Why the Best Customer Experiences are Chalk & Cheese

Opposite arrows saying 'More than one way'

Golf and cocktails. Bingo and clubbing. Museums and parties.

When you combine your current customer experience with something new and novel, great things can happen.

Whether you’re a retail, leisure or membership manager: let’s look at the best strategy to achieve this; how to identify what works; how to measure success; and how to take the risk out of it.

Swingers is a clever concept to bring together crazy golf with street food and drinks in the middle of London. Golf was always a way for City workers to network and close a deal. But who has the time to spend a whole day out on a golf course? So the Institute of Competitive Socialising, created Swingers the in-door crazy golf club.

An entrepreneur from Northern Ireland co-founded the bingo rave phenomenon that’s sweeping across the UK. Bongo’s Bingo has changed the face of the popular pastime – players can win prizes including convertibles, speed boats and holidays to the Caribbean. And it all happens while dancing to pop music on table tops while the host Jonny gets ready to call out the next number.

Top Tips

So is this a possible strategy for your retail stores, clubs or entertainment venues? Could it work? Here are some options for your to consider:-

1. Identify your target market: this might differ from your current customers. Have you profiled your optimal customers from your current market, in terms of highest levels of spend, visits and ‘lifetime value’?

Profile your ideal customer: age range, socio-economic profile and interests A major benefit of a programme like this is that you can appeal to a completely new demographic, or draw from a much wider geography because of the new appeal.

So, what are the interests and recreational habits of your target market?

2. Understand your current Customer Experience: React’s mystery shopping programmes help you identify what works and what doesn’t, from first engagement with customers until they depart. Which area of the customer journey could do with livening up? Or injecting a new element of fun – and extra profit?

Importantly, the right kind of mystery shopping enables you to benchmark the experience, quarterly or more often, and compare different venues – so you can see where to act and if things are improving or otherwise. And will keep your teams on their toes.

3. Look at your competitors: what are they doing that’s innovative – and works well? What’s their CX?

Organisations are increasingly using mystery shopping here too to get an objective assessment, strictly from the viewpoint of the customer, which is the one that really matters.

Sometimes you’ll learn of a relatively minor tweak in your service that will make a big change to the experience – perhaps to reduce waiting times, or show that as an organisation you actually do prioritise customers.

4. What would complement your current CX – what extra experiences? Here we can advise, based on working on CX from the perspective of a range of retailers, entertainment and club owners and managers.

Clearly a creative leap may be needed to decide on the a complementary experience, before assessing all the issues of logistics, extra costs and Return On Investment. You need to be very clear on your marketing and financial targets.

Consider alliances and partnerships, to reduce risk and the upfront costs. Perhaps you can grant concessions or otherwise subcontract to an organisation hungry to reach customers like yours.

5. Measure, measure, measure.

Your new venture is up and running; by continuing to measure the CX on a regular basis you can take much of the risk out the operation. Invariably with new ventures there are issues that need resolving. That’s understandable – but your duty is to know about them as soon as possible, so you can then take action. Obvious perhaps, but so many companies wait until a service issue becomes a revenue problem.

The customer’s first impression of the new experience is absolutely critical to your future success. He or she will tell an average of 10 people – or so the marketers say – if the experience does not measure up; it’s probably many times that number if they write on Social Media.

For further information, ideas or just a chat about your organisation’s CX, please message me or see the range of options to measure, manage and improve your CX programme at React CX