The good news about focusing on customer experience is
that it can be profitable. It doesn’t have to cost more to deliver a great
experience than it does to deliver a lousy experience. Yet, you can charge more
for a great experience. Plus, it could reduce your costs through higher
retention and increased referrals.
The challenge in focusing on customer experience is that
it’s not easy and it’s not fast. In fact it takes a lot of work and a lot of
time. It requires that we constantly and diligently connect with our customers
to discover what they want and how we’re doing. It’s an ongoing, never-ending
Oh, one more thing. When we focus on selling an
experience as our value add, we have to be very good. Okay or average does not
cut it. Average performance will lose in the experience economy.
If our customers come to us and stay with us because of
the experience we deliver, they will tie an emotion to that experience. In fact,
in the experience economy, we are selling emotional content more than physical
goods or intangible services. For people to remember us, those emotions need to
Think about your own experiences. If you eat at a
restaurant and everything is pretty much as you expect it to be, then what’s
memorable about it? Nothing. So, meeting our customer’s expectations means we
become a blank space in their memory banks.
For our customer’s experience to be more memorable it has to be positive but
A few days ago my wife and I visited Hoover Dam. It was the first time for
both of us. If you’ve been there you’ll understand why it’s a memorable
experience no matter what. But, beyond the usual “wonder of the world” type
memory, we’ll both have two other aspects of our visit that make it stand out in
a positive way.
One is the McDonald’s in Boulder City. It the most unusual McDonald’s I’ve
ever seen in a good way. Crystal light fixtures, marble, glass, steel and tile
abound in the trendy decor that befits a west coast bistro more than a small
town fast food joint. And the landscape around the building is filled with metal
figurines of children playing. They were created by a local artist.
It was fun. It was aesthetically pleasing. It was completely unexpected.
Therefore it will stay in my memory for a long time as an important part of our
Hoover Dam experience.
The other memorable part of our Hoover Dam visit are the chipmunks.
By the cafe/gift shop building (at the dam site) are dozens (maybe hundreds)
of cute little chipmunks that earn their keep entertaining the guests. They are
wild but friendly and comfortable with humans. If you have food they’ll walk up
to you and eat it right out of your hand.
By the time we left the “chipmunk area” a sizable crowd had developed. They
were clearly a hit.
So, like the cool McDonald’s restaurant, the friendly chipmunks will also be
a memorable part of our visit to the Hoover Dam, for the same reason: they
presented us with a positive and unexpected experience.
To win in the Experience Economy you have to help your customers have the
experiences they desire plus more. Average is not memorable. You have to be
unexpectedly good on a regular and consistent basis. Do this and you’ll have
people talking about your business and coming back again and again.