In 1998, Joseph Pine and James Gilmore coined the term ‘the experience economy’ to describe the next economic evolution after the agrarian, industrial and service economies. They suggest it’s no longer enough merely to provide a service to your clients. The bar has been raised and now the advantage lies in creating memorable experiences.
In Josh Linkner’s brilliant book, The Road to Reinvention, he describes seven steps you can take to create sensational experiences. Employ these experience steps to build customer loyalty and boost your business.
1 Map touch points
What are the myriads of ways that customers come in contact with you? Map this! For instance, how do you present yourself on Linked In or in person at a networking event? And, on social media, on your website and via your business cards?
2 Review current
Then, make an assessment about each one based on the five senses of see, hear, feel, smell and taste. For instance, your business cards… Are they stunning to look at and delicious to touch? Does the audio on your home page video include music or just voice? And, the coffee and food you serve at your networking event worth driving across town for?
3 Tackle one
Now pick one. That’s right, just one. Ideally, pick a simple and easy one to start with. Explore it, tease it, brainstorm it and create a list of innovative things you could to revolutionize it so that it becomes an sensory experience.
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Given you have one great idea already, let’s build on this. Take the idea from the previous step (3) and see if you can translate to other touchpoints. For instance, if you’ve just printed some new business cards with a finger-orgasm texture, then look for ways to use this elsewhere – perhaps a visual on your website or the background to your social media profiles.
5 Plan more
Next, we want to create ideas throughout your business. Create a system for collecting cool ideas and a plan for implementing them. Be steady and consistent and listen for your customers to notice and comment. Also, create a plan for when things go wrong and they inevitably will. Identify the possible disasters and how you might correct for this when it occurs.
6 Surprise me!
As you build your customer experiences keep your eyes open for ways to surprise and delight your customers. It might be a little gift, a little personality in your emails or even a thank you they didn’t expect. Have fun surprising and delighting your customers!
One of the keys to growing your business is to continue growing, exploring and changing things. Create a system for your experiences to find out what works, how to deliver it with the minimum effort and repeat it for every single customer. This might include a way to capture customer comments as crucial feedback and to celebrate your small moments of sweet success.
To tune your mind into exquisite experiences spoil yourself with a trip to a café or restaurant. Notice what works, what doesn’t and what you would do differently. Then apply this thinking to your business. Even better partner with a colleague and enjoy this together.
Love to hear what you learn! Leave a comment below.