A Remarkable Experience

disCustomer Experience blogger, Annette Franz, recently commented on the common mistake of the ‘herd’ following the leaders of customer experience instead of forging their own paths.

Franz sites the following research…

A few years ago, researchers at Leeds University did some research on herd mentality. Here’s how AdSavvy reports it:

Researchers at Leeds University, led by Prof Jens Krause, performed a series of experiments where volunteers were told to randomly walk around a large hall without talking to each other. A select few were then given more detailed instructions on where to walk. The scientists discovered that people end up blindly following one or two people who appear to know where they’re going.  

The published results showed that it only takes 5% of what the scientists called “informed individuals” to influence the direction of a crowd of around 200 people. The remaining 95% follow without even realizing it.

95% will follow the 5%!

But rightly points out…

The problem with herd mentality is that we think we know what success looks like because we base it on the industry leaders – because they must be doing something right to be leading the pack. But just because it works for one doesn’t mean it works for others. Just because the Zappos culture and business model work for Zappos doesn’t mean they will work for others.

Franz goes on to suggest…

Not all experiences are created equal. When you design your customer experience strategy, good guidelines to live by include:

  1. Define and communicate your brand promise
  2. Develop a culture that fits your brand and what you stand for
  3. Understand your customers: who are they? what do they buy? what problems are they trying to solve? why do or don’t they buy?
  4. Define yourmoments of truth: think about your customer experience lifecycle and your various touchpoints and interactions
  5. Map your customers’ journeys
  6. Understand the marketplace: yes, be aware of competitors and what they’re doing, but don’t imitate
  7. Listen to your customers and prospects
  8. Define your customer experience: innovate, get creative, add value to the marketplace
  9. Hire the right employees for your brand experience
  10. Know yourvision: stick to it
  11. Know yourpurpose: stick to it
  12. Know your value proposition: stick to it

For another view, take Disney, who “believe service is manifested everywhere your organization touches the customer; therefore, you must intentionally manage the service experience beyond the obvious customer touchpoints.

Before a Guest enters one of our parks, they will have already encountered a variety of touchpoints (defined broadly as any medium that engages with the customer). Once inside a Disney Park, a touchpoint can be anything from a personal interaction with one of our Cast Members, to functional items such as a park map or directional signage, to the specific architecture and background music used to create the setting.

Where possible, our goal is to turn what might be an ordinary transaction into a more memorable, immersive experience—for example, when we “plus up” an attraction’s queue area to create an engaging experience for our Guests while they wait.

In summary…

Take a look around your organization and try to put yourself in the shoes of your customers. Are there some not-so-obvious touchpoints that could be “plussed” up? Implementing even small changes can impact your customers in a positive way, and can combine to make a solid investment towards creating your own unique customer experience and differentiating your brand.

Read Annettee Franz’s full post here.

Read the full Disney Institute post here.

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