Q: “What did you do this weekend that was amazing?”
When you answered this did you:
a) answer with a material purchase?
or did you
b) answer with something experiential?
If you answered your internal dialogue with “b” then congratulations are in order. Research by Gilovich & Kumar (Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 2015) would suggest that these experiences would endow you with more happiness than those that answered “a”. Indeed a recent study by Jia Wei Zhang from Berkeley with the short title “Damned if they do, damned if they don’t: Material buyers are not happier from material or experiential consumption”, points out that even materialistic personality traits are not satisfied by material purchases.
Smug points all round for those of you who answered “b”, and while you wallow in the self-appreciative glow about how non-materialistic you are, ask yourself these two questions:
1. How does this play out for organisations that are in the business of selling products?
2. How do you turn an ostensibly material purchase into an experience?
We would suggest that the only true ways to make a product sale an experience is through the environment with which it is viewed and more importantly through the interaction customers have with your employees. Environment gets you so far but great personalised customer service is the thing that differentiates product into experience.
To give you an example of this, let us look at mobile phones. That piece of technology that your life has become dependant on is just a product. Yes it is useful, and yes it does have more processing power than the Apollo 13 shuttle, but it is still a product.
However, why does a potentially technically inferior product like the iPhone 6 outsell the Samsung Galaxy S6 to such a degree? The environments are the same, beautifully shiny and well laid out, indeed even the phones are similar to look at. It is our view that the reason for the sales difference is that the “product” has moved to a well-executed experience at an Apple Store, creating a cult following. Don’t believe us? Then answer this; do you know what the equivalent of the Apple Genius bar is at Samsung?
If you share our obsession with creating a customer experience that differentiates product into experience then do get in touch, we have a unique way of helping connect your people to what your brand promises your customers.
If this is not enough of an incentive then perhaps these stats will help:
“Almost 9 out of 10 consumers say they would pay more to ensure a superior customer experience” – Customer Experience Impact Report by Harris Interactive/RightNow, 2010
“80% of CEOs believe they deliver a superior customer experience, but only 8% of their customers agree.” – Bain & Company “Closing the delivery gap”,2005
“54% of consumers shared bad experiences with more than 5 people, and 33% shared good experiences with more than 5 people” – Dimensional Research “A Survey of customer service from Mid-sized companies” ,2013
“61% of customers have left a high street store after poor customer service from staff” – Serco customer experience report, 2014
“71% of customers want store staff to be engaging and knowledgeable about products” – Serco customer experience report, 2014