4 reasons why it’s urgent to build on the customer experience in 2019

4 reasons why it's urgent to build on the customer experience in 2019

1. Brands can no longer differentiate themselves by lower prices or the functionality of their products

Today brands are struggling to differentiate themselves from the competition. Indeed even lowering prices or releasing a new product with innovative features do not make the difference for brands. In other word, competition is getting tougher and markets are becoming saturated. As a result, brands are in a context of hyper competition and must urgently find other ways to differentiate. Then the customer experience can help to differentiate.

Brands are starting to understand it and are increasingly focusing on service and human interaction during the buying journey. Actually customers will remember more of an excellent in-store service than an attractive promotion.
 
In addition, it is easy for brands to break prices in order to capture market share, however, it is much harder to copy the experience of a competing brand.
 
For instance, the Apple brand is a good example. It did not need to lower prices, or even incorporate disruptive innovations into its products to attract customers. Customers come into an Apple store for different reasons:
  • admire the modern and futuristic design of the point of sale
  • meet the genius
  • feel like part of a community
  • etc.

To sum up, the lived experience supplants the price of a product because the experience is unique, individual and incomparable. That is to say, experience involves something irrational, subjective and unquantifiable while price can be judged and compared with other similar products.

4 reasons why it's urgent to build on the customer experience in 2019

2. Customers seek a personalized and memorable interaction

Consumers associate buying with a fun experience, or even entertainment. They feel the need to feel close to the brand: to know its history, to be associated with its development, to maintain a personalized relationship with it, etc.

In early 2010, Abercrombie & Fitch were the precursors of the customer experience by offering to customers the opportunity to be photographed with models of the brand. After, they left with a Polaroid photo that they kept permanently.

Another example : Yves Rocher is now recognized in France as the brand offering the best experience to its customers. For years, this cosmetics brand stands out in its ability to thank and reward the loyalty of its customers. Each client actually receives an email and a letter each month inviting her to go to the store to collect gifts. Today the brand goes further and uses the data of its customers, in order to offer them personalized gifts, in total adequacy with their buying habits.

3. Today, the acquisition of a new clientele goes through word of mouth

A satisfied customer speaks to ten people around him. Most importantly, a customer will be more talkative than he will be satisfied. But, today’s consumers are more and more skeptical and read the comments and opinions left by other consumers on social media for example. The consumer gives even more credit than the official speech of the brand.

This is the case of speak-easy bars, otherwise called underground bars or hidden bars. It is impossible from the street to know that there is a bar. Indeed, there is only a restaurant or a lavomatic. Before talking about them on the web, word of mouth made them known today. As a result, by following the recommendations of friends or Internet users, rather than the advertising speeches of the brand, the consumer has the impression to overcome the marketing strategies of the brand to attract him in his nets. Last but not least, by going on the spot, the consumer then already has the satisfaction and the pleasant feeling of not having been manipulated by the brand and to have exercised fully his free will.

4. Drowned by the offers, customers become more and more jaded and demanding

4 reasons why it's urgent to build on the customer experience in 2019

In the age of big data, consumers no longer have to be considered as a number or as a sum of purchases. In addition, consumers are constantly stimulated by brands sending tons of emails offering promotions that seem to be ephemeral while they last, for some, all year. As a result, we are witnessing a phenomenon of normalization of special offers. In other words, the French do not feel the same craze for sales as 10 years ago. They feel they can buy all year at a discount. To sum up, they are jaded.

Finally, consumers are increasingly demanding: the good quality of a product will no longer be considered a differentiating argument or a key success factor. It is now a minimum required otherwise the product will not even be considered by the consumer. The urgency is to re-enchant the shopping experience in order to reassociate the purchase with a moment of pleasure. Above all, consumers want to be considered for what they are and want to live a unique experience, lived by no one else.

Before Netflix, there were already video on demand platforms. But, Netflix made all the difference by creating an algorithm able to propose to the user films supposed to match his tastes. Thus, each film is  decked out with a percentage, representing the probability of pleasing the user. Recently, Netflix went even further thanks to its film Bandersnatch giving the user the ability to change the course of action and decide the fate of the hero. From his sofa / bed, the user chooses and clicks between two actions. Then the film he is watching becomes unique because another user, having made other choices, will be offered a different end. The length of the film also differs according to the choices made by the user: the film can then last between 1h30 (for the shortest version) and 5h (for the longest version). With this film, Netflix has reached the climax of the cinematic experience.

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