I recently had the opportunity to be part of a panel of customer service experts and business leaders, sharing our thoughts on the first step to developing a successful customer experience strategy.
A number of different ideas were shared, but the overwhelming response from these 27 CX professionals was – it starts with knowing your customer.
Too often, someone develops a great product or service, but doesn’t understand what takes to get their customer base fully engaged or involved.
Customer experiences are not about your first ‘sale’. It is about creating a loyal, dedicated customer who will return again and again to buy or learn from you.
A unique customer experience is about providing something of value beyond the product or basic service. Customer experience strategy is about your offering being comfortable for the user or enhance their life in some way.
An Ice Cream Lovers Customer Experience
Let’s use ice cream as an example.
A person can buy ice cream in a grocery store to take home or at specialty store to enjoy on site or take home.
Ice cream can be purchased as dessert at a diner, family restaurant or even a fine dining restaurant.
Or one can go to a franchised store in the middle of city or local dairy farm ice cream shop in the country to enjoy a cool cone or cup.
And you can even make ice cream yourself.
In the end, it’s cream, sugar, milk and flavoring. But for each example, I bet you could pick an ‘eh’ ice cream experience and an outstanding ice cream experience.
And it might not be because of the TASTE of the ice cream, but rather the interaction with the product or the location.
- Think about looking at a Ben & Jerry’s carton vs grocery store brand ice cream carton.
- Enjoying your cone at local franchise store in a strip mall center vs on the deck of your local farm ‘creamery’ overlooking the farm or countryside.
- Or even making home made in an ice cream making machine vs. tossing it back and forth across the lawn in a container filled with ice.
Your memory has more to do with the experience that led to you eating ice cream. Not necessarily the ice cream itself.
The experience you enjoyed the most is the one you will return to time and time again!
Knowing Your Customer
None of these examples is wrong. Each way of ‘getting your ice cream’ has an audience that appreciates the experience that is offered. It is up to the business owner to present it to the right audience in the best way possible!
There are plenty of people who enjoy the savings of a grocery store brand ice cream. Those amusing names and anecdotes on a Ben & Jerry’s carton is not worth it to them. For them, it’s what’s in the carton, not outside! And they believe the ice cream quality and taste is similar.
But it doesn’t matter, each brand understand their audience. Their marketing team knows exactly how to make them come back to buy next time!
Know your customer! And give them what they want.
See what the experts had to say about knowing your customer by clicking here.
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