What makes a great consumer experience?
Maybe it’s having a restaurant server who remembers your name, your “usual” and to pack extra napkins. Or it could be getting your online order (with free shipping, mind you) two days earlier than expected.
As strategic thinkers, it’s our job to not only look at the marketing piece of a puzzle, but at the whole, and how each piece of that whole affects overall return and consumer relationships both in a positive and negative light. It’s not just an ad or a campaign. It’s every component of a person’s experience – from customer service to product development and pricing – that need to work in tandem in order to succeed.
In a great experience, there can be no siloes.
This overwhelming realization might cause some business to freeze up. I’m here to tell you that with the help of a team, you can get over it and get going. And while focusing on each individual tactic is still important, it’s more important to understand how each supports or corrodes the other working parts.
That’s where Consumer Experience (CX) comes into play.
At L&S we’re pioneering CX to help our clients handle the big picture, creating a holistic experience between consumers and their business. We could throw out words like “strategy” and “consultation,” but CX is best understood when it’s shown in the real world. Here’s an example:
You need to buy a truck. You go online to search for a Chevy because you’ve always liked Chevy trucks in the past.
You love how Chevy is made in America and makes you feel strong and confident – this is the Brand Experience you feel toward the company.
When you go online, you find a dealership and click to their site. The website is amazing. It allows you to customize a truck, look at paint colors, search features and find the exact truck you’re looking for near you.
This easy and intuitive search online is your User Experience – the individual interaction with a product, service or tactic.
You decide to drive to the dealership to check it out. You look for the truck and have a hard time driving through the lot because so many vehicles are packed together. You want to get out and look, but there’s nowhere to park.
Your User Experience at the dealership is poor. You could get frustrated and drive away. You decide to push forward.
You finally find somewhere to park. You meet the dealer, and she pulls up in the vehicle you looked at online. As you get in to test drive, you notice a terrible, smoky smell inside. It gives you a headache, and you have to call it quits on the test drive. You decide to go home.
Your in-car User Experience was poor and caused a loss of a sale that day.
You receive a follow-up email and personal phone call from the dealer. She says she has a different car you might like and encourages you to give it another go. You agree and are pleasantly surprised at the friendliness of the sales team.
Your User Experience with the sales team was great. You ultimately end up purchasing the car.
While several poor User Experience touch points caused distress, a positive Brand Experience and other positive User Experiences outweighed the bad.
CX focuses on how each of these touchpoints adds up to an overall experience. It’s not just User Experience (UX) or Brand Experience (BX) – it’s all of them.
Making sure all the arms of your business – from marketing and sales to operations and distribution – are optimized is critical in crafting a meaningful Consumer Experience that drives growth and retention.
We know that consumers don’t engage with your brand or business on a linear model. They weave in and out of decision-making and purchase cycles on their own agenda. CX ensures that each trigger point is positive, personal, relevant and successful, so all efforts feel like a cohesive experience that was built with intent and care to avoid disconnects and frustration.
Siloed efforts create stunted results. Want to learn more about thinking bigger with CX? Give us a call.