Today, the brand that matters most to a consumer is their own. Millennials have been driving this shift and bolstering it with their shopping dollars. Things like brand values, sustainability and customer experience are far more important than a large marketing campaign.
Gartner defines customer experience management as “the practice of designing and reacting to customer interactions to meet or exceed customer expectations and, thus, increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy.” With social media offering us 24/7 access to our consumers, we are no longer limited in our interactions. Brands and retailers who get it right are winning. Here are a few examples:
Target’s CEO, Brian Cornell, leads the charge on customer experience. He and his team have studied the Target guest and found two distinct types of people coming to their stores. The first is the person who wants to be in and out in 10-15 minutes. The second is the person there to learn about new brands and products. They meander through the stores smelling candles and picking up new houseware products. To meet each of these guests’ needs, new store concepts are built with two entrances: one spills you right into grocery for a quick in and out. The other entrance leads you through a shopping experience where end caps and departments are arranged more like a department store. Beyond this, you can also choose to purchase on line and be loaded into your car OR have things delivered to your home with a personal shopper through their Shipt service.
McDonald’s serves 68 million customers every day. They have a lot of customer interaction each day, many who never leave their car. Steve Easterbrook (their CEO) wants to transform their business model from ‘mass marketing to mass personalization’. [Wired] Their menus are now digital, allowing them more flexibility. They also recently purchased a tech company for $300 million. This strategic purchase will allow them to personalize the customer experience. Menu items can change based on time of day (imagine the menu featuring quick to make items during the dinner rush or coffee/tea/hot chocolate on a cold, rainy day).
For many of us, getting customer experience right doesn’t involve a multi million dollar investment but rather a consistent focus on customer delight. What are you doing to put the customer at the center of every product and process within your organization?