What’s your preference? More material “things” or more experiences? Things come and go, experiences are etched in our minds and become memories.
Today, 89% of companies compete primarily on the basis of customer experience – up from just 36% in 2010. 80% of companies believe they deliver “super experiences,” unfortunately there’s a perception gap in those numbers, because only 8% of customers agree. In other words, we’re on the cusp of 2019 and while CX has advanced significantly, companies still have a long way to go in a world where customer expectations are lapping businesses.
Why, with so many new advances in technology and bells and whistles for what’s possible, are we not able to delight customers? For starters, the way companies think of customer relationships is just…well…boring.
Customer experience is about experience, and experience is defined as, “being affected.” If you believe building outstanding customer relationships and loyalty means keeping in touch, delivering reports, and sending out the occasional survey, your business is likely in the 92% bucket of companies that just aren’t getting it done.
So, how do you go from a zero to a hero in delivering “super experiences” and becoming more memorable in the eyes of your customers in 2019? First, stop thinking about customer experience as new products and features and start thinking about it as delivering value and building quality relationships with customers. Get to know your customers, begin to understand what they need and want, and how they connect with your brand.
The 8% of brands that customers crown as superheroes arrived there because of two key superpowers:
1. Connection – They connect with their customer deeply to understand their emotions, needs, and preferences.
2. Anticipation – They anticipate their customer’s needs, even if their customer doesn’t know it yet.
A great example of one of these superheroes is Nike. They capitalized on the VIP trend and released Nike Unlocks earlier this year. The app is built for NikePlus members and delivers fitness and meditation classes, mood music and augmented reality-driven encounters with in-concept products to let consumers experience the product.
Nike’s best customer relationship win has been its ability to establish an emotional connection with consumers. The “Just Do It” Giant launched a marketing campaign that sets up a “hero’s journey” where the villain is the voice inside your head telling you that you can’t do it. We’ve all been there – too tired, too late, too much to do, too many excuses for why you can’t. Nike then positions themselves as a cheerleader and personal advocate to prove that you can. Nike puts themselves in our corner and coaches us through overcoming the villain that is your own self-doubt. They don’t do it through showcasing their latest, greatest new product and supreme technology, they do it by being a hero for the customer.
Despite the lack of product promotion in this campaign, Nike has demonstrated that connecting with customers on purely an emotional level doesn’t have to mean sacrificing sales. Nike is predicted to grow to over $100 billion by 2020 and they’ll get there by going beyond conventional business KPI’s and demonstrating that a focus on emotional intelligence earns loyal customers and results business success. The good news is with a little more emphasis on getting in touch with our customers’ emotions, every business can JUST DO IT in 2019!