The other day, I visited IKEA to buy furniture for a new home. I had the usual experience, a lot of pushing too-heavy carts and fumbling my way through their warehouse vortex. As I was leaving the store, I noticed a little pedestal next to the exit that had four faces on it with four buttons below and one simple question, “How was your experience today?”  The faces showed varying degrees of emotion, from contentment to disappointment to anger. I tapped the smiling one because I was happy with my experience that day and most of my frustrations just had to do with the sheer amount of stuff I had to purchase.

In pressing that button, I participated in IKEA’s drive to create a memorable customer experience by capturing immediate customer feedback. Customer Experience (or CX) should not be confused with customer service. According to Steven MacDonald from*, customer service is comprised of the single interactions with a brand, while CX includes both customer service and “impacts feelings and emotion and encompasses the entire customer journey.”  IKEA was interested in creating a customer experience and they wanted to make sure that they had delivered. If my kids had been with me, I may have pressed the exhausted mother button, which makes this a very brave thing to have at the exit of any store, but consumer opinion is nonetheless important.

CX is built on the idea of creating relational experiences more than just transactional ones. Giving your consumers a personalized experience of ease and consistency with your brand can lead to an overall increase in customer loyalty. Businesses that want to be successful in 2020 by maintaining their customer base must combine the efficiency of big business with the personalization of a small business.

Furthermore, customers are even more likely to spend money on a product with a higher price tag if it means a higher quality CX in the long term. This alone should get businesses thinking. If consumers are willing to part with their hard-earned cash, then we know that these personalized ad meaningful interactions must be really important to them.

So, how can you ensure that your customers are receiving not only high-quality customer service, but also an experience associated with your brand?  Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Understand your target market and create an emotional connection with them. It is vital that you really understand the needs, wants, and expectations of your customer base before embarking on your marketing journey.
  2. Create a vision. Work with your marketing team to create an overall vision of your brand and be sure to consider how you want customers to feel about their experience with your business. If you don’t yet have a marketing team, the professionals at Pickett and Associates are available to help you with this important step!
  3. Capture feedback in real time. The simple survey at the exit after my IKEA visit is a great example of capturing feedback just as the consumer has completed their experience with your brand. Surveys that customers receive over the phone or in their email inbox after an interaction with the customer service team are effective as well. Listen to their feedback, don’t be afraid to hear criticism, make changes, and keep customers in the loop.
  4. Take into account employee feedback. Your employees are the face of your business, and if they have specific concerns or needs, make sure that you listen and act if necessary. Keeping employees happy is always a great way to ensure that your customers are receiving high quality service and therefore an excellent experience with your brand.

Ensure your company’s success this year by really paying attention to the journey each consumer may be having with your business. If you need advice or would like to increase your company’s marketing potential, please give the team at Pickett and Associates a call!

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