CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE CASE STUDY
Let me begin my case study by saying this, I do not share your business details with anyone outside of your company without your express permission. This generous client agreed to allow me to use very small details from his 2 Day On-Site Review for this case study. I am providing a rough outline of my services for this client to give you a better understanding of the kind of value that I am able to deliver to your business. You will note that I use the words Click and Brick in this case study. Click refers to anything that I find or design for your business online. Whereas, Brick refers to anything that I find or design for your business’ physical locations.
Services Paid For: 2 Day On-Site Review
Customer Details: This customer came to me (name not provided for client confidentiality) who owns a grocery store. We will be using an alias to protect the client’s identity as ‘Sammy’s Market’. This client had a well established business with an adequate website and minimal social media presence. He had a logo, but lacked a clearly defined brand promise and slogan. I found that this customer lived in a very rainy state. He had three grocery store locations within that state. He was easy to find online, they had a well developed customer loyalty card program, an online flyer, a decent amount of customer reviews, and they appeared to be a higher end grocery store than most in the state.
Step 1 (Understand His Current ‘Click’ Customer Experience)
What Happened Next?: The client entered only his business name during checkout and I took it from there. In the beginning, I do not want any information other than your business name. I do not even ask for your location, because when I do my initial search, I don’t want to overlook the possibility that there may be another business with your name that is not located in your area. I spent the next four hours conducting online research about this gentlemen’s grocery store, website, social media channels and competitors.
Information Provided To The Customer: After completing my research, I prepared an easy to read presentation for the client that outlined his current online customer experience. This included customer reviews which needed to be responded to, social media channels where he needed to be present and suggestions for names that he could use, how his competitors were gaining an advantage over his business and much more. Additionally, I reviewed his website and provided a thorough evaluation and design suggestions for his current web designer to implement to increase conversions.
Time To Complete: 8 Hours Total
Step 2 (Understand His Current ‘Brick’ Customer Experience)
What Happened Next?: I flew to the client’s location, got settled in and began my research. This is a process which I invested two full days in. I visited all of their various locations. I didn’t go in and talk to the managers. I walked into all three locations and shopped in them to see what the customers saw. I watched the length of the lines, how the checkout clerks presented themselves, cleanliness of the stores, etc. I suppose you could liken this part to high level ‘mystery shopping’.
Next, I sat in my car and watched what happened in the parking lot. I watched the flow of traffic, how many items were purchased in good weather and in bad. I noted what the employees where doing when they were outside of the stores. I suppose you could liken this part to ‘ground reconnaissance’. This is where the rubber meets the road so to speak. I really dive in and walk through your business in your customer’s shoes. Hence the name of my business. I want to give you a real life portrait of what is going on on the front lines of your business. This is real time, real life, really important information about your business.
Information Provided To The Client: When I was done with my research, I placed my findings in a consolidated report that could be read within 15 minutes and emailed it to the client at the end of the first day. I scheduled time to grab coffee and breakfast with this client the next morning. We had a good 2 hour long meeting where we discussed my findings and I answered any and all questions that the customer had. This report detailed his company’s customer experience as it truly existed at that moment.
A lot of clients are very nervous about this meeting, and rightfully so. We all want to hear only the good news. Don’t worry, I am a highly diplomatic person and my findings will never be conveyed in a condescending way.
This report is nothing more than a snapshot of your business at that exact moment. There are usually as many positive findings as areas that are identified to enhance your customer experience. At the end of the meeting, my clients always feel so much better that they actually see their business from their customer’s eyes. During this meeting, the business leader and I discuss what they would like for their customer experience to feel like. In other words, they tell me what their brand promise is, what they think it is and what they would like for it to be.
This is the part of the process where I take my research findings and your business objectives and I create an overall strategy for how we are going to go from where you are to where we want you to be.
Time To Complete: 2 Days (On-Site Divided Up Between His Locations)
Step 3 (Design Customer Experiences To Implement Overall Strategy)
What Happened Next?: I returned home and then spent the next two days working on my designs and formatting them to be delivered to the client. I then created my presentation, printed it out and sent it to the client using Next Day Delivery.
Information Provided To The Customer: I place my customer experience designs on invitations. I don’t use the word suggestions, because that sets the wrong tone for what we are doing together. I use the word invitation, because I am inviting you to embrace these customer experience design solutions, but you have to be the one to put them into place.
You will have your invitations printed out, where you can touch them, pull them out, post them if necessary, and work on each of them at your own pace. This is important so that you can see and touch the goals that we are working towards. It also makes it easier to get employees to embrace what you are doing. They will know that it is not something that you will forget about tomorrow, because there it is, in front of them, staring at them, and they will understand instinctively that you will make these customer experience solutions happen.
I will also help you to designate people inside of your business who will be responsible for carrying forward certain parts of the customer design experience. Customer Experience Designers refer to this stage as Governance, but it really just means that there are people in your business who are responsible and accountable for implementing the customer experiences that we just created.
Specific Customer Experiences Designed for Sammy’s Goods: Ok, I am not going to give away the farm here, but I will tell you how one solution that I designed for them made an impact on their sales. As previously stated, it rained a lot in this state. I noticed that at all of the stores had these large rushes of customers when it was not raining. This lead to longer lines, store congestion, cramped parking, etc. I proposed a two prong solution that yielded maximum benefits.
Time To Complete: 2 Days
1 Example Of A 2-Pronged Approach To Improve His Customer Experience
#1: I invited the store owner to place an employee right at the front of the store any time that it was raining. Their sole job would be to greet customers and to place their wet umbrellas in a recyclable plastic sleeve. This made the first contact with the customer pleasant. The customer felt special, and the umbrellas were bagged so that no water spilled on the ground in the grocery store from dripping wet umbrellas. Water on the floor equals lawsuits.
As customer flow (amount of customers coming to the store) was naturally reduced by the rain, Sammy’s only had to reassign an employee who would otherwise have been relatively idol to the front door, total cost $0. They bought one of the umbrella sleeve racks with a box of bags for each of their 3 locations, total cost $350. Everybody wins and the cost to implement was extremely low. Sammy’s was adding real value to the customer experience for .9 cents (cost of a bag) per customer. That’s a steal.
#2: I invited the store owner to consider having 1-3 employees available at the exit of the store, during the rain, to walk customers to their vehicles while covering them with a large umbrella (which we had the store logo printed on). The total cost was $500 for 5 big umbrellas for each of the stores with their logo printed on them (3 locations x 5 Umbrellas: 15 Total Umbrellas at roughly $33 a piece). How did this add value? Simple. It added value because the customers knew that they would not be fighting with an umbrella, keys, bags, etc. while going to their vehicles. This caused them to generally purchase more items in the store. They knew that they would be able to get into their vehicles without getting soaking wet, because someone else was going to be managing the umbrella.
Results Of Implementing This One Customer Experience Invitation
People that were driving by could also see the company’s umbrellas and soon it became a free marketing tool for them, because people would see these bright red ‘Sammy’s Goods’ umbrellas floating around the parking lot in the rain. Potential customers were able to understand instinctively that Sammy’s customers were receiving the red carpet treatment.
I am happy to tell you that they now own 5 stores and are growing very steadily. Why is this? This business owner took an honest look at both his ‘Click’ and ‘Brick’ Customer Experience. He realized what they were doing well, where they could improve and how they could create value for their customers. This translated into real customer connections, which naturally increased revenue.
Customers began telling their friends about this excellent customer experience, and new customers came to the stores. They didn’t come for groceries. They came to be treated with respect, get groceries, and feel special. Now, Sammy’s customers did not avoid the store in the rain, they went because of it. Sammy built so much value into the customer relationship, that even though his prices were higher, customers shopped there anyway.
They knew that the stores would be less crowded, the lines would be shorter, and that they could receive rock star treatment there on a gloomy rainy day. By the way, remember that I said that this customer’s state had a lot of rain, all of the time. This translated into a lot of very loyal customers. The local press got word of this, (it may have been from me, but I will never tell) and they did a piece on how Sammy’s Market was providing this wonderful service to the their customers.
What Are Your Customer Experience Design Needs?
So as to not confuse anyone, this customer purchased my 2 Day On-Site Review services, as he already had a website, web designer and a social media channel. My designs helped him to refine both his ‘Click’ and his ‘Brick’ operations to deliver the customer experience that he needed and to clarify his brand promise to his customers. With a clear brand promise, the employees had a higher level of commitment to delivering an outstanding customer experience to each and every customer.
If you have a website or online business and no physical location, you may my Online Review service. This would include an in depth 4 hour session where I would research everything about your business and your competitors online and report those findings back to you.
Conversely, if you are a business with a physical location, but you do not have a website, designer, etc, you would simply purchase my CX (Customer Experience) Design service. That package would include everything that you read above, plus I would personally build your website, social media channels and train you and your staff how to use them to grow your business and so much more.
When you partner with me, I design habit forming customer experiences for your business. I help you to see your business through your customer’s eyes by walking in your customer’s shoes. It is always touching to me how my customers tell me that they feel like they received so much value for what they paid.
On the surface, investing in your Customer Experience Design may seem like something that you can not afford. Today, customers don’t just look at price and quality, they consider the whole package. They want a full, memorable and meaningful customer experience. Business owners do not have time to look at their business in this way, because they are usually consumed with the day to day operations.
Even if you had the time, I think it’s fair to say that it would be almost impossible to look at your business with fresh eyes. As business owners, we believe that we are offering a certain product or service and we all want to believe that we are covering all of our bases and capitalizing on every opportunity. A fresh perspective coupled with 20+ years of customer experience design is what I can bring to your business. Your customers are worth it. Your business is worth it.
So now you know all about how I work. It’s time to let me learn about you, your business, your brand vision and promise. Let’s take your business somewhere exceptional together.
If you would like to see a UX Case Study example, click here to learn more.
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