Are you focussed on making customers enjoy their shopping experiences with you, talk to their friends and social media connections about your service, and delve deeper into your brand world?

I recently visited the Sydney Aquarium with my 3 and 1 year olds, and we stumbled upon an exciting new area – a giant video wall with hand drawn pictures of fish, sharks and jellyfish floating back and forth on it.

Kids were chasing their fish along the art aquarium wall with unbridled excitement.

So of course we were drawn in like moths to a light.

There were sheets of paper with the outlines of fish, and boxes of crayons set up on a variety of tables. You could let your creative side go wild, and then simply scan your drawing and wait a few seconds for the sound of your fish drawing to plop digitally into the virtual water and onto the video wall.

We stayed there for at least half an hour. It was the best of the visit experiences.

We loved it so much that we wanted to share it

The point is, the aquarium has moved with the times and realized that there’s a need to push their experience further – especially to keep it interesting for repeat visitors.

They have blended the digital and physical worlds and taken personalization to a whole new level.

You could also email your fish drawing to yourself after scanning it, so they were not only capturing data but also driving word of mouth advocacy to even greater levels.

Marketing – I believe – should be about making people happy. Great customer experiences should remain at the heart of your brand world – whether you operate in a B2B, B2C or B2B2C arena.

Differentiate or slip to the bottom of the sea of sameness

With continual product proliferation in today’s mass digital world, it is even more critical to differentiate your offering.

At the end of the day, in business, we do business with people we like, and with brands that not only solve our problems, but that give us a sense of positivity and happiness.

So here are 3 tips to help you differentiate your offering:

1) Create VIP customer care

Split your customer care center into sections. Appoint a small team to look after your best customers and to treat them as VIPs.

These care representatives should be trained in behavioral psychology, and premium customer service, in order to show empathy, understanding, and the ability to go above and beyond a request.

They should also be set different KPIs to the rest of the staff. They should be measured on solving customers’ problems and not time on call.

2) Simplicity at key points

Ask yourself where are the critical touch points for consumers in using your product or service. And then assess how simple your offering is at these points.

When we visited the aquarium the queue was so long that we thought about turning around. However, the pre-order queue wasn’t too bad. So I jumped in there and started pre-ordering via my mobile. We got through in about 10 minutes, however when we reached the ticket desk the admissions lady simply said, “ah you can just go to the entry and they’ll scan your barcode”.

Well why don’t you say that on the thank you screen after buying the ticket. Or why don’t you have someone standing near the line telling people. It would have saved us waiting in the rain!

So make sure your offering is radically simple so customers can make sense of, and enjoy, the experience.

3) Know your numbers

 If you’re not across your key business metrics and customer behavioral trends then you don’t stand a chance in today’s data-driven world.

Get to know your numbers.

You don’t need to be an expert in every platform, technology and research method. However you should always be asking “so what? What does this number mean? And what does it mean for my business?”

And most importantly you need to develop a data story.

This is something I work with most clients on. It’s the story that is being unveiled by your data. It’s identifying the metrics that matter and creating correlations that mean something rather than assessing numbers in isolation.

I am working with a client at the moment that has realized they need to get closer to their numbers, but didn’t know how to achieve it. After some top-level analysis, some extremely interesting insights have been unearthed, and incredible opportunities have been identified that they were previously unaware of.

The numbers will reveal where the big advocacy wins can be had, or where small incremental gains can be achieved quickly. And most importantly it helps focus resources, effort and budget.

Customer Experience Officer

Who is in charge of your customer experiences? Do you have a customer experience officer? Or are you starting out on your journey to refocus your strategy around the customer (or consumer) experience?

Gartner predicted that by 2017, 89% of marketers expect customer experience to be their primary differentiator.

gartner customer experience

If you would like some assistance with your customer experience differentiation, then please contact us now