According to a recent study, the number 1 reason, globally, why a customer stops choosing a brand or product is because they feel unappreciated. And 91% of customers who are unhappy with a brand will walk away without even complaining.

For brands, building relationships is increasingly important than seeking transactions. And brands that connect positively with customers are consolidating communities of faithful who choose, defend and recommend them. The brands that give, instead of being less profitable, are those that are growing more than those that see giving as an expense and not as an investment.

It is recommended to serve customers well, even if it is for business.

Poor customer service will cost you and your business money. Various studies indicate that, in the US alone, approximately $ 62 billion is lost each year due to poor customer service. Success depends, to a large extent, on how you grow your people, on how you seek excellence in everything. The dividend of the experience is in putting people first.

The question that arises is: Do business leaders fully recognize and understand the importance of the customer experience?

Recent surveys of CEOs rank “customer experience” as a top business priority. But what we see is that there is still a huge gap between saying and wanting, doing and action.

Customers are not unfaithful, they are with brands are mediocre

If a customer likes your brand, and they still like it because you make them feel valued, they will do business with you. The best gift a brand can give to its competitors is a bad customer experience.

What customers ask for is love.

For brands and consumers, the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference. The best way for a client (internal or external) to love you is by giving them love. For many companies the great challenge is that this love is credible not only profitable.

The deep and changing behaviors that consumers are experiencing are challenging even for the most savvy companies.

The critical point does not lie in the big gestures or expenses, but in the small details; they are the ones that make the big difference.

Love is free, you just have to believe in something, a purpose, a cause, some principles, values, in the talent of your people, in the relationship with your clients. Give to receive. 

Commerce begins to understand.

Commercial spaces should act more like stages than stores. Shopping malls have to become cultural centers, with a greater focus on adopting a state of constant change. Every time you go, there is always a new brand, a new product, new things. Create freshness. And freshness is what people are looking for.

Stop thinking in terms of consumers and customers and start acting as if they are what they are: the “guests”.

By building the next iteration, industries (retail, hospitality, tourism, entertainment, etc.) can help improve customer lives and keep us human in an increasingly digital age. Because customers keep repeating it to us over and over again: they are less interested in buying products than in consuming experiences; be part of the stories of the brands that want.

Social animals. 

As much as we like to sit at home on our sofas, we have a real need to connect, share, and communicate with each other. We want to entertain ourselves together. We are social animals and we need contact with others, with the community to which we choose to belong. We will see that physical retail will continue to transform from mere places where products are sold to environments where people with similar passions, values and motivations can meet.

Technology comes marching.

In the next decade, AI-powered personalization, AR / VR interfaces, and sensor-driven smart environments could turn today’s “retail space” into an invisible and booming platform for engagement, relationships, entertainment, digitally enhanced community and new business models we haven’t even imagined yet.

However, companies need to build an infrastructure – with a combination of cloud, mobile, social, applications, data science, CRM, community platforms and related technologies – to allow the customer to do what they want, when they want and how they want.

Technology changed the equation.

Every digital product or tool or experience that is used is made to make shopping for our consumers more fun and more efficient – to help engage, educate, entertain and eventually build loyalty.

The customer experience is not a one-time event, and each interaction will be different.

The customer has the power. The one to love you, the one to hate you or the one to ignore you. Most brands are not loved because they do not connect with customers. Customer engagement is the sum of the continuous interactions between the company and the customer, offered by the company chosen by the customer.

Not everything is technology. The success of a brand dependent on people.

In theory, many entrepreneurs still consider that the most complicated things are numbers and plans, when in reality, they are the least complex to handle. It is relationships or culture that present the great challenge.

Customer service data indicates that by improving your service, you can also increase revenue. Salesforce found that a great experience is key to establishing a repeat customer, with 67% of people saying they would pay more to get it.

Additionally, Adobe recently found that companies with the strongest omnichannel customer engagement strategies enjoy 10% year-over-year growth, a 10% increase in average order value, and a 25% increase in close rates. .

While eight out of ten customers say that the experience provided by a company is as important as its products or services.

It’s data, not opinion: a great experience is good for business.

Good deal, good business.

The new hope of retail, tourism, museums, transport, cities, practically everyone: the economy of experience, ergo, of love.

An experience occurs when a company strategically and consistently uses services as a setting and goods as accessories to engage customers in a way that creates memorable moments.

An experience is not an amorphous construction; it is an offer as real as any service, good or merchandise. In today’s service economy, many companies simply wrap experiences in their traditional offerings to better sell them. However, to get the full benefit of staging experiences, companies must deliberately design engaging, inimitable, sensory experiences that require retribution. This transition from the sale of services to the “sale” of experiences will not be easy to undertake for companies with a rigid mentality and enemy of change. However, unless companies want to be in a commoditized business, they will be forced to upgrade their offerings to the next stage of economic value.

Everything passes, the experience transcends

Experience consumers value what the company reveals over a period of time. While the above economic offerings (commodities, goods, and services) are external to the buyer, the experiences are inherently personal and exist only in the mind and heart of an individual who has been involved on an emotional, physical, intellectual, or even level. spiritual. Therefore, no two people can have the same experience, because each experience is derived from the interaction between the staged event and the mental state of each individual.

The pioneer of the experience economy, Walt Disney led the way. In recent years, brands such as Starbucks, Harley Davidson, BMW and others have changed what we knew as coffee, motorcycle and car experiences.

The experience economy

In “Welcome to the experience economy” , an article for Harvard Business Review, by author Joseph Pine II and James Gilmore, tracks 200 years of economic development through a curious metric: the birthday cake.

“As a holdover from the agrarian economy, mothers made birthday cakes from scratch, mixing agricultural products (flour, sugar, butter and eggs) that together cost only a few dimes. As the product-based industrial economy progressed, moms paid Betty Crocker a dollar or two for premixed ingredients.

Later, when the service economy took hold, busy parents ordered cakes at the bakery or grocery store, which, at $ 10 or $ 15, cost ten times more than packaged ingredients.

In the time-hungry 1990s, parents don’t make the birthday cake or even throw the party. Instead, they spend $ 100 or more to “outsource” the entire event to Chuck E. Cheese, Discovery Zone, Mining Company, or some other business that puts on a memorable event for their kids and often throws the cake for free. Welcome to the emerging experience economy. ”

By replacing pre-made ingredients with pre-made experiences, the experience economy is a new kind of disruptive business model that began to satisfy a new kind of need.

For most of history, we didn’t want packaged experiences because life itself was the experience. Staying safe, warm and fed was adventure enough.

We aspire and desire more and more.

Brands that believe in change and that want to remain relevant to the lives of customers, must offer experiences at all times. The lines between digital and physical purchases are blurred, consumers expect intuitive and fluid experiences through different channels in a scenario of ubiquity. They demand modernized customer journeys and each point of contact to help guide them efficiently, creatively and productively. All channels must work together to deliver the best possible customer experience. And there are already brands that are beginning to take the experience economy to new heights.

Lift your ass off the couch. 

Minnesota’s Mall of America is a small city that spans 520,000 square feet and houses 500 stores. China’s largest mall covers more than 650,000 square meters and is larger than the Pentagon. An improved experience economy could mean that these shopping centers have the opportunity to stay in business.

But what is coming will be a very different type of business.

The customer will own the customer experience. Some will argue that, depending on the industry, business regulations, compliance, and governance will not allow companies to broadly offer this level of customer-defined experiential ubiquity.

The main point is that controlling the customer experience is perhaps an illusion. Customers are more educated, more empowered, and have more options available to them than ever before. Customers want options, but to participate, they must trust the brand. Without trust there is no future, no present.

Emotional intelligence.

Businesses have a choice, and smart ones choose to better understand their customers’ needs, and then rigorously focus on iterating and improving their services and products to consistently deliver on their brand promise.

Engagement as a result, not a goal

If successful, retail will become a convergent industry, where time spent in the mall, or in any of the formats, pays multiple dividends. Shopping becomes health, wellness, socialization, it becomes entertainment, it becomes education, community, etc.

An example before the end. 

The SAMSUNG Store: Experience First Retail. “It is not a store, but a new kind of place filled with ideas, experiences, and cutting-edge Samsung devices.” This is how Samsung describes its innovative “837” location concept, located

in the Meatpacking District of New York City. Less shop, more playground, “837” does not actively try to sell anything to visitors. Rather, it encourages them to explore, learn and have fun. Visitors can try the latest experiences in virtual reality and smart home devices; take a photography class; snap into a high-profile opinion leaders conference, or attend concerts with renowned artists.

Going from thinking to doing. 

Only 8 percent of consumers describe a service as superior. But nevertheless, 80 percent of companies believe it.

To reimagine the experience, executives will have to undergo a deep dive into a mindset shift. The preferences and purchasing behaviors of connected consumers will continue to evolve, and prioritize

your needs, embracing a culture of innovation, and enacting a strong set of digital skills throughout the organization becomes essential.

Companies should move away from a purely company-centric behavior (measuring results, profits and value against internal standards and benchmarks) to a customer-centric model that embraces co-creation of value and an outside-in behavior to define mutual benefits for both: clients and company.

The company’s job is less about knowing what the customer wants and more about building the infrastructure to allow customers to freely choose, personalize and optimize their experience in each interaction based on their needs. Companies must use the right technologies to build a self-learning infrastructure, designed for continuous improvement based on measured feedback from customers. In the end, convenience wins. The infrastructure must be adaptable, flexible, scalable and intelligent.

The community of love.

The company may be the spark, but for sustained momentum, the flames, heat, and energy must come from the community. The benefits to the community extend far beyond customer service. Community-driven businesses can see the benefits of sales and marketing. Integrated e-commerce and community platforms can generate significant incremental revenue streams.

Innovative and forward-thinking companies leverage the community to improve and scale their product roadmaps and service offerings. Communities will scale their brand as long as companies are interested and provide value to the community.

Final thoughts

Almost every industry, without exception, needs to reinvent itself to stay alive and relevant – and it needs to do it fast. Prepare for an economy of future experiences in which time is the most valuable resource and love is the catalyst for relationships.

Clearly, there is no end in sight to the coming disruption. In fact, disruption is already becoming the new norm. Rather than viewing this as a burden, innovation, marketing, creativity, product, customer experience teams should be grateful for the challenge.

The future has arrived

What a special time to be a customer, to be a consumer, to be a user or a citizen. What extraordinary times to run a company, an organization or an institution. What was one of technological marvels and unparalleled advances and transformations.

I am an absolute believer that those who think this age is bad for innovating, transforming or disrupting are completely wrong. It is exactly the opposite. We have an incredible future. Everything will feel radically different than it does today.

Business leaders can be fully aware of, understand, and be committed to continually improving the customer experience.

In the life of the consumer everything passes, the experiences remain. Emotionality is the new realism of a new economy, in a new world. 

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