Going the Extra Mile Creating Memorable Customer Experiences.

Customer_Experience_Blog

Customer experience is not about having a ‘good’ customer service - this should be a given in all successful businesses. It’s about creating an experience that leaves a customer feeling valued, special and eager to return to your brand and share their experience.

The ultimate goal here is for brands to create little moments of magic for their users both online and offline in a bid to create brand advocates. At Sagittarius, creating phenomenal customer experiences is what we do. We work with brands to understand their customer experience offering and translate this into the digital world to ensure that users receive the same experience regardless of how they choose to interact you.

Have you ever been exposed to a customer experience that left a lasting impression? Why? What did the brand do to make you feel special?

Here I highlight some of the best examples I could find of customer experiences - both online, offline and for the brands that are already doing both.

The Magic Castle

This fairly ordinary 3.5-star hotel in Hollywood has managed to create a physical customer experience that truly sets it apart from competitors.

Currently, the hotel has an admirable 4.5-star rating on TripAdvisor with almost all reviewers complimenting the hotel’s free laundry service and ‘popsicle hotline’ which delivers popsicles straight to caller’s sun-beds.

This is the perfect example of how travel brands in competitive areas are able to set themselves apart from the rest by doing something out of the ordinary that keeps travellers coming back again and again.

Magic20Castle201

British Airways

This popular airline took what is a seemingly boring but integral part of flying and turned into an experience that is fun, engaging and most importantly, memorable. BA re-invented their flight safety video into a series of humorous clips with some of the most recognisable British celebrities of all time.

These videos were originally created in aid of the Red Nose Day charity but have since become a regular occurrence due to their popularity, it’s safe to say BA really hit the nail on the head here when it comes to creating a customer experience that leaves people talking.


BA201

The Ritz

Hotel chains often fall into a category of customer experience that can be very disjointed, however, this hotel’s staff in Florida went the extra mile for one of its guests when they returned home and found they had left their little boy’s toy giraffe somewhere in the hotel.

Now the standard procedure here would be to simply return the teddy and that would be that. However, the loss prevention team took it upon themselves to take various pictures of the lost toy engaging in a variety of fun-filled activities...

The20Ritz201
The20Ritz203

So when the giraffe was returned to his family, it arrived with a bunch of photos insisting that Joshie the Giraffe had indeed had the time of his life in a bid to reassure the boy. This story received lots of exposure and even now has people talking about how a simple gesture has the power to create a very powerful and lasting image of a brand.



EasyJet

EasyJet is one of the world’s largest airlines and is best known for being able to provide a cheap, reputable service. In 2017 they introduced an updated ‘EasyJet App’ in an attempt to enhance their pre-flight customer experience.

The EasyJet app now includes a variety of features that truly elevate the customer experience. One of my favourites being the ‘get inspired’ feature which asks users to set budget and answer a few option questions such as holiday type, dates and number of travellers, the app then serves users with a destination, hotel and excursion.

Other features of the app allow users to check-in, go through security, print baggage labels and store their boarding pass in the wallet of their smartphone. It also alerts travellers when their flight is ready for boarding, which gate to go to and gives them the option to pre-order drinks and snacks for the flight. This airline App sets the bar for airlines and certainly helps to speed up and simplify the travelling experience for users.

EasyJet201

Disney

Disney is best known as a location that never fails to deliver on those moments of magic, amazing children and parents alike. In 2013 Disney introduced its MagicBand program which integrates with the My Disney Experience, or MyMagic+, vacation planning tool; allowing users to make reservations, purchase fast-track passes, locate attractions and wait times all from their smartphone. When used alongside the MagicBand users can also make payments, access their rooms and fastpass, interact with characters and store all their photos in one place; giving customers less to worry about and more freedom to enjoy what really is set to be the holiday of a lifetime.

Burberry

Luxury clothing brands are always in danger of being deemed as old-fashioned due to their longevity within the industry. However, this brand is miles ahead of its competitors. Within their physical stores, Burberry assistants greet guests like royalty offering champagne and stylists to ensure every need is catered.

Meanwhile, in 2013 they introduced digital to the customer experience allowing customers to purchase items straight from their 13/14 autumn collection as it hit the catwalk with the added option of having it bespokely personalised too! In the same breath, the brand launched a feature that allows customers to retrace the journey of their item by scanning it with their smartphone.

The brand dedicates itself to providing the highest quality of items and uses a tech-based authentication service which allows them to determine if an item is genuine using image recognition with 98% accuracy helping to wean out counterfeit items to stop customers purchasing what they believe to be a genuine Burberry product.

Starbucks

When it comes to coffee brands there is so much choice for customers that it’s essential brands offer a customer experience both in-store and digitally that turns people into brand advocates. Almost every ‘coffee drinker’ swears by their coffee brand whether this is Starbucks or otherwise making this process all the more important.

Starbucks is really ahead of the times when it comes to customer experience. In-store, each shop has the same look, feel and smell like the next as well as the guarantee that their coffee will taste the same regardless of where you purchase it.

But they haven’t stopped there, the Starbucks app allows customers to earn rewards which unlocks freebies such as coffee and syrups, gives them access to the latest updates before anyone else, allows them to purchase and personalise gift vouchers, top up their e-card and most excitingly, to order coffee straight from the app in a bid to avoid lengthy queues. The app also allows Starbucks to keep their customers up-to-date with push notifications and location-based personalisation, i.e. where the closest coffee shop is from their current location.

Starbucks203

So as you can see, all of these brands know that in order to create a ‘good’ customer experience you need to go the extra mile and do something a bit special, something that sets them aside from the crowd. So when it comes to your brand, what is your equivalent to the ‘popsicle hotline’?

Whatever your business, be it a regional or global brand, the content you produce plays a vital role in your success. You know that… hence you’re reading this.

A well formulated and executed content strategy not only drives more traffic, at the core, it defines what your business is and helps build a strong connection between you and your audiences.

So let's quickly look at why developing a coherent content strategy is important and how setting clear goals and understanding your audience will elevate your online performance. 

What is a Content Strategy?

It's basic right? Content is at the core of how you define the way your business presents itself and an effective strategy should look to ensure that tone of voice, messaging and the core values are surfaced across all channels, from service or product pages on your website, to blog posts, through social media updates blah blah blah.

But let's keep it simple - your content strategy should be a clear roadmap that connects your marketing activities to your business goals. Align to your customer’s wants and needs and engage them at every interaction point and boom, you're in business. 

Who are my Audience?

You likely start all your projects with this chalked on the wall because your business knows “exactly” who its customers are right? Sounds obvious but we often find its not been done forensically enough (not based on data), is too old (more than 12 months ago - forget it) or its a spin off from some brand work that was legitimately aspirational but doesn’t face the reality of who you your business is actually engaging today.

So start (or circle back) with audience research, building out those personas to understand their ambitions, their lifestyle, their pain points or concerns, and crucially their wants and needs - in your context. 

Do I need to tailor content?

As part of your research find out where your audiences spend their time online and how they interact with content: Some may spend time thoroughly researching a product or service, whereas other audiences may want their content to be quick, snappy or easily digestible in the form of a video, infographic or short blog posts.

 

Ultimately, the key is to produce a strategy that creates the type of content your customers want to see:

  • What are the problems that your product or service will help them solve?

  • Who are they most influenced by?

  • What voices influence their behaviour?

  • What type of content do they consume?

  • Where do they consume content and engage with brands?

Different Content, Different Objectives

 All content is not born equal: When producing your strategy, it is important that the objectives for each individual piece are defined, that these fulfil your marketing objectives and tie to the overarching goals for your business.

There are various content frameworks that exist to aid content development in this way, but one that is popular and effective is Google’s hero, hub and hygiene method: It provides a framework on developing content to achieve different goals and gives guidance on the effort needed to create each type of content.

Hero Content

Hero content is essentially campaign content, it is big splash ideas designed to appeal to a large audience with the aim of telling your brand’s story at scale. 

Ways of measuring hero include the amount of PR mentions or links from authoritative domains plus social interactions and mentions of your brand across all channels. 

Considering the scale of hero campaigns, this content is not regularly produced and is reserved for peak promotional times where it’s important for a business to stand out from their competitors.

Hub Content

Hub content is the stuff that keeps your audience engaged, it expands on the themes of product or service level content, educates users and helps create a connection between themselves and your brand.

Hygiene Content

Hygiene content is the bread and butter of any website, it is the BAU content for products and services, it is SEO focused and targets important keywords at a product, service or guide level.

How do I manage all this?

Content development is only one part of the ongoing work needed when working with an effective content strategy. We call it “feeding the beast” because it really is the fuel in your brand vehicle and once you start you really can’t stop (if it’s delivering results) but that’s where performance measurement comes in.

Your greatest gift in managing the outputs from your hero/hub/hygiene style efforts is to understand If your content is working. To truly deliver results your business must first understand the objectives and goals of each piece of content to effectively measure its success. That as a guiding light from day 1 will let you slow down, speed up, stop or start new content briefs and projects.

Remember - content strategies are not set in stone. They are living breathing things and should adapt and pivot as insights become available and your brand naturally evolves.

If ever you want to chat content and explore new initiatives we’re always here to help.

want to speak to one of our experts?

 
Paul Stephen
Paul Stephen
Co-Founder & Joint CEO
With over 25 years in marketing, Paul is one of the UK's leading experts on digital marketing. He oversees the agency and often lectures and consults within the industry on digital and marketing related subjects and has a particular interest and skills in the travel and tourism sectors.

Paul operates nationally and internationally, helping brands to think outside the traditional horizontal and vertical channels and transform their business with creative multi-channel marketing and digital re-invention.
Paul Stephen

Paul Stephen

26 Oct 2018 - 8 minute read
share this

stay in the know, stay ahead.

Get the latest from the agency, including news, events and expert content.
find out what we can do for you
read some of our case studies