Wednesday, October 02, 2013

The Customer-Designed Experience

Like many others, it is great to see that the big consumer companies are starting to recognize the importance of the consumer in the service experience. That said, I have yet to really see any company label their effort "The Customer Designed Experience." 

With all the technology that exists today, why is it that my preferences are not integral to the overall design of the experience. 

Why can I not show up at Starbucks and just give them my membership card and tell them I want item 2 from my menu? That's all I should need to say as I have programmed in my favorites on the membership site. They also ought to have access to a running account of where the card has been used and what it is that I have been buying. 

Every connection with the customer needs to leave behind "footprints." Build the mobile tools to both push and pull these footprints. 

Imagine walking into a Quiznos after you have used their mobile app to collect the orders for all your colleagues. You arrive at Quiznos, bump the order into their system via NFC, assuming you have not already sent it via your phone/tablet, and the complete order is transferred. 

Safeway has a mobile app that allows me to load it with coupons for the things I want on my shopping list. The missing step is to allow me to scan the items as I put them in my cart so that I know I got everything on the list and that the promo pricing is applicable - I might have grabbed the size that was not on special or perhaps the wrong brand. Let me display my bar code via my smartphone or my membership card to secure the discounts. Grab via NFC? Works for me. It is all about giving each consumer choices when it comes to interactions. Some days it is easier to grab my Safeway card from my wallet than it is to fire up the Safeway app on my phone. 

The idea here is that me, the consumer, is a vital part of designing the overall experience. Really smart mobile apps that allow me to do what I want when I want. Web site interfaces that can be personalized and share info with the mobile apps. A single history of interactions that span all media forms. 

When I start seeing that kind system, I know which companies will be getting my loyalty.

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