Tag Archives: fun

5 examples of how to have fun with Customer Experience

Often customer experience improvements focuses on broken processes, reducing friction or the dreaded self-serve (normally cheaper for the business but more effort on the customers than they would really like). All are about taking away pain and turning detractors into promoters….okay passives.

But do companies have the momentum to take this through from their ‘permission to trade’ or ‘brilliant basics’ level up to ‘make it enjoyable’ level? Not always sadly. But when they do it creates positive talking points and memorable experiences. Of course without the maintenance ground work, building fun experiences is more difficult for the business to feel it should be investing in or customers to enjoy if they’ve got outstanding gripes.

Suspend that thought and put yourself in the shoes of a customer experience team who are over the brow of that hill and living in the ‘make it enjoyable’ zone. Here are five enjoyable customers experiences which tickled us and we hope you take inspiration from too.

What we like about these is that you can see what the old experience was like. It wasn’t actually broken but there’s always room for improvement. Someone has said, ‘Could we make it more fun and see if that makes it more successful?’

Turn left. You will

tomtomThe technologists behind sat-nav science are incredible. But those at TomTom who decided to make the instructions barked at you come from the voices of John Cleese, Mr T, Yoda or Darth Vadar are genius. Rather than labour over the technological improvements in the mapping accuracy, which is already a 1000%  better than me reading the map, adding the voice increases the fun threshold to warp factor 10. And as soon as you get bored you can change to new voice.  In fact, Brian Blessed is the latest voice to be immortalised – Gordon’s alive!

Challenge Pizza Hut

Ipizzhut came across this example through twitter so have pieced the story together. But as I can make out when ordering there is a ‘any special requests’ section taken at the end of the order. Typically the response is ‘please hold the onion’ or ‘double anchovy’, but the customer has thrown in a cheeky ‘draw a dinosaur on the box’ request and rather than tell the customer to take a jump, the Pizza Hut staff have risen to the challenge and made a boring space very fun. It begs the question what else can you do with the inside of a take away box!

Grow your money trees

Umpqua could have a whole blog on fun experience all to themselves. Where others are moving from retail banking to mobile banking they are opening more stores. And according to Barclay’s analysts’ it’s not just a community play, it’s a commercially sound model. The Economist reported, “Barclays predicts by the end of next year, Umpqua’s return on equity will be 14%, far above the average”.

umpqua

They do things differently. For examples here is a plant on a customer’s door step. That may be what it looks like to you and I but this is actually a loan mailing. I’m sure you can get the creative reference link to growth, but you may have got the fact that what is normally a dry comms piece is made memorable and fun. And guess what it outperforms any other loan mailing stats you’ve ever seen!

Beep. Beep. Making shopping more fun for Mums

 tescocarToy cars in supermarket are not new. In fact they’ve been with us for a few years now having been introduced by Tesco in 2007. But go back to that moment when someone said, ‘I know stick a toy car to the trolley’. After a ‘Are you insane!’ was first fired back the visionary commercialist (also known as the customer experience manager) would have said, ‘hang on there is something in this. Anxious Mum’s buy less. Mum’s get anxious because of bored kids. Bored kids love driving toy cars. Toy cars would fit to a shopping trolley’ at which point everyone’s proverbial penny would have dropped. It was brilliant then and it always will be brilliant. And it’s less to fund than a crèche!

And the overall winner in the CX fun category is…

My favourite examples of fun in customer experience are those like the Tesco example above where fun has been used to take away anxiety or a negative behaviour. It’s a movement in its own right and if you are interested take a look at the VW Fun Factory examples.

But to finish my favourite example of improved customer experience is actually from real life. It’s the toddler eating journey that parents go through daily. It makes business challenges look like a walk in the park when it goes wrong! Getting small children, who are very good at manipulating broken processes, to eat when they want to play is a real challenge. But this fun idea is very successful and has probably been around since toddlers first needed feeding, but the ingenuity of it is still stunning.

mums

Put into a corporate context, ‘fun food’ versus ‘as it comes food’ – the outcome is exactly the same food gets eaten so why do it. But with fun food there are three huge advantages:

  1. More produce (toddler’s food) is consumed with fewer issues (tantrums) reducing time and effort spent on getting the customer complaints (toddler pacified).
  2. The customer (toddler) engages in the process (dinner time) willingly prepared to be distracted from the other more enjoyable daily tasks (toys and TV).
  3. The front line staff member (Mum) is more productive because there is less effort needed (feeding & remaking thrown food) and satisfied because the labours have been appreciated (feel like a good parent for a moment).

If you want some new inspiring creators of fun customer experience recruit a group of Mums with toddlers (left at home). They are world class fun CX practioners.

Posted by Christopher Brooks

Lexden is a Customer Strategy Agency | We put customers at the heart of the decision 

We work with brands to attract and retain happy customers | We achieve this by helping them to understand what makes their customers tick, building memorable customer experiences and creating engaging customer value propositions.

If you like what you’ve read sign-up to our ‘Putting Customers First’ newsletter. Or for further information contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com or call us on  M: +44 (0) 7968 316548 or T: +44 (0)1279 902205 .    You can also follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter or read client case studies at www.lexdengroup.com 

Unordinary Thinking No. 37: Finding fun in failure (aka The Customer Games)

With the anniversary of the London 2012 Olympics upon us, I thought I’d look to see if there is any chance of replicating that sense of euphoria which engulfed us last year. ‘I decided to take on the role of the sporting gladiator and find some games out there that I can compete in’.

First I tried the ‘stop the pump on zero’ game where you attempt to stop filling up your car with petrol on exactly zero-zero on the pence indicator. But since the price of fuel has rocketed up so much, the dials move too quickly to get the petrol to stop at the right point any more. So I started looking further afield. I realised quite quickly I didn’t need to invent anything. There are already a host of consumer games underway which I can take part in. Here are three of my favourites.

The Which? games

Championed by Which? the latest craze in customer experience is ‘beat the call centre’. Customers are encouraged to try various tactics to get past the dreaded IVR and talk to a person. A host of tips to ‘break the system’ have been submitted. They include:

–          ‘call the sales number’ – no-one gets turned away when they are a prospect it seems

–          stay silent and you get rerouted to an operator

–          calling from abroad so the international code overrides the IVR coding

It’s interesting how a poor customer experience can lead to such customer engagement to combat it.

And we can look to pure fun for the inspiration behind weq4umy favourite consumer solution in this space. Whenever I’ve been to a theme park with my family we’ve valued the time we have there so have opted to use the virtual queuing system. We are not taking anyone’s place in the queue because an electronic tag is queuing for us and telling us when it’s our turn to go on the ride. This means we can maximise our time elsewhere getting more out of the day – perfect.

WeQ4U has taken that example into the world of call centre waiting to find a way of minimising a less enjoyable experience. WeQ4U is an app that will step in for you and queue so you don’t have to. Taking the painful part of the interaction with your telco or utility provider away from you, but like the theme park queue-bots, it informs you when you need to step back in line. I wonder what the difference in Customer Satisfaction scores is between those who actually queue and those who virtual queue?

Instabug games

instabugConsumers like ‘smart’ solutions which help them have their say, get their way but don’t reshape their day. Another great example of this is a new ‘de-bugging’ app from Instabug which activates when you to shake your phone in frustration when an app doesn’t work and informing the makers.

A pair of 22-year-old Cairo University graduates behind Instabug designed the app to create a bug notification system for the app developers which is triggered when the device is physically shaken. “It really enables greater collaboration between developers and users. Now it’s fun to report bugs.”

A very low level co-creation experience but again it highlights consumers openness to ‘play the game’ under the right circumstances.

E.ON games

A much grander example is the E.ON initiative from last year. If you want to really see how much of a sport you can make your business E.ON prove you can go some way. It’s no secret that getting consumers engaged with ‘The Green Deal’ is a tough ask. So E.ON created a Channel 4 series ‘Home of the Future’ and invited a customer family to equip their house with all the latest energy saving devices to highlight how the savings outweighed the cost and make their lives better.

eonThis idea led to the E.ON innovations hub where customers were invited to get inventing new energy efficiency solutions. The competition ran last year and resulted in this gem of a grand final winner.

Steve McNair “Eon Care Sense – Technology Helps the aged and vulnerable” 

Steve McNair saw a role for E.ON in helping us all care for ageing or vulnerable people in their own homes. Smart sensors could detect unusual patterns of energy use (only usually thought about as a way to save money or energy) that might suggest a problem for that vulnerable person in the home, and alert family members or care workers. Simple but a stunning piece of customer gaming using a benefit of the technology it wasn’t intended for.

Whilst most look studiously at fixing customer experience, it’s worth remembering that the most effective relationships are those where the customer experience can be described as enjoyable. A failure or broken experience could lead to something amazingly good. It might seem like a tall ask for some sectors but E.ON prove you can get customers to engage. Let the customer games begin.

Posted by Christopher Brooks.

Lexden is a Customer Strategy Agency. We put customers at the start and the heart of the business strategy.

We work with brands to attract and retain happy customers. We achieve this by helping them to understand what makes their customers tick, building memorable customer experience strategies and creating engaging customer value propositions.

If you like what you’ve read sign-up to our ‘Putting Customers First’ Lexden newsletter.

For more information on how we can help you, contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com or call us on M: +44 (0) 7968 316548.  And you can follow us on LinkedIn Facebook and Twitter @consultingchris 

Best of ‘A Marketers Diary’ (December 2011)

Each day I capture an image of a piece of MarComms which has impressed me and stayed with me. With so many advertising messages out there, this might seem an easy thing to do. But unless comms ‘connect’ with consumers in their lives with messages relevant to their immediate or more long term motivations, you’d be surprised how many don’t stick. And as someone who has been involved from directing business strategy through to executing TV ads, it’s helped me understand further how to construct ads which make a lasting impact.

These monthly blogs contain three of the marcomms from my monthly diary which have made it to the final podium. There was some great stuff about, seasonal and otherwise. But, with Christmas in the month, it became clear to me from my consumption habits that from 24th to 28th December (when I came to London for a day out with my family) branded ads were not reaching me. The TV’s off, newspapers not read, no websites searched or emails scanned. In fact, beyond Fisher Price and Lego, not much did get through.

Below, is what did connect with me together with explanations why. Congrats to National Express East Anglia and Virgin Airlines.

BEST SEASONAL GREETING – Friday 16th December 

This is a service message about alterations to National Express East Anglia line over Christmas. It didn’t need any festive cheer, but some art worker has popped a little hat and some holly on the text. And what does it do? It puts a smile on your face. It doesn’t take much to turn a very flat flyer into an upbeat production. I’d go as far to say, and I am sure this wasn’t the master plan intention, it softens or even masks, the news about disruption. Christmas has a magical effect on all of us.

 BEST MEDIA PLACEMENT – Wed 28th December

We visited the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. And we also went to Zippo’s circus. It was great. Our 5 year old was in tears of laughter at the clowns, our one year old tapped along to the music and we were amazed by the contortionist and the high wire act. The big top and the unique signage created a strong brand message which rockets across the sky. And yet, when you look at the sign on the right you see a lead message ‘it’s warm inside’ – could that be the world’s biggest undersell? Or just a smart way to sell a few last minute seats motivating a different audience driver; survival in cold climates! Either way it got me chuckling, and that was enough (simple as I am) for me. Also I love the shape of the wording and the font of Zippo – so circus.

BEST PROMOTION – Wednesday 14th December 

Pret getting in on the festive cheer in a way much more impactful than a 50% off voucher and more immediate than a free ticket to Legoland.  saying merry Christmas with a simple satsuma; a traditional ‘luxury’ stocking gift. Not only did it feel nostalgic, but it felt personal too because every gift is individual.  Brilliant. I enjoyed mine and will think of Pret whenever I eat another. They’ve also moved up my preferred list of coffee shops too. So a sweet gesture could have a massive commercial advantage over time. And the sweet gesture also came with a 25p charitable donation from Pret to help the homeless over Christmas.

Posted by Christopher Brooks http://www.twitter.com/@consultingchris

Lexden is a marketing strategy agency which creates unordinary propositions to motivate customers and deliver commercial advantage for brands.

For more information on how we can help you, contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com or ajairanawat@lexdengroup.com, or call us on T: +44 (0)20 7490 9123. And you can follow us on Twitter @consultingchris.