Customer expectations continue to rise every year that goes by. "I want more for less" or "I want it right now", are just 2 of the many examples of these expectations. In an effort to cut through all the "complexity" of customers and their expectations we can explore expected vs unexpected customer experience.
What does this mean? It's a super simple concept probably best described by an example. For all those Retail Landlords out there, here's an everyday example for you. Let's call the customer Mary Flossy. Mary Flossy expects to be able to find a parking spot in a reasonable time frame, to be able to easily find key parts of the shopping centre and that the escalators and lifts (almost all landlords fail with lifts) are working and arrive in a timely manner. Mary also expects the floors and bathrooms to be clean, the lights to be on and the aircon to be appropriate for whatever the weather has to throw at a particular day. Super simple right? (ask Landlords - some of these aren't always simple). These types of experiences resonate in the unconscious mind. If these thing work (or are as they should be), people don't give a hoot, if these things don't work, it triggers pain and/or dissatisfaction. An old mentor of ours use to call this type of experience, "the ticket to play".
Unexpected Customer Experiences are where the magic happens and usually will resonate in the conscious mind. Again for Landlords (Retailers, there are hundreds of examples relevant to you too!) examples can involve "activations" in the mall areas. Examples would be the Coca Cola "label your name" pop-ups that had queues lining up for miles. It can be a team member carrying bags to the car for a customer. It can also include giving a customer a bonus of sorts. This could mean an (unexpected) additional 30 minutes parking for free during off peak periods. When we think about some of the businesses in the world who best deliver unexpected customer experiences - Walt Disney World and Disneyland come to mind.
In our next article we are going to talk about measurable strategies to build value from these types of experiences. And share some ridiculously good examples....
Till next time.