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The Value of Experiences

We live in a world where experience is everything; 89 percent of marketers think customer experience will be their main differentiator in 2017.  But 50 years ago, the average person didn’t think about the concept of “experience” in their daily activities.  It was unheard of for the average person to go out to dinner nightly, or to 3 different grocery stores to buy food.  Even 20 years ago, when people stopped cooking at home and fast food/chain restaurants boomed, people were still focused saving time and money, rather than how something made them feel. 
In 2017, people live for experiences in every aspect of their life.  A clear majority (86 percent) of buyers would pay more for better service if it provides a unique experience.  Today people pay a premium attend cool pop up dinners, and will wait for hours just to go to their favorite restaurant where they know the service is amazing.  There’s a growing population that is now viewing time and experience as a commodity over money–we’ve categorized these people as “Generation Experience” or “Gen E”. 
Because customer experience has become such a success factor, many companies now focus tremendous resources on “getting to know their customers” through discoveries, studies, surveys, advertising, clicks, views, the list goes on and on.  After all, improved experience can grow revenue by 5 to 10 percent—and cost 15 to 20 percent less—over a span of three years.  But what does it take to create a great experience for your customer?  Let’s take a look at FastCompany’s recommendation, or at Entreprenuer’s “6 Ways to Create a Memorable Customer Experience”.  The common success factors being: Attentiveness, problem solving, personalization, consideration, and knowing the value of the customer.  You know which factors are not on either list?  Décor, ambiance, location, free food, etc…because they just don’t matter that much.  Another factor not on the list, but that DOES matter–the engaged employee.  They affect customer experience more than any “vibe” you can create through fancy décor and a great location.  Then why don’t companies spend as many resources on the employee experience?  Because it is hard and they usually just don’t understand how.
If a positive employee experience leads to a higher level of engagement, and customer experience is dependent on the factors above, then shouldn’t employee experience be treated with the same level of attention as customer experience?  We think so…food for thought, and more on the topic of Generation E next week!

Nikki TicknorComment