I’m thrilled to announce the publication of a FREE eBook: The 2015 Customer Experience Outlook.

This eBook is a collection of ideas from customer experience authors, designers, and industry leaders. I contributed an article about Intelligent Experiences: Where CX Meets Tech (page 28).

You’ll also find articles from : B. Joseph Pine II & James H. Gilmore, Brandon SchauerDave GrayLisa LindströmJeanne Bliss, Mike Dyer,  Shep Hyken, Erik Roscam Abbing, Dominic Berg, Tennyson PinheiroKerry Bodine, Fred Leichter, and Brian Solis.

Some of the articles offer practical advice, while others are more philosophical in nature. And some will surely challenge your current beliefs about what it means to design and manage the customer experience.

Download your free copy of The 2015 Customer Experience Outlook today!

The 2015 Customer Experience Outlook

The 2015 Customer Experience Outlook

James Patterson\'s New Book Will Self-Destruct in 24 Hours

James Patterson has written lots of books. He’s known for thrilling readers with his engaging style. But he’s never thrilled them like this before. With the launch of Private Vegas, Patterson isn’t just creating a reading experience for consumers, he’s creating real-world, highly engaging experiences for passionate fans. Two in fact.

self-destructing e-book

One lucky (and well-heeled) reader gets a private trip to an undisclosed luxury location and a five-course dinner with Patton. One thousand raving fans will get a special FREE copy of the book, but they must read it in 24 hours, before it self-destructs.

For readers who like the thriller genre, this is thrilling.

Creating experiences for people can make any service, any product, or any event richer, better, and more profitable. Let’s unpack Patterson’s promotion scheme so that you can see how to apply these principles to your own customer experience (#CX) projects.

Richer means more engaging, more details, more memorable, more senses, and more money. Think about it. Without even reading the book, friends and family will hear about the book through their friend’s or family member’s experience. They’ll become participants themselves! How can you enlist your customers’ and employees’ friends and family to become more involved and have more fun in the experiences your company offers?

Better means more enjoyable, more exciting, more vivid, more fulfilling, and deeper. These experiences take reading beyond sitting and turning pages (or swiping screens) by adding a new level of emotional intensity which ultimately makes the experience easier to notice, remember, and share. How can you design experiences at your organization to be better without breaking the bank?

More Profitable means you get to keep more money at the end of the day. It doesn’t mean you get to spend less or work less. Often, you have to work harder behind the scenes to make experiences fun (which makes them spread which makes you money). Patterson’s publisher was bold. They must have introduced a new software platform, public relations program, fan community, and administrative support to make this work. It’s a higher-risk undertaking that changes the rules of the publishing game (making it more like Hollywood film distribution). What can you add to your company’s experiences on the front end so that more people will learn about them, want them, have them, pay for them, and share them?

self-destructing e-book 2


Think about it. The story about the ‘self-destrucing book’ experience will precede and overshadow the storyline of the book. Conventional wisdom says “Don’t steal your own thunder”, but social media strategies tell us that the number of viewers and participants in brand stories is what really moves the financial success needle.

James Patterson is a top-selling author. Seems to me he’s also a top notch experience designer because he knows that…

Good experience is good business.

Thanks to Jeff Beer for introducing this story.

VoC Programs to Improve Customer Experience

A voice of the customer(VoC) program can be an integral part of delivering great customer experiences as long as the focus remains on understanding what to improve and

Voice of the customer programs are helpful in tracking customer complaints, choices and generally negative impressions. This is useful information if you know what to do with it. Monitoring customers and anticipating their intent is important but doing something with the information–quickly– will create more value for customers and shareholders than just focusing on getting the data.

The best VOC programs report human emotional responses as well as activities that can be counted. There is new observational technology such as video capture, motion sensing, text analytics and eye tracking that help uncover patterns in big data. Businesses that approach big data in this way are able to improve service and lower cost at the same time.

Improving the customer experience using data derived from a VoC program assists with continually tweaking the details that go into delivering the experience. It is possible to get a clearer picture of who your customers are and even a glimpse into desires that are going unmet in the market today. Being able to anticipate needs provides an edge in a competitive market.

There are other ways to gather data and insight into the customer experience, mystery shopping and journey mapping to name two. Regardless of how you collect the information, the important take away is to use the information in a holistic way integrated into experience design, service design and business design.

Ethan Allen Launches New Store Concept

In response to changing consumer trends, Ethan Allen is launching a new retail store concept with new in-store technology designed to enhance the customer experience.

Ethan Allen

Ethan Allen website

The new retail design comes with the launch of 600 new product designs reflecting the more casual lifestyle of their customers today and a new content rich website. Integration of technology within the store will include touchscreen kiosks in the Design Centers and each designer will have a tablet. Designers will use tablets to access products not displayed in store, create customized products and place orders for customers.

Use technology to offer a seamless customer experience across channels.

Omnichannel strategies are at the forefront of retail industry challenges. Ethan Allen will continue using the My Project App to bridge the gap from online to brick and mortar. The My Project App allows customers to interface with designers from their home and when customers are in the store, designers can work with their projects that started online from home. Apps like this provide real value for customers.

Responding to changes in customer preferences is necessary. By implementing an Innovation Lab retailers can continually experiment with ideas to not only keep pace with changes but also to be a forerunner in the industry. Read more about a Store of the Future initiative.

Retail Customer Experience Needs Connection

The retail customer experience will need greater connections than ever before as social media and mobile will play a big role in holiday shopping and beyond.iphone

In a survey conducted by MarketLive, one-third of the respondents indicated that they would make more than 50% of purchases on a mobile device. This trend underscores the importance for retailers to optimize mobile sites and to align the mobile experience with the brick and mortar. The survey also suggests that interaction with social networking sites is influencing shopping behavior to a greater degree. The primary drivers being product reviews and exploring gift ideas (especially through Pinterest) followed by product referrals from friends.

Get more stats from the survey in this article posted by MarketingLand.