Earlier this summer, Amazon turned a service failure into a genuine feel-good moment. It was a great illustration of how the art of customer engagement is changing, for the better.
My family had gathered together to watch a movie while away for the weekend in wine country. The choice was finally made (after much debate), seats negotiated, licorice distributed and play button pushed. Suddenly the dreaded “death spiral” appeared on screen as the movie continued to buffer. After putting the room back in order, my family begrudgingly retreated to bed. Before my head hit the pillow, I decided to check email. Here’s what I found:
While we’re only talking $3.99, the gesture was rich. Amazon delivered an experience that was unique, kind and very much appreciated. A loyal customer was born.
After reflecting a bit, the following seemed to be key contributing elements to the experience:
- Customer-centricity – placing a priority on understanding, meeting customer needs.
- Intelligence – knowing a customer need is waiting to be met.
- Element of surprise – catching folks off guard, being uncommon.
- Immediacy – taking action in, or near, real-time.
- Communication – delivering information across the right channel(s).
- Automation – taking action without the need for human intervention.
Anything missing? Please comment with your thoughts.
It’s funny, once we’ve had a great experience, we come to expect it in similar circumstances. I purchased Wi-Fi service from an airline last week that failed halfway through the flight. An attendant suggested I visit the website which would have an 800 number for me to call. I thought to myself, “Couldn’t they just detect the issue and refund my money automatically?”
Expectations are truly changing in what Forrester calls the age of the customer. Companies are having to care for customers in new ways to remain relevant. They are having to eliminate silos in order to join customers on their journey in unique and meaningful ways – to deliver more feel-good moments. This will be a key component of the future of customer engagement.
If you’re looking for ideas on how to turn customer experience into a competitive weapon for your business, I suggest you watch our recent web event, “What Does it Take to Deliver a Superior Customer Experience?” In this web event, Forrester shares valuable insight and is joined by two top-rated online retailers, B&H Photo and Crutchfield Electronics, who share how their companies have become customer experience market leaders.
Have any customer moments you’d like to share? If so, please comment.
Anxiously awaiting another feel-good moment,