The Page Group is always seeking ways to improve the customer experience for its clients. Today’s marketing requires us to always be in touch with how the consumer connects and interacts with our brands, and in doing so be sure to deliver a consistent brand story at every touch point the consumer has with the company. Customer Experience is critical to running any successful marketing department, and it takes a lot of focus and effort to be connected effectively with them.
Five Brands That Are Setting The Bar For Customer Experience Innovation
by Giselle Abramovich
Senior & Strategic Editor
Companies that make life easier for their customers are rewarded with more than a one-time sale. The ability to provide a frictionless customer experience is a sure-fire way to turn those customers into brand loyalists.
According to Forrester Research, “successful [customer experience] innovations triangulate on customer needs, business model, and brand. New customer touch points and interactions that don’t solve a real customer problem are just innovation for innovation’s sake. Once customer needs are uncovered, potential innovations must be vetted within the context of the business model and brand to ensure business relevance and longevity.”
With that description in mind, here are five brands that are setting the bar for customer experience innovation.
Anyone who wears makeup knows how difficult it is to pick the right shade of foundation to match your skin tone. Sephora’s in-store Color IQ technology to the rescue: Customers can stop by any Sephora and try out the service, which scans your face and identifies your Color IQ number. The Color IQ number pinpoints your foundation match from more than 1,500 formulas. The greatest news of all: An entire online experience is at the ready for customers once they have their Color IQ numbers. Customer experience at its best.
2. Disney Parks
If you’ve been to a Disney theme park recently, you’ve probably been asked to buy the MagicBand, which allows you to fly through the long lines. But there’s more than that to the MagicBand. Inside each band is an RFID chip, which connects people to a system of sensors inside the parks. Before you go on vacation, you customize your plans online via MyMagic+, which then syncs with the MagicBand.
Say you’ve made a reservation at one of the park’s restaurants. When you arrive, wearing your MagicBand, a hostess greets you by name. The band is encoded with your credit card information, so you can pay for your meal without taking out your wallet. What’s more, the band is collecting data on you for future marketing. Did you buy corn dogs? Did you purchase Mickey Mouse ears? Did you give Minnie Mouse a big hug and bypass Daisy Duck? Disney can now refine its marketing messages based on actual behavior. There’s a convenience factor as well. The band will let wearers know when certain parts of the park are packed and will alert them on the best times to go on specific rides. The band makes the experience at a Disney park personalized and more convenient. Magical.
Zappos’ Ask Zappos online tool helps consumers find and buy any fashion product, even if Zappos doesn’t sell it. It’s much like a digital shopping assistant, prompts users to upload images of products. Ask Zappos finds the item and where you can buy it, either online or offline. The image can be sent through a variety of digital channels, including Instagram with the #AskZappos hashtag, email, or text messaging. The Zappos team answers all requests in 24 hours.
From its retail stores, to product design, to customer support, to even product packaging, Apple tops the list of brands that are innovating in customer experience. The key to Apple’s customer experience strategy is that it has thought through every single touch point it has with customers. If you’ve read Walter Isaacson’s biography about Steve Jobs, then you already know about the company’s emphasis on end-to-end customer experience, regardless of the channel, platform, or device. This experience is based on the notion of simplicity, which other brands have tried to replicate, but not one has come close.
You’re sick in bed, lacking the energy to get up and make yourself a cup of tea, let alone get in your car and drive to the nearest pharmacy to pick up some cold medication. That’s the customer problem Walgreens decided it would help solve for its customers this past flu season by partnering with TaskRabbit on an online service where you can pay people to run errands for you. Consumers could open the TaskRabbit iPhone app and tap the Walgreens’ slice of the wheel to select the nearest Walgreens store, enter the products needed, and indicate a preferred delivery time. Voila!