Saturday, 20 October 2012

Designing the Customer Experience - Capital Ideas

A little while ago, I was flattered to be invited as a panelist to the Capital Ideas event (for the Edmonton Journal) called "How Do I Design a Great Customer Experience?" along with Kirsten Proulx and Jason Suriano!  It was an awesome experience and so much fun, so I wanted to share some of the key takeaways with you!

What's the most important thing you've learned about designing a customer experience?

  • The customer experience begins before the customer even enters the store. -Kirsten
  • Ensure you greet the customer -Kirsten
  • Anything you can do to make shopping easy and exciting for the customer will really enhance their experience -Melissa
  • If the product isn't acceptable to my team, then I won't bring it to the end user. -Jason
  • I play the role of customer for my team. -Jason
    • Tweet: @ABCraftAlert: Customer service starts before your customer even comes in the door - displays, signage, making experience easy to navigate #capitalideas
    • Tweet: @Randwulven: #capitalideas If you don't enjoy the experience, why would your customer? @jasonsuriano
    • Tweet: @_SoleRevival: Make it easy and enjoyable for people: Put natural "go with" items together on the floor - you said it, Melissa! Great tip. #capitalideas

Examples of a great customer experience

  • Teamwork, consistency, branding, and environment help to create a great customer experience.
    • Tweet: @ABCraftAlert: Inspire the customer and get them excited about the product. Then mix that with the store owners passion for the product #capitalideas

Dealing with "problematic customers"

  • When a customer comes to you with a problem, be grateful that they've provided you with the opportunity to fix that issue. -Melissa
  • "I'll often ask my team; so what did we do wrong?" -Jason
  • A customer complaint can hurt because it's something you want to do well and take pride in, but I'm glad that the customer acknowledged the problem -Kirsten
    • Tweet: @RyanGJMcGregor: Upset clients are not an imposition... They are an opportunity! #capitalideasYEG
    • Tweet: @ABCraftAlert: There is no such thing as a bad customer. It's an opportunity to be a problem solver #capitalideas It's bad when you don't hear from them

Applying lessons from past to present

  • There are two types of customers in the restaurant industy; the kind that wants you there all the time as a part of the experience and the kind that wants you to be invisible.  That directly applies to what I do now. -Jason

How do you motivate your sales staff?

  • Treat your employees the way you want them to treat your customers. -Melissa
  • Personally tell your employees that they're doing a great job. -Melissa
  • I wouldn't inflict straight commission on my employees. -Kirsten
  • The customers generally always come back if you provide them with a great experience. -Kirsten

The "treasure hunt" method of shopping

  • The "treasure hunt" method of shopping does not work for everyone. -Melissa
  • We have a baby boom in Alberta right now, so be sure to accomodate strollers and busy moms! -Melissa

Measuring the effectiveness of your customer experience tactics

  • We watch to see if product sales change when displays change. -Kirsten
  • The more sales you can track, the better. What can your POS system do? -Melissa
  • Measuring customer responses has gone even more high tech than A-B testing.  We're using the gaming piece as an analytics tool. -Jason

The takeaway - What others had to say

  • A "bad" customer is your best customer -Terry
  • Responding to complaints online shows that you care -Terry
  • Accept who your customer is and go with it -Tema
  • Don't make assumptions about your customer, find out what's important to them -Tema
  • From a retail standpoint, subtle changes in how you merchandise your products made huge differences at the till -Kyle
  • If you have go-with items with a product it makes the shopping experience easier and quick for people -Kyle
Want to see more?  Have a look at some event photos on the Capital Ideas flickr page!  You can also read all of the tweets associated with #CapitalIdeas on the Storify page!  Would you like to hear more from Capital ideas and the panelists on Twitter?  Follow @CapitalIdeasYEG @FlourishDesignM @Henrys_PFT and @jasonsuriano by clicking on their links!

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