Innovation & the Customer Experience Hand-in-Hand

In today’s consumer driven and increasingly digital marketing world, crafting an innovative and proactive customer experience is utterly necessary for long term success. We know, we’ve said that a million times now. But innovation in technology is making it easier for us retailers to do that. When done well, customer experiences can help companies build a loyal customer base, effective word of mouth advertising and help them position themselves to quickly react to changing market conditions.

Creating an Innovative Customer Experience

An innovative customer experience is a few things:

• It’s customer-driven and flexible
• The flow of information is two-way; management is fully aware of the customer’s desires and opinions
• Must be continually adapted to changing market and customer expectations

The customer experience today has to be full-spectrum and involve everything from purchases to complaint resolution procedures. Retailers cannot simply have a single department that focuses on improving the customer experience; it must extend that philosophy across the entire business. Again, we know we’ve said this before but we feel it’s worth repeating.

Costco has created an improved store-wide customer experience by optimizing self-service features to provide trouble-free and low cost services to customers. In this way, every level of service – from the initial selection of the product to final purchase and shipping – becomes part of a rewarding customer experience.

Creating an Exciting and Fulfilling Customer Experience

In order to remain competitive, the business must focus on an ongoing process of evaluating customer experience policies. This includes the usefulness of products or services, the responsiveness of customer service, and the ease with which the consumer can interact with the company.

Today, an integral part of a successful customer experience process is developing effective methods to interact online or via social media. This is especially true for younger consumers, who have come to expect fast and personalized online responses from company representatives.

Apple has developed an excellent synergy of online, product and store based processes to create an excellent customer experience. By doing so, the company has created a large and loyal customer base where other companies have failed to do so, even though their products are often technically equivalent to Apple’s.

Forging an effective customer experience is a core component of any successful corporate marketing strategy. By creating a flexible, two-way and satisfying customer experience, a business can help forge a loyal and vocal customer base.