Thursday, 31 January 2013

8 core trends in Customer Experience for 2013

The Customer Experience

At the last TACK conference we had the pleasure of hearing one of the country's experts in the Customer Experience , Gillian James from TMI UK.

Gilliam James of TMI  in full flow
 I took some notes of her brilliant presentation and have made some reflections of my own to what Gillian brought to us .

Take a look at an Apple store and although it will still have Harry Selfridge’s edict about let the customer 'touch' and 'experience the stock' unlike the  Edwardian store they have done away with the cash till.

The thinking being “ Why do we need a checkout ? A checkout adds no value”

We have returned to a world where we are allowing the customer to buy emotionally. It’s all about 'love' as Gillian of TMI says.

Well that may be fine for retail but what’s that got to do with B2B?

Here are some thoughts:-

·       Relationships are even more important in B2B because as often as not we are charging a price premium.

·       The commercial world is blurring distinctions between customer, consumers. There is a an invisible connectivity going on.

·       Our company’s need to be less ‘corporate’  and appeal to people more.

·       Clients are demanding a full end to end experience. How Amazon delivers and services complaints is as important as just having the stock at a price.

·       Business has more stakeholders and they have much more knowledge

·       Business is more competitive.

·       Customers are looking increasingly for thought leadership.

Apple don’t benchmark against others in their own industry but rather compared against Four seasons and their Genius bar.

The devil is in the detail.

Evening unwrapping the packaging is designed as an experience.

There has been a move away from pay wall , charging for licencing to taste and see for free. Look at the approaches of Software companies such as Mail Chimp, Base camp etc.

Typical spectrum of responses to recession

Recession and the new normal has also seen changes in markets  such as grocery. According to Kantar Worldpanel (30th Jan 2013)

The high end quality Waitrose growth of 8 %  4.6% market share and the lower end  value  LIDL 10%  growth market share 2.7% have done best recently and the bigger boys not so well e.g. TESCO still 30.4% market share in the last three months but a growth of only  3.3%.

Gillian gave us 8 trends to look out for in 2013 /4

I have changed her model into an octagon so let's see how the trends roll !

1. Rise in Community

Have you noticed how stores are changing. There are becoming a space within the neighbourhood. Not only a store for whatever but a coffee shop.

This estate agent make is front of house
 look like a wine bar or restaurant


This estate agent has made their office
 front look like a drawing room

2. Importance of Peers

Some of us could spend 2 1/2 hours planning a trip but much of the time is now reading reviews by peers and following their recommendations.
Crowd sourcing is also to be seen other industries

In finance there is now over £0.25 BILLION lent in unsecured loans  in this way.

3. Co-creation

Customers are now involved in the creation of product. For example airline KLM got customer to suggest sandwich fillings for flights.

Sainsbury responded to a letter from a child quote wrote in asking why their Tiger bread was so called when it looked like the coat of a giraffe. The subsequently renamed it Giraffe bread ( formally known as Tiger bread)

4. By People

Customers want to relate and by related to by people even at web site. They want to feel they are dealing with a human being. We need to move away from impersonal corporate speak.

5. Transparency

Customers are demanding straight forward transparency. So MacDonald's now declare how many calories in a their burgers.
They expect Coffee stores to contribute to Corporation tax.
They dislike complicated tariff pricing for phones, texts etc.

6. Newism

We all like new !

7. Kindness- my cuppa tea

Random acts of kindness work.

Random acts of kindness can help businesses grow in surprising ways.

On the above link Peter Day talks with one woman who explains how the generosity of others has made all the difference to her company. Henrietta Lovell, the Rare Tea Lady, started her firm just before becoming seriously ill.
Through the kindness of strangers she has managed to return to health and run a prosperous company. She is now a great advocate for spreading the idea that kind gestures are an important force in the way we conduct our personal and professional lives.

8. Imagination

Use your customer’s imagination. The big idea that will revolutionise your market space is already in your customers’ minds. All you need to do is empathise — see the world and imagine the future through your customers’ eyes.

Related Links:
TMI   http:/

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