We Need To Talk About Customer Experience

Rita Shapiro-Das

Providing a perfect customer experience is all the hype these days, but how does an organization actually achieve this?

Does your business study what your competitors are doing and try to keep up with them? Or do you pay attention to your customer desires and tailor individual experiences to each consumer? Are you researching your customer pain points and working to alleviate them in an effort to provide a seamless buying experience? Finally, does this process differ across different countries and cultures, despite living in a global economy?

I traveled to Singapore to find out how companies there are delivering exceptional customer experience.

The face of things

Living in California and working in a global role, I have done my fair share of traveling, primarily to Europe. The furthest I’ve traveled is to India, many years ago, so a journey around the world to Singapore was definitely a change in scenery and culture. As a technology nerd, most impressive to me was experiencing first-hand how companies in Singapore have harnessed the power of technology to benefit consumers.

Upon stepping off the plane, I navigated the well-designed Changi airport and breezed through a speedy immigration process. Unlike in U.S. airports, there wasn’t a painful, three-hour line filled with tired, angsty passengers and exhausted officers. There weren’t officers sitting in small cubicles, looking at passports, and asking questions one by one.

There was, however, an automated face recognition process that took your photo as you scanned your passport, then sent you on your way. Facial recognition is an example of new technology that can simplify the entire traveler journey, from going through customs and immigration at the airport to purchasing goods from a retail store. That was a great way to start my journey, as I’m sure it was for all the other tired folks who traveled halfway around the world to Singapore!

Connecting customer experience

Upon checking into my room at the hotel, I discovered a cellphone with a note saying it was for my personal use should I find that my phone didn’t get connection. What an incredible customer experience!

Phone connection in different countries is a real issue faced by travelers on a daily basis. By making it easier for me to enjoy my trip and have the answers I needed at my fingertips, versus worrying about using all my phone data, or worse, my phone not even working, the hotel company demonstrated that it was thinking of me and what I might be experiencing while I was there.

Companies need to understand their customers’ pain points in order to provide an outstanding, seamless, and personalized customer experience.

Fluid experiences

Cloud Forest is the largest indoor waterfall in the world, and I was fortunate to see it while I was there. Studying the massive structure got me thinking about how the consumer buying journey should be: Fluid and seamless, with no hiccups and no back tracks.

My perception of the waterfall was also likely different than everyone else’s, which translated to the customer journey being different for everyone. Simply because two people want to purchase the same toaster does not mean that they are going through the exact same buying process. These experiences need to be individualized, because at the end of the day, the experience is what people remember, not just that they purchased a toaster. Leave it to me to look at a waterfall and immediately think of the customer experience!

From my trip to Singapore, I’ve learned there is so much more we can do to improve the customer experience. We need to use technology and innovation to make lives easier, from the consumer to the business. The buying journey needs to be fluid, from the moment the consumer searches for a product on the web, to their point of purchase, and even to when the product breaks and the customer expects a perfect customer service experience.

Creating outstanding customer experiences means making each step of the consumer journey a memorable one, complete with personalization and outstanding service, across all mediums. Thanks to technology and growing understanding of what the customer truly values, the journey becomes easier each day.

Get more information about how to personalize the customer journey.

This article originally appeared on The Future of Customer Engagement and Commerce.

Rita Shapiro-Das

About Rita Shapiro-Das

Rita Shapiro-Das is a detail oriented, entrepreneurial Marketing Manager who understands all the different aspects and components of growing a business.