In 1998, B. Joseph Pine II (link at the end of the article) wrote that the experience economy was here. It was, and it did, in 20th Century terms. According to their paper, families started buying Betty Crocker products because they had less time to make the cake for their children’s birthdays. Parents began to shop at the bakery to buy cakes for their children and stopped making them at home. In the latter half of the 20th century, as more people had to work and have other demands, many families began to outsource their entire birthday party to soup-to-nuts groups like Chuck E. Cheese or the Discovery Zone.
We are now in the 21st century, where experience is more important than ever. Companies were exploring new technologies such as virtual reality and augmented realities. Because the future is fast approaching, major corporations like Apple and Facebook have made significant investments in these technologies. I don’t think it will surprise me if we see another global experience, such a Pokemon Go.
Savvy marketers know that technology is essential for creating an experience to sell products or services in today’s marketplace. How do you achieve this?
Customer Experience Continuum
To create a great customer experience program, it is essential to not only provide excellent customer service but also to understand how your customers experience from start to finish. What is your prospect’s experience from the moment they send you an email, call you, or message you? From the moment they contact you to the time after purchase, understand the entire customer experience.
Customers Experience Principles: Words are important.
Once you have a clear understanding of the experience and what you want your leads to experience, ask yourself (and your team!) to help you create principles that will guide your experience from beginning to end. Words matter in this instance. Are you trying to make your clients have fun while working with you? Do you want “excellence and communication”? No matter what the words mean to you, create principles and make sure everyone is on board.
Data in and what comes out?
Your CRM is everything when it comes to data. Your CRM should contain all the information you need about your clients and leads. You won’t be able to anticipate your customers’ needs if your team doesn’t accurately record every contact with them. It is essential to predict what prospects and partners want before they do. One example: In one of our companies, former partners receive reminders at regular intervals regarding their next fundraiser.
Create a sensory experience
Everybody is used to experiencing many different experiences during the day. Your leads and clients will be “marketed” to via social media with live streams, videos, or images. Corporations are increasingly providing virtual experiences to their customers using technology tools. Although we are still in the beginning stages of these kinds of moments, it is already happening. You can virtually see the ring in your hands if you submit a photo if you are looking to purchase a diamond ring. With apps and VR headsets, you can see how furniture will look inside your home. Find creative ways to bring products and services to the market by thinking outside of the box.
Net Promoter Score (NPS).
You might be interested in your Net Promoter Score (or NPS) if you aren’t already using it. This measurement tool goes beyond customer satisfaction. This index calculation is based on customer responses regarding their likelihood to recommend you to other people. It helps you predict and understand future revenue growth. Sales based on recommendations from others are the best, significantly if they can expect future revenue growth.
The HBR article by Pine and Gilmore hasn’t made any significant changes in human behavior. Technology has made our lives easier and has changed the world. However, humans have always desired the same thing from a product or service. Your customers expect the same experience with you as they had when they first inquired about your products or services.