Businesses are always competing for customer retention and acquisition. You must be too, but mere good quality products and affordable pricing are now not enough to cut through the noise of competition and stop customer churn. You need to ensure you’re offering a distinguished customer experience (CX).
Now, CX plainly means how a customer feels when interacting with a brand or buying its product. But to offer a distinguished CX, you need to be customer-focused, your product must offer tangible value, and people should be able to find your product with ease. You also need to facilitate personalized and smooth interaction between your brand and customers across various touchpoints.
Wondering how you’d do that? Worry not, we’ve curated a list of stellar customer experiences offered by different brands and the best practices you can learn from them.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
Example 1: Coca Cola boosts customer engagement via an integrated omnichannel campaign
In 2011, Coca Cola launched its “Share a Coke” campaign in Australia and added the phrase “Share a Coke with”, followed by a popular name on bottle wrappings. People had to find the coke bottle with the name they connected with and share their experiences on social media with the #ShareaCoke tag and their photos.
The campaign was a huge success and expanded every year. Coca Cola ended up doing a 500-stop cross-country “Share a Coke” tour, inspiring fans to customize their mini cans and share a coke with someone special.
In 2018, the company turned its name labels into removable stickers that could be put on clothes, mobile phones, notebooks, etc. The campaign continued to grow with “Share a Coke pop-up kiosks” across Australia where people could personalize their free (up to two) 250ml cans.
Consumers showing off their coke bottles with names they resonated with (Source)
The result: With the campaign, Coca Cola claimed a 0.4 % increase in sales volumes for 12 weeks through 2014. The brand witnessed a 2.5 % boost in sales dollars after more than 10 years of steady decline.
What worked: Coca Cola transformed the simple activity of drinking a beverage into a highly personalized and memorable experience. The shared experience people had added an emotional connection too.
Example 2: Employee satisfaction helps Southwest Airlines extend a positive experience to fliers
Back in 2011, a man booked a last-minute flight to Denver to visit his two-year-old grandson who was about to be put off the ventilator. The man reached the airport to find a long, slow security line and feared he might miss the flight. When he told his wife about it, she called the Southwest Airlines customer service and explained the whole situation. The customer service informed the pilot to hold the plane until that person arrived. (Source)
Here’s another example: a Southwest Airlines passenger was concerned about an endless line to rebook another flight to Denver. Instead, a Southwest agent handed the passenger a ticket for the next available connecting flight right at the gate. (Source)
Southwest Airlines crew (Source)
The result: Such customer-centric acts of Southwest Airlines employees have earned the company a reputation for stellar customer service and support. The airliner’s empathetic and motivated staff win customers’ hearts for the brand.
What worked: Southwest Airlines have been known to take care of their employees and keep them motivated. They believe happy employees go the extra mile to serve their customers, which yields satisfied, loyal, and repeat customers.
Example 3: IKEA uses social listening to tap into customer wishes
IKEA stumbled upon the Facebook fan group called “I want to have a sleepover in IKEA” in 2011. The brand leveraged the opportunity to understand customers’ emotions and hosted “The Big Sleepover” campaign.
They chose 100 random winners for a sleepover in their Essex showroom in the U.K. These 100 people got to personalize their experience by selecting mattresses and pillows from the catalog. They received sleepover gift bags, dinner from IKEA cafe, free massages, entertainment, and advice from a hired sleep expert! The brand promoted this initiative on social media and later scaled it to other countries as well.
In 2019, IKEA ran a similar campaign but this time it called it the “Wake Up with IKEA” competition. Customers had to tell in up to 25 words why they want a better night’s sleep with IKEA.
Fans enjoying sleepover in IKEA showroom (Source)
The result: Right after its first run, the campaign saw purchases by the fans who stayed over. IKEA’s bedding sales rose, making their bedding products the most popular category. The Facebook campaign reached 23,000 people and the event got mentions in 330 editorial pieces.
What worked: IKEA’s efforts to listen to their customers on social media and find proactive ways to address customer wishes worked well for them. They personalized experiences for customers and made customers try their products to create a need. They made it all shareable on social media, which got them publicity and drove their sales up.
Example 4: Tesco simplifies shopping experience for busy customers
Tesco launched the world’s first virtual grocery store in Seoul, South Korea, in 2011, keeping the busy schedules of working adults in mind.
They began with displaying over 500 popular products on the walls of a Seoul subway station. Commuters just had to scan an item’s QR code with the Homeplus app to select, pay, and schedule the delivery. Items purchased in the morning got delivered to the doorstep the same evening.
Tesco’s virtual store in Seoul (Source)
The result: Tesco became a top online retailer. It’s Homeplus app gained a lot of popularity and was downloaded 900,000 times in less than one year; sales grew by 130% and app users increased by 76%.
What worked: Tesco tapped into a pain point of customers and met them halfway to deliver what they need through their smartphones. The solution focused on customer convenience, eliminated having to wait in queues at grocery stores, and helped customers save time.
Example 5: Timberland gathers customer feedback to streamline product line
From 2006 to 2012, fashion footwear brand Timberland witnessed a steady decline in revenue.
To salvage itself, the company shifted its focus from its products to its customers. In a two-year study, the brand (in collaboration with VF Corp) collected responses from 18,000 shoppers in eight countries to identify its most typical shoppers. Based on these customer responses, the brand determined customer preferences, their average spending capacity, demographics, and more.
Customer feedback helped Timberland streamline its product line and target its marketing efforts. The brand finally cut away from its image of being a provider of everything for everyone to the one that had appropriate products to suit customers’ lifestyles across geographies. Not just this, the brand offered frequent discounts on its popular collections.
Timberland shoes for specific customers (Source)
The result: By 2014 end, Timberland had its profits 15% higher than the previous year. So much so that VF Corp’s CEO Eric Wiseman claimed 2014 to be “the most successful year in Timberland’s history.”
What worked: Timberland boosted its profitability by strategically becoming more customer-centric. The brand gathered first-hand customer intelligence via feedback surveys to build a product line that the customers actually wanted.
The examples discussed above demonstrate how brands can transform their business with strategic CX initiatives. To help you, we’ve compiled a list of the best practices that can come in handy.
Now that you’re equipped with the relevant knowledge to improve customer journey, you might need some specialized tools to put your ideas into action. Our 2020 FrontRunners for Customer Experience Software will give you a headstart by presenting the top 25 products on the market.
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The examples are chosen for informational purposes only. They don’t promote the specific brands being discussed.