At EmpowerCX Americas 2019, customer experience (CX) design expert, award-winning speaker and one half of the acclaimed Experience This! podcast (which is dedicated to all things CX), Joey Coleman, revealed insights on the future of the customer and how brands must act to attract and retain customers if they want to survive in their industry.

As the Chief Experience Composer of Design Symphony, Coleman is a recognized expert in the industry, specializing in creating unique, attention-grabbing CX. He has worked with well-renowned brands like NASA, Deloitte and Whirlpool; and he is the best-selling author of Never Lose a Customer Again.   

Getting closer to your customers

According to Coleman, the key to building lasting bonds with your customer base at a time where Disney and Apple are setting the bar for CX can be summed up in one acronym: F.A.C.E. “Familiarity, anticipation, convenience and experience,” explained Coleman. “These are the key steps to taking a more holistic approach.”

In today’s digital age, customers expect businesses to know them. Noting that one out of every six minutes online is spent on a Facebook-owned platform, the easiest way to get to know them is on social media.

“The influence Facebook has on your customers’ lives is greater than any other entity,” he points out. “Your customers are on social media every day, giving you the information you need. You can either get on the train or stay on the tracks.”

With this knowledge comes the ability to build anticipatory systems into your strategy; this, in turn, enables you to deliver service that’s seamless, smooth and overall convenient. The easier it is for your customers to interact with you, the more likely they will continue doing so.

However, the biggest differentiator is how you make them feel – the experience. It’s about creating a feeling for your customers that is more valuable than the service or product that you’re offering.

Research

So, what actionable steps can brands take to be ready? The first step, according to Coleman, is to research and investigate your customers; paying especially close attention to the data and information they are putting out on social media is a good start.

“Our customers are on social media all day, every day telling us all about themselves,” says Coleman. “Are we listening? Are we paying attention? Are we using that information to create personal and emotional connections?”

Watch

The next step in the process is to anticipate or guess where our customers are going, and take action ahead of them. While businesses like Target and Amazon use technology to anticipate their customer’s wants, needs and purchases based on action and behavior, Coleman believes you can just train your employees to watch.

Watch and observe your clients to understand and use their judgment on how best to serve them. Here, Coleman stresses the importance of hiring people that care and are committed to the customer experience.

“What if every one of your everyday transactions could be made into an experience?” Coleman asked. “We have to create a feeling for our customers. We have to engage them emotionally.”

Try and try again

For the convenience element, it’s all about how we try. “We can try to think more creatively about how we approach our customers and what we do to remove the challenges they have, just to start working with us,” stresses Coleman.

Pay attention to the entire customer journey

The last step is the experience. What are we doing to create those memorable moments for our customers – every step of the way. According to Coleman, the customer journey has eight phases: assess, admit, affirm, activate, acclimate, accomplish, adopt, advocate. But most businesses are only focusing on the first four.

Coleman emphasizes the importance of meeting your customers in the journey where they are. “We need to research, we need to watch, we need to try, we need to be part of the customer journey.”

Watch Coleman’s full keynote here.


Sitel Group