There are many brands out there that deliver an amazing experience for their customers. And despite them not being in the print industry, they can still teach us a lot about what we can do to improve our own customer experience.
We’ve put together a list of 5 companies who put customer experience at the center of their brand and highlighted some ways we can all learn from them.
Disney Parks is one of the top ranked brands in the US for customer experience. This is a brand who really do go the extra mile for their customers. It may seem like an easy job when running the most magical theme parks in the world, but it’s the mundane things like queuing, buying a ticket and getting to the resort in the first place that they make magical.
It’s often the case that children queue for rides, get to the front and realize they’re too small to get on. If this happens, Disney give them a special pass to skip to the front of the queue on their next ride. They also have their workers wear badges that display what languages they speak. Neither of these things cost the company anything, but both make a big difference to the customer experience.
Disney Parks have also developed a variety of ‘listening posts’ to collect the feedback required to develop and refine their CX:
Consider the little things. Disney created queue passes and language badges, but what could you do? If you’re embarking on a serious customer experience program, then your first job will be to map the customer journey and identify all the different touchpoints there are between your brand and your customers. Once you’ve done this, ask your staff to think about ways to improve each touchpoint, what little touches they can think of to make engaging with your brand more enjoyable.
Get regular feedback from both customers and staff. Your frontline staff are the people who deal with customers on a day to day basis so ask them to find out exactly what your customers like and dislike about your service.
The UK telephone and internet banking company have changed the way their customers manage daily banking. From the first day they opened (midnight on a Sunday), they have never closed – telephone, email and social teams are always available and customers always get through to a person instead of an automated system.
First Direct set out to provide a very different customer experience to other banks. “Customer satisfaction with other banks in general was low and customers felt the banks were all as bad as each other. The existing notion was that a bank required the customer’s physical presence,” said Peter Simpson, their first Commercial Director. “We decided upon the radical idea of a purely telephone operation…Making a Sunday as our first day of trading made it clear that we were very different and out to provide the customer with a service that they had never experienced before.”
Copying what your competitors are doing isn’t always the right thing to do when it comes to customer experience - sometimes it’s the opposite that would delight your customers. Before you embark on a CX improvement programme, get a feel for the market, speak to your customers and find out what they want and need, what annoys them and how they’d like things to be different. You might uncover an opportunity to do something extraordinary.
Netflix have used algorithm technology to revolutionize how people watch their programmes and films. Personalization is key and Netflix has created a way to show customers the programmes that they want to see. Dependent on the programmes and films that they’ve watched previously, Netflix send out an email to show new programmes that they might be interested in. Every time a user clicks on one of the CTA buttons, the Netflix algorithm learns more about them, and will use this to improve future suggestions.
Netflix’s Vice President of Product Innovation, Todd Yellin, says the key to the brand’s exceptional customer experience is attention to detail. “We own the Netflix customer experience from the moment they sign up, for the whole time they are with us, across TV, phone and laptop,” he states. “We climb under the hood and get all greasy with algorithms, numbers and vast amounts of data. Getting to know a user, millions of them, and what they play. If they play one title, what did they play after, before, what did they abandon after five minutes?”
Get to know your customers and then make things personal. Having an integrated CRM and MIS is a great way of doing this. You can look at what customers have ordered previously and send targeted communications based on their needs. Using your MIS to record any personal preferences will also help add that personal touch to any interactions between your staff and your customers.
Lush have been rated in the top 5 of KPMG’s Customer Experience Excellence rankings for the past 3 years, reaching number 1 in 2015.
If you’ve ever been in a Lush store you’ll remember two things:
The shop assistants are one of the reasons they get voted so highly for customer experience. But their main differentiator is that they are always trying to improve their offering. They consistently retire one third of their product range every year, which creates anticipation amongst customers and an expectation of new and exciting products. It also creates an internal culture that’s under pressure to continually innovate.
A great example of this innovation is their recently released search tools, which combine digital technology with real-life products. ‘Lush Lens’ lets you search by taking a picture of a Lush product and uses image recognition to identify it while ‘Lush Concierge’ is a virtual assistant who you can ask things like ‘Which products have lavender in?’.
Be innovative! Come up with new, out of the ordinary products that will interest your customers and then share them – how they’re made, why they’re different and what they could be used for. Find ways to combine digital technology with real-life products, how they could use print alongside social media and other digital marketing methods, for example. You could then take a leaf out of Lush’s book and try to create anticipation - get your customers excited about receiving your next newsletter and hearing all about the new products, ideas, and services that they could make use of.
Last but certainly not least, is the giant online retailer, Amazon, whose mission statement is simply “to be earth’s most customer-centric company.”
Their website is incredibly simple to use, and an immense amount of effort has gone into making the click journey extremely short, making it very quick and easy to purchase something – sometimes too easy, if you’re anything like me! And, when it comes to support for the customer, they’ve managed to provide the best of both worlds – they have an incredibly detailed help center which includes thousands of pages, but they also give customers the opportunity to speak to a real person.
The key thing to take on board from Amazon is that everything they do, they do with customer experience in mind. They are extremely customer focussed, making sure the journey the customer goes on is simple and quick. And if a customer isn’t happy, they go the extra mile to rectify what’s happened, even if it’s not their fault.
A classic example of this (and one that went viral) happened a couple of years ago when someone ordered their son a PlayStation for Christmas. It was delivered to their neighbour while they were out, the neighbour left it on their porch and it went missing. Even though Amazon weren’t to blame, they sent out a new one in time for Christmas so the boy didn’t have to go without a present on Christmas Day. It’s powerful stories like this that get shared, so we need to find opportunities to do things that surprise and delight our customers. Not only will it help with customer retention, but it will also help with acquiring new customers too.
"It used to be that if you made a customer happy, they would tell five friends. Now, with the megaphone of the internet, whether online customer reviews or social media, they can tell 5,000 friends."
Founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos