Tag Archives: unordinarythinking

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 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Christmas 2013 ‘Customer Experience’ Crackers

Like many I decided to switch off and enjoy the recent Christmas festivities with my family and left my work behind. Those who know me will know that whilst a worthy ambition, it’s usually compromised. However, this year I did it!

I spent two weeks with the family. But what that meant is that I also spent two weeks as a consumer, without my Lexden Customer Experience Strategist hat on.

cracker

As a consumer I found dozens of interactions which made me feel warmer or colder towards the brands I engaged with and subsequently more or less likely to use them again. So whilst I wasn’t strictly working, I did capture a few of the best and worst experiences (see also My Christmas 2013 ‘Customer Experience’ Turkeys blog) to provide you with inspiration and ideas for your own CX programmes.

Here’s my three favourite Christmas Crackers delivering the gift of a great branded experience which will live on long after the decorations have come down. Loving…

myringgo2MyRingGo | My wife, my two young boys and I planned a trip to see the Snowman at the Peacock theatre. Travelling in on the train we arrived at the station car park. We realised we had no change! Ahhhh. Then I noticed a sticker on the car park machine offering a phone service to buy a ticket. With a low level of faith in customer friendly mobile payments from experience, I was sceptical. But hat’s off to MyRingGo. I called and within two minutes the automated service had texted me confirmation that my parking ticket had been purchased. All for a supplement of just 20p on the ticket. The message also told me it would take just 30 seconds next time now they have my details (ensuring a repeat purchase).

But the real magic came when 10 minutes before the ticket expired I received a reminder and options to extend the ticket. Having been caught out before by traffic wardens, this was a revelation – a real customer advantage of the mobile over cash.

jlpJohn Lewis | Like most I could default to John Lewis to buy all Christmas goods, including alarm clocks, bears and hares. At the Bluewater shopping centre store John Lewis had managed to spill the TV ad out across the store. With a looping Lily Allen version of a Keane track and TV screens playing the ad it couldn’t be missed. And surprisingly not that nauseating. We then came across a wonderful experiential version of the ad in the store. The children out shopping with their parents were captivated, almost as much as the parents were!

premier innPremier Inn | We travelled to Staffordshire to see family and found the most convenient hotel was the Premier Inn. Given the low price I set my expectations low. But that was unnecessary, it was just fine. The most impressive proposition was a ‘silent please’ family ground floor. As a family we were put on this floor and asked to ‘Shhhhh’ between 7pm and 10am. Having stayed in hotels when our children were babies and been woken by guests not unreasonably chatting in the corridors at not unreasonable times, this idea is helpful when settling children for the night.

But it was the lovely touch of an extra spy hole for children on the door which I felt added fun to the experience. It was something for the kids which proved a great novelty.

A great and relatively low cost addition to reinforce the ‘family floor’ proposition.

These brands have created a positive association (which could lead to incremental spend) with me their customer. The John Lewis example demonstrating how to optimise the value of your traditional TV advertising, and Premier Inn highlighting how a well thought through integrated proposition works.

It would be good to think all brands are pushing forward in this way. But I have also written a blog on ‘My Christmas 2013 Customer Experience Turkeys’ suggesting some have quite a way to go!

We collect customer experience examples. If you’ve come across any which have amazed or impressed you, please forward them to me at christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com. We will periodically post and link them to you and your company.

Posted by Christopher Brooks

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 sign-up to our free 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 316548You can also follow us on LinkedIn Facebook and Twitter @consultingchris

The great customer experience practitioners know their place

Karl Albrecht, said “If you’re not serving the customer, you’d better be serving someone who is”. As one of the top ten richest men in the world and CEO of ALDI, he’s well qualified to comment on the importance of putting customer centricity at the top of the corporate agenda. He’s also a great role model for the commercial advantage of such a mission.

Putting the customer at the start and the heart of business strategy is something we at Lexden are committed to. Which means helping everyone involved in client commissions understand the following:

1) who the customer really is

2) helping the ‘back office’ understand their impact on the ‘front office’ customer experience

car hirePoint 1 may seem obvious, but when you think about where a hire company asks you to return a car, (typically their office) ask yourself is that at your convenience or theirs? It feels like they see the car as the one to look after.

A similar occurrence happens with some utility companies. Many in these business’ will claim because they have a legal obligation to tend to a meter, even if the user (what we might call the consumer) abandons it then that is their customer. This gets very complicated when it comes to customer experiences like moving home! When the customer moves home they can receive a communication saying ‘sorry you’ve left us’, when all they thought they were doing was moving down the road!

Point 2 is trickier and requires an expert stakeholder management approach. This primarily focuses on finding a common objective for those close to the customer and those a step or two away. An advanced technique is to create customer as a common currency. A broadband provider trade in NPS points internally. So ops know what 5 pts NPS means on their resources, as does the CFO on profitability, as does the brand manager on share of market.

The other way is to highlight to the back office operators the impact it has on customers. Bringing these observations (ideally through VoC verbatim or call recordings) to life really helps to hammer home the point.

Xerox has produced a great set of b2b ads which reinforce the point that a business is in business to meet its customers needs, not to do the back office stuff. This ancillary requirement comes as part of running a business but it’s irrelevant to customers. Xerox put it as follows, we get on with the stuff that keeps you from doing what you should be doing which is providing products and services which make customers lives better.

michellin manThe series also includes equally amusing ads for Ducatti. The insight I believe is a strong one and highlights why business’ do lose touch with their customers. 

We’ve often said every decision can be measured against the question, ‘is it taking us towards out customer vision?’ If the answer is yes then that must mean it’s a) better for customers b) sustainable for the business c) differentiating for the brand d) motivating for employees and e) operationally viable. Keep it commercial and you stand a chance of keeping customer on the agenda.

So as you see, it’s critical to put the customer at the heart of the decision-making, Otherwise CX improvements tend to be bias towards the improvement areas of those sitting round the table – especially as there can be several interpretations of who a customer is.

Posted by Christopher Brooks

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 316548You can also follow us on LinkedIn Facebook and Twitter @consultingchris