Tag Archives: lexdengroup

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 

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The promotion that kicked the supermarket in the 50p’s

On Tuesday a colleague shared with me this Sainsbury’s internal poster asking staff to encourage customers to spend a further 50p per visit. So what? It’s no different to what any marketing department would consider, ‘how do we increase customer spend?’

What was unfortunate was that the ad meant for a staff room or back office ended up in a prime position in the shop’s front window. With the insatiable thirst of twitter for such mishap snacks, the poster may have only been up for a few seconds, but it’s now public for all eternity.

The only saving grace with social media is that no sooner is it posted, than the feeders move on. That is unless you have a canny, nimble and mischievous competitor who wants to squeeze a bit more fun/pain from it. So by Wednesday the same colleague had sent me this new ad from LiDL who have managed to poke fun and demonstrate their integrity credentials in one execution.

which are you

Every touch point reaffirms or destroys brand value that the business has invested in. Whilst LiDL’s ascends, Sainsbury’s declines.

To compete, you have to be quick and make the most of any opportunity. Obviously if you are shackled by regulation, such as the financial services sector, being this light of foot may be a challenge. But it’s a salient lesson to all marketers of how to get it wrong (by not managing the activation all the way through to conclusion) and how to get it wonderfully right (by being alert to what going on around you as well as within the business).

But the question is which of these situations do you associate with? Do you think your own company is more likely to faux pas or to capitalise on someone else’s mistake?

I’m sure we’d all like to think we’d be the LiDL on this one, but are a few of you probably thinking, ‘we are probably more likely to drop a ‘Sainsbury’s’ than activate a LiDL’. Something to ponder on.

If you are not sure, perhaps it’s time to review the effectiveness of your marketing resources and make sure they are all working towards the business objectives, set-up to exploit the potential of where your markets are heading and the experiences your customers will be making purchase and relationship decision based upon.

Should you be interested let me know, we help brands ensure their marketing resources are effectively organised and deployed.

Posted by Christopher Brooks

Lexden is a Customer Strategy Agency | We put customers at the heart of the marketing 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 experience strategies and creating engaging customer value propositions.

If you like what you’ve read please sign-up to our monthly ‘Putting Customers First’ newsletter. Or for further information contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com or call us on M: +44 (0) 7968 316548. You can also follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter or read case client studies at at www.lexdengroup.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unordinary Thinking No.39: Finding a Fix for the Forces Finances

I was recently chairing a session at the CrossMedia 2013 conference at London’s Design Centre. The main attraction on my watch was a case study from thereadingroom, the digital activation agency. The case in question was for Moneyforce, a financial education website aimed at helping members of the armed forces personnel improve their financial literacy.

Having read the presentation in advance I was impressed with what had been achieved. The site had been developed to help members of the armed forces personnel become better equipped with money management. Unlike most, given the nature of their employment, the armed forces find themselves between not needing that much money for themselves when on active duty to having a few thousands pounds in their account when they are on leave which then needs to last for the period of the leave, and beyond for their dependents when they return to active duty. Those who don’t manage this situation well often suffer from stress.

moneyfacts

Most financial advice served up to this audience isn’t tailored. Given the size of this diverse group with different levels of attainment and experience, mass financial brands can’t sustain specificity of focus.

But this dedicated site is built around armed forces segment personas which enables visitors to recognise themselves and their financial behavior. This gives the visitor confidence in the advice that is provided, so they are more inclined to follow it through.

The MOD had identified that the number one cause of non-military stress is finances and financial education is often blamed. They needed to do something about it. http://www.moneyforce.org.uk is the result. It seems pretty simple when put like that. But it was only when I met with speaker Jamie Griffiths, Divisional Head at Readingroom beforehand did I fully appreciate just how unordinary an outcome like this being achieved really is.

Whilst the problem was identified by the MOD, it would be fair to say that a detailed ‘customer segment’ solution would not be an approach they have the capacity or funds to achieve given the stretch on budgets and the myriad of other military related challenges on the MOD’s agenda. But that’s exactly what has been achieved.

So how did the ‘top down’ brief end up with detailed customer-centric approach?
The MOD couldn’t achieve this on their own. It was only when an ex-employee started work with Standard Life did they become aware of the CSR focus of the life and protection giant. Funds are built up from policies which have matured but a recipient can not be traced. Standard Life directs these funds towards projects which make a positive impact on society. Recognising the impact of ‘personalised’ financial advice versus a broadcast message, they agreed to fund a more committed approach.

rachel

With this backing, it led to the inclusion of The Royal British Legion who specialise in providing financial assistance and support to the armed forces and are always looking at ways to cost effectively reach their audiences. So they had the content as well as the ear of appropriate supporters such as Dame Kelly Holmes.Readingrooms were the last piece of the jigsaw. Their digital specialty is online user experience. So they spent time with military personnel understanding their specific circumstances and with the RBL matching this to the right advice. This got them to the point of developing several personas, enough for anyone in the armed forces to relate to. Being specialists in experience they also recognised the subtleties of colour choice for a sight which would be aimed at the RAF, Navy and Army alike.So the personas matched the targeted content, providing a specific and relevant content experience for the user and their unique circumstance.

This to me is a great example of a strategic partnership where every party has a differing agenda, which independently they will achieve in an adequate, but probably unsatisfying way. But when they come together they achieve so much more which they can all be proud of and exceeds their individual expectations. And it is this collaboration which is unordinary in its concept and brilliant in its execution.

The evidence of the performance is in the stats Readingroom shared on the day of the event.

More impressive is the type of feedback achieved from site visitors. which demonstrates it’s adding real value to those lives it was intended to make better:

“The information is aimed at young people who perhaps haven’t had a proper wage before. I fall into that category” – Infantry soldier

“I think the information is engaging using real life examples made the issue of personal finance reflective” – Armed welfare officer

Posted by Christopher Brooks, Director, Lexden

Lexden is a Customer Strategy Agency | We put customers at the start and the heart of marketing 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 please sign-up to our monthly ‘Putting Customers First’ newsletter.Or for a discussion on how we may be able to help you, contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com or call us on M: + 44 (0)7968 316548.  You can also follow us on LinkedIn Facebook  and Twitter @consultingchris

Have customers finally found their voice?

According to a customer channel report from Fisher Hedges, when it comes to customers having a voice, over 2/3rds believe social media is a channel which allows them to really get their voice heard, ahead of the call centre.

The report also highlights that consumers, of all ages, are turning to this channel to report gripes and steep praise. Having read the report on Friday, I considered where I might find examples to back this up. I only needed to wait until I had a conversation with my stepfather on Sunday. He gifted me two ideal examples, illustrating the point that social media is a more powerful channel than others when it comes to getting a business to take action on behalf of the consumer.

Tesco – Socially Responsive

My stepfather replayed to me how Tesco responded brilliantly to his recent concern that there is collusion in petrol pricing from town to town. He’d noticed that the petrol where he lives is 5p more expensive than that in the next town.

petrol

He picked on Tesco, because he found their two stations and could compare the prices. He sent a message socially on the subject to Tesco. Within 15 minutes this resulted in a phone call from Tesco (on a Saturday night) about the issue. The Tesco rep explained the reason was driven by competition at a local level. Unhappy with the response he requested a more senior investigation. By Tuesday he’d received a letter with more a detailed explanation of the point from a senior rep. During our conversation his focus shifted from the petrol issue to how amazed he was at the speed and the personalisation of the response after his social bark. Tesco definitely went up in his estimation. And although he didn’t mention it to me, they’d managed to make his public display private.

As an aside, I found a website called http://www.petrolprices.com/ where you can make you own comparisons. I found the variance between petrol prices in our town and the next, four miles away, is actually 7p on petrol and 5p on diesel. It pays to drive around!

Everyone Active (except the customer experience team)

My stepfather also mentioned an on-going issue he is having with Everyone Active (the gym company who manage local government facilities). They seem to let their customers down at every conceivable point. From broken disabled shower facilities, to taking money from customers for a public swim when the pool is booked for a private session, the list goes on…

He attends two or three times a week, so a social media rant would seem unnecessary when he can speak to them face-to-face. As a voice of one, with no one listening in, he tells them of the problems each time he uses the facilities. But the conversation is always the same…

  • He lists the problems still outstanding.
  • Their initial response is: ‘we know’.
  • When challenged as to what they will do about it, the response is: ‘the person who does that is back tomorrow. We will tell them’.
  • When challenged with the comment that it needs immediate attention, the more senior response is: ‘we know that needs fixing. Rest assured we will get on to it very soon’.

But like a scene from Groundhog Day, the problem is there when he returns each time and so the conversation begins again.

It shows the power of customer voice where people are listening versus an intimate conversation. Even though from the brand’s perspective, the intimate conversation is more considerate to them. BT Care get this…

btcare

BT – Social Care 

I’m a big fan of straight talking Warren Buckley of BT Care. I’ve seen him speak using a live twitter feed playing behind him. Brave – he informs the audience what’s happening and why on screen, while explaining that social media is the customer service tool at BT Care. He understands why social media has become more important, as he states: “One person with no ‘followers’ can very quickly become 10,000 people”.

All of which gives credibility to the change I believe will come as analysts find their feet with ‘big data’ – a shift from valuing customers based on their commercial contribution to their ‘Brand Impact’ (BI = combination of social media reach, impact of message, advocacy and contribution).

Klout already allows individuals to see the value of their ‘social voice’ online. Whilst I mighkloutt argue that the algorithms are not yet sophisticated enough, I can’t deny the concept is a strong and interesting one.

Appending BI scores to customer segments would change the way brands engage with customers altogether. It’s still an unordinary thought, but one I see getting more airtime as social media becomes more mainstream. If brands move to appending BI scores, social media will be encouraged as a primary means by which customers can interact with them. In turn that will evolve our definition of what social media is. And so on.

What I have learnt

The key take out for me is that the complainant has found a way to jump the queue as social media, as a means to gripe, grows in popularity. So brands and businesses must learn how to manage the impact and coordinate responses across their channels. For further clues on how to do this see Warren Buckley speak, follow @BTCare, or have a chat with my stepfather when he’s not having his say socially.

Posted by Christopher Brooks, Director, Lexden

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 please sign-up to our monthly ‘Putting Customers First’ newsletter.

For a discussion on how we may be able to help you, contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com or call us on M: +44 (0) 7968 316548. You can also follow us on LinkedIn Facebook and Twitter @consultingchris