I fielded a request for a few ideas on social engagement for an upcoming eBook an online company is creating. One of the questions related to how brands can set themselves apart through a customer experience strategy and outstanding customer engagement.
Our focus is often on creating memorable event-related experiences. Shifting the focus to ongoing customer engagement, however, necessitated a different look than the one we’ve used for years in designing events. While surprise is an important element in creating memorable event experiences, customers aren’t typically looking for surprises in more routine customer service situations.
Brand Expectations and Experience
Noodling the answer to the question further, I sketched an x-y chart comparing customer expectations vs. the nature of the customer experience. This customer experience strategy framework is a variation on how we’ve been thinking for years about developing memorable event experiences.
The horizontal axis looks at how expected a particular customer experience, showing a range from completely expected on the left to completely unexpected on the right. For the vertical axis on the nature of the customer experience, the bottom label is “Routine” and the top label is “Delight.” The idea here was to describe the range of audience reactions to a brand’s customer engagement.
At a first pass, this framework seems to address the range of experiences a brand might seek to deliver on an ongoing basis.
Start with the lower left quadrant. These are Expected and Routine experiences. In this quadrant, a brand has to get social engagement basics right every time with incredible dependability.
In the upper left, the Expected/Delight quadrant is where customer loyalty programs function. A customer with strong, positive brand behaviors has a history with your brand and expects a certain level of delight in any experience with your organization.
The bottom right quadrant (Unexpected / Routine) might be one that’s frequently overlooked. It’s the opportunity to create a pleasant surprise for a customer during a routine interaction. One example might be the bakery that occasionally and somewhat randomly gives you a free donut because you’re a familiar face, not because of a loyalty program.
The money quadrant is the upper right – that’s where a brand delights a customer in a completely unexpected way. In this area, a brand engages with customers in a fashion consistent with the brand experience, but does so by going above and beyond. These situations create high-impact, memorable moments for audience members. These engagements wind up in business magazine brand profiles and case studies!
Remember, This Is from the Brainzooming Labs
This is a first pass. We’ll be incorporating it into workshops and client sessions to test how beneficial it is as a customer experience strategy framework for generating new ideas! – Mike Brown
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