by Chris McNeil
When I opened my first iPhone box, I was delighted. Here was a package that didn't require a knife or scissors to it rip apart. Instead, it demonstrated deeper levels of thoughtful design by gently unfolding to a neatly designed interior. The shapes pleased my eyes.
How does your organization "unbox"?
Apple helped create a trend in unboxing experiences by extending optimized customer experience outward. They even have a "secret unboxing room."
Extended experience applies to small businesses as well as design leader behemoths like Apple. I used to frequent a wine shop in downtown Charleston. Jack, the owner, seemed to greatly enjoy leading me along a continuum of wines to try. He was clearly interested in my having a great experience with the wines he sold. The unsolicited education about wines I got there made me want to bring my business to him even though I could have purchased elsewhere for less.
Effective marketing is no longer just about attaching good feelings to a product. Now the way to carve out distinctive advantage is by creating great experiences for customers at every point of contact coupled with media systems to share them with the marketplace.
Do you know what feelings you want people to associate with your company? How closely does the experience of the customer match that? What feedback loops do you have in place to reinforce and guide the creation of great experiences?
What would be different with an optimized program to lead your customers to great experiences to the highest level?
As a way of calibrating where your company is perceived and clearing a path to more great customer experiences, I offer this 5-step model of mission centeredness.
Each higher level leads to a further expansion of consciousness and creates more differentiation.
Advancing through the levels doesn't mean you lose the benefits of the previous levels. Rather, they amplify the power of the other levels.
If a customer enjoys interacting with your company at every stage, they'll enjoy the product or service more by the association with an organization that connects with their values.
Level One: Pure Profit Focus
Here the leadership of the organization is centered on the results for the company and its shareholders only. Decisions are made purely from the perspective of what will result in the highest profits.
Level Two: Product/Service Focus
With a product/service focus, the intent is on creating a better mousetrap, relative to the other mousetraps on the marketplace. The ad copy speaks of and shines a light on how wonderful the product or service is.
Level Three: Benefit of Product/Service Center
What does the product or service actually do for people? Are you selling the drill bit or the hole? The car takes somebody out of his immediate neighborhood so he can check out the surrounding countryside. It also frees up his family from having to live in the city.
Level Four: The Feelings Associated with the Benefit
Ferrari speaks of the passion of its cars: the. feeling of freedom of driving a convertible through the countryside on a beautiful spring day with the wind in the hair. The sense of the benefits provided shifts from the logical and rational to the emotional. The logical reasons are still there, but people make decisions based on emotion and just need the logical reasons to back them up.
Level Five: The Best Feelings to be had from Every Touch Point with the Company
It's not only the use of the product or service you sell that offers an opportunity to create great feelings in your customers. Every interaction your customer or prospect has with your company offers the ability to create great feelings in them. So, having a map of customer contacts that extends all the way to the first interaction can illuminate creating the fuller experience.
Things you can do:
How to create the kind of culture that makes this happen? Learn more at Pensarc.com.
Reprinted with permission from the longer version of the blog at The Mental Game of Business.
Chris McNeil has won multiple innovation awards for web applications, is the founder of Pensarc Marketing and the creator of the e-Merg program that combines digital marketing with customer touch point optimization and team alignment.