Friday June 21, 2013

CX Today: Personal Chefs and the End of Automation? *Updated*

personal chef cooking and woman drinking wine

It used to be that brands were built on billboards. And magazine pages. Of course that’s no longer true.

Brands are now largely built by customer experience.

Customer experience is a pretty nebulous concept. For some, the immediate image is that of a CSR on the other end of an 800 number. Or perhaps the restaurant manager coming out of the kitchen to apologize for your tough steak. That’s what we still tend to think of.

Traditionally, customer experience, or it’s older step-sister, Customer Service, is a reactive game. What should we do? How do we need to handle this? How should we fix this? What do we need to do to keep this customer from leaving?

Today, marketing and brand-building spend is being influenced heavily by Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). The realization that every customer or prospective client has a long tail value that extends far beyond that first sale or service ticket.

KissMetrics has an awesome infographic that shows how to calculate your business’s CLV: How Starbucks Calculates Customer Lifetime Value

If my average customer is worth $6500 in profit over the next 10 years, what can I afford to invest in their handful of experiences with us?

So now, customer experience is all about the “could”. How could we perfect our client’s shopping experience? What could it mean for our average CLV?

I had a meeting with a client yesterday, and one idea that came out of our conversation was hiring a personal chef to prepare meals for their customers. A radical notion for really any service company, but nonetheless, a brilliant idea considering what they do and the overall experience they want to create for their clients.

For some businesses, an equally radical idea might be dropping an automated process and bringing warm, kind humans back into the experience.

What could you be doing to take your customer experience to a completely new level? And what could it potentially be worth over the next 6 mo, 9mo, 5 years?

Chris Nordyke is an integrated marketer and strategy consultant. He works with owners and senior business leaders to transform and grow service companies via a unique holistic approach that drives referral business and client retention. Click here to schedule a complimentary consult with Chris.

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