumer behavior to their advantage, and successfully adapted to these trends.
Coca-Cola’s #ShareACoke Campaign
- The Problem – As they were looking for new inventive ways to reinvent their customer’s experience with Coca-Cola. In 2011, Coca-Cola replaced the traditional Coke logo on one side of their bottles, with the phrase “Share a Coke with”, followed by a person’s name. Initially launched in Australia, the campaign grew in popularity and was eventually rolled out to 80 markets worldwide and brought back in different reiterations over the next decade.
- The Results – Following #ShareACoke’s massive popularity with consumers, Coca-Cola grew their sales for the first time in 10 years, with a whopping 150 million personalized bottles sold in 2014 alone. The company has also been reported to increase their advertising budget by $1 billion from 2014 to 2017.
- Why It Worked – #ShareACoke turned a normal situation/event of drinking a coke, into a highly personalized and shareable customer experience. With over 600,000 posts on Instagram to date, it also helped to keep Coca-Cola top of mind with their customers, while maintaining share of voice against competitors.
If you look at the examples above, you can see that there is a common trend, your more you give, the more you get. And it really is that simple. Customer service and experience has a trickle-down effect.
If you create a great place to work, you create a happy workplace culture, a place where employees actually want to work, and that in return makes your employees create an environment of great and innovative customer experiences for your customers.
Remember, if you go that extra mile for your team and employees, they will go that extra mile for your customers!