Customer Experience Budget

Everything Counts, Even in Small Amounts

I recently had the pleasure of speaking at a local associations’ quarterly conference on the topic of how to provide delightful digital experiences for customers.  Our conversation focused on some of the things that we do with our clients to help them deliver amazing online experiences as well as some of the best practices we’ve seen within their specific vertical.

During our discussion, one of the participants commented something to the effect of “well, this is great, but we’re a small organization and I don’t have a lot of money to invest, so what should we focus on?”  This question isn’t particularly unique; we actually hear it quite a lot.

How do you overhaul digital experience on a budget?

From my perspective, it’s not about the quantity of the monetary investment as much as it is about doing something that is going to impact customers in a meaningful way.

For this particular situation, I recommended she sit down and talk to a few customers about what they’re looking for from the brand.  I suggested that she conduct an informal user-testing session if there was something specific she wanted to dig in on (e.x. her website or social program) or she could opt to keep it a little more high-level.  The results of those discussions will tell her what she should be focusing on.

When I left the conference, I kept coming back to the question in my mind.  There are so many things she could be doing to bring about a delightful experience for her consumers.  Some of them don’t really require an investment beyond a bit of time and maybe a few dollars for incentives.

Here are a few other things I could have added in to my recommendation to her:

  • Be Authentic.  Clearly understand who you are as a brand, and know what sets you apart from your competitive set.  In addition to understanding who you are, it’s equally important to understand who you aren’t.  Your consumers chose to come to you for a reason.  Make sure that you’re delivering an authentic experience and consistently reinforcing those reasons to believe. 
  • Be Inspired.  It is really easy to get focused on what is happening within your specific industry.  But there are lots of brands that are doing some really interesting things.  So look outside your typical competitive set (or vertical) for inspiration.  What are some of the brands that you admire doing to deliver delight to their consumers?  Maybe there is a strategy or tactic that you could leverage in your space.  Here is a quick example from Delta that we really like.
  • Be Grateful.  It’s not always necessary to make a big and splashy scene, sometimes it really is the little things that will make all the difference in your relationship with your consumers.  Check out how one organization is delighting their customers, one small gesture at a time.
  • Be Inclusive.  Delivering an amazing experience shouldn’t fall on the shoulders of one person or one department.  It takes the entire company to make that happen.  So what can you do to build a coalition within your organization to bring delightful user experience with every interaction your consumer has with your brand?  Intuit’s Leah Buley shared some great tactics for inviting people into the process during her talk at Delight 2013.

This list isn’t exhaustive of all the things an organization could be doing, but it’s a start.  Let’s us know in the comments some of the things that you’re doing to bring about a delightful experience for your consumers.