Are you ready for another CX Pulse Check? Join Jeannie and Paige, as they talk about what's happening right now in Customer Experience (CX).
What if you could tap into the secrets of how top retailers are adapting to the transforming world of customer behavior? Imagine the insights you could gain if you knew how these businesses are enticing customers with exciting new offerings like curbside delivery, sample boxes, and impulse purchases. The discussion in this episode delves into these innovative strategies, exploring how they're changing the way customers shop.
We also turn our spotlight on Lumin Fitness, a pioneering player in the fitness industry that's breaking boundaries with its AI gyms and virtual trainers. Get ready to discover the potential of this fresh approach to redefining the customer experience.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if customer feedback could be harnessed for a greater cause? We bring you the intriguing story of VOTO, a company that's doing just that by combining customer engagement with a social cause. It's a fantastic example of a business exhibiting its values and connecting with customers on a deeper level. We discuss the importance of such gestures, and how they can significantly enhance an organization's image and foster customer loyalty.
Tune in to be inspired and empowered to really look to the future about what customers want.
Learn more about CXI® Flight School -- cxiflightschool.com
Experience Investigators Learning Center -- experienceinvestigators.com
Experience Action. Let's stop just talking about customer experience, employee experience and the experience of leaders. Let's turn ideas into action. Your host, Jeannie Walters, is an award-winning customer experience expert, international keynote speaker and founder of Experience Investigators, a strategic consulting firm helping companies increase sales and customer retention through elevated customer experiences. Ready, Set, Action. One, two, three, four.Jeannie Walters:
Hey! Hey! Welcome to Experience Action. I am Jeannie Walters, and today it is time for CX Pulse Check again, and I'm here with Paige. Paige, go ahead and say hi. Hi, how you doing? Excited to be back again. That's right, Paige is our Director of Business Development and Partnerships here at Experience Investigators and every so often we just talk about what's happening, because there are so many things in the world that are happening around customer experience and as customer experience leaders, we need to kind of pay attention to a bunch of different things in order to get inspired and empowered and really look to the future about what customers want. So today we have a couple of cool examples, in my opinion, Paige. Let's hear it. I'm ready. Yeah. So this first one is for those of you listening. It's an article I found in Modern Retail, all about how retailers are adding incentives to encourage impulse purchases for curbside orders. And, the reason this stood out to me was when we think about curbside, that really was introduced out of necessity in many places because of COVID and all the shutdowns, and what they found and this is obvious when you think about it is it actually lowered the amount of new product discoveries that customers have? They were buying the same thing again and again over curbside, and so they weren't walking through the store discovering things and they weren't sampling things, and they weren't actually getting those impulse purchases that we've all done when we are standing in line at a grocery store. And so what they're starting to experiment with is how to introduce those ideas to curbside. Uh-oh. The one that really got my attention was Target said it will roll out its drive- up with Starbucks program.Paige Flenniken:
No, they know how to get us. They know their customers.Jeannie Walters:
They're good at it. It's exactly right. Like any target that has the Starbucks in the store, I always walk in and think I'm not going to get a coffee, and guess what?Paige Flenniken:
That is definitely not what I think.Jeannie Walters:
I always get a coffee.Paige Flenniken:
Every time I walk in like I'm in Target, I need Starbucks.Jeannie Walters:
And so now you can roll up, get your Target you know, curbside delivery and drive away with your pumpkin spice latte. So they're making it super, super easy. Now I do want to say this is coming out the same week that I read an article about how, like, sitting for ten hours Is killing us. So, get out of your car and walk around every so often. That's my one suggestion. But when it comes to these retailers, so Target is doing that, a lot of different providers like Kroger and Walmart are experimenting with things like sample boxes. So as you get all of your groceries home, you might have a little surprise in there with different samples. And this makes a lot of sense to me, because if you're walking around, I mean, I remember my kids used to ask to go to Costco for the samples. Right, like that was very exciting. And then you sample a bunch of things. And there's that one thing where you go oh, that's actually pretty good, I'm totally picking that up. So the same thing can happen with these sample boxes, where people might experiment and try different things and learn what they like, and so that, I think, is really clever. And then the other thing is this idea of kind of impulse buys, so making it easy for somebody to add on to their purchase, and by offering different things, like right at the curbside, or even suggesting things like hey, could I go, could I run in and get this for you, especially as they notice things. And I think this is related to this overall theme that we're talking about today, which is about really understanding customer behavior and how it's changing and adapting to it, because there are pros and cons whenever that behavior changes. It's great that we have the convenience of curbside, but at the same time, as customers, we might miss out on those new products, we might not have the same variety of purchases that we used to, and so this is really marrying that together, in a way that's about convenience for the customer, but also about the things that both the organization and the customer want. Yeah, absolutely. And, in this article shout out to my friend, Jason Goldberg, who is also known as Retail Geek. He's the Chief Commerce Strategy Officer at Publicis, but he mentioned how a lot of this has to do with, "This isn't about choosing curbside versus not anymore. It's about choosing which curbside." So if you are going into, you know, if you're driving up to your Target and they hand you a Starbucks. That might be the incentive to go to Target versus another retailer because they don't have that option. So it's really about providing that, to win against competition as well. So that's one example. I think one of the things that would be interesting for our listeners and our viewers to think about is kind of what is changing for your customers and are you adapting? What's your curbside delivery like? What changed? And if there's something that's not working about it, what can you do to get creative about connecting those dots for customers? And so this next thing I think this is super cool. Yeah, it's really smart. It's really smart and this is about. This is actually from MIT Technology Review, which I really like that publication, if you're not familiar with it, because it's a whole bunch of smart people writing about smart things. No wonder we think it's smart. I know right, it's MIT, but this is about AI gyms with virtual trainers, and essentially there's this new organization called Lumin Fitness and what they're doing is they're testing basically all- technology-driven gyms and personalized workouts. So there are wall-to-wall LED screens, there are algorithms, there are motion tracking sensors and essentially they have people who right now are supervising. They have somebody in there who's a human, but they equate it more to a flight attendant rather than a pilot. Meaning you've got somebody there who can help, like if the technology is goofy or if you need something, but they're not necessarily a certified trainer, they can't really tell you what moves to make, and so they have these screens with these kind- of humanoid images that can walk through the experience. But then they gamify it. So if you're trying to do a certain amount of reps, they might say they might put a bucket on the screen and say you've got to fill up the bucket or you have to stack the bricks or you have to do all of these things. And one of the things that appeals to a lot of people about this is that there is a certain segment of the population who has never felt good going to the gym, and that's not necessarily for any reason, except there might be social anxiety, there might be experiences that they've had in the past, there might be things like, "hey, I don't want to be around, you know, a bunch of people in my workout clothes, different things like that. And so with this, they're appealing to a group of people who really want that personalized fitness experience but want it kind of on their terms. And so you put in your own earbuds or headphones and you get to choose, like do you want a male or a female trainer? Do you want rock or country or hip hop music? You get to choose all of those things. And then you can also even choose, like, how cheerful are they? Like do I want a cheerleader or do I want a drill sergeant? Because people are motivated by all these different things, and so it's a really cool idea. And I think it goes to show that there are all of these experiences that are really built for the template customer and there are whole groups of people who don't fit that mold. And so what can we do to kind of find ways to serve those people who are looking for that experience but maybe want it a little differently? And AI, of course, is the talk of the town and this is partially AI-driven, but it doesn't necessarily have to be that. But thinking about kind of where are the people that maybe are not included in your customer journey right now? That could be in the future.Paige Flenniken:
That's. It's really smart because I feel like a lot of gyms are targeted to those people that like work out all the time. You know, like you go into the gym and you feel like, even if you feel comfortable with your body, it's just like there's a lot of people in your space. Yeah, you're sweaty or they're sweaty. It's just kind of gross. So it's really nice to have, like, this option. Even if you go to a regular gym, you have this. You don't feel like it. Right.Jeannie Walters:
Well, and the other thing I like about it is, if you like, you can really personalize this so they do certain group things together, but then you could walk in and kind of do an on-demand type of workout. You decide when you're there and I think that's been appealing to a lot of people in the last few years. I know that's what I love about my Peloton is I can, you know, use the on-demand classes whenever I want them and I'm not stuck to a schedule. I'm not trying to race to the gym to get to that class, all of those things. So I think that when we, when we think about that, it's not just about, like you know, somebody feeling safe. It's also about what does convenience really mean?Paige Flenniken:
Yeah, because obviously we want to be fit, we want to be healthy, we want to, as you were saying, get up and walk around a little bit. Yeah, it can be hard, like I did Orange theory Fitness for a long time. You have to go at that one time or you get like a fee. So this gives you the ability to take like really good classes with the type of instruction you want at the time you want.Jeannie Walters:
So, yeah, very very smart. And shout out to our friends at Orange theory Fitness, because we've worked with them and I know a lot of people and I've been a member as well, so they do a great job too. But it is that like balance of how can we serve people who maybe that isn't the model for, and I think this goes beyond just customer experience. And there's a big discussion happening in medicine right now because so many of the tests, so many of the research reports, everything are very kind of focused on usually Caucasian men and what they're learning is, you know, women are not just small men. And yeah, yeah, and there are differences and we want to make sure it's a diverse panel and all of those things. So I think that there is a bigger discussion here, and one of the things that I talk about sometimes is how I see customer personas and they're kind of they're so one dimensional, right, and we really have to think of our customers as living their life and we're fitting into it. And I think sometimes we create, you know, those beautiful journeys and things like that and we think they're just going to march through it, but everybody is just trying to live their life and achieve their goals and accomplish certain things, and our products and services are there to support that. And when we look at personas that are so strict about who they are, I think we're missing opportunities to think beyond our regular customer experience and really deliver for our customers. So, then as customer experience professionals, we are always collecting feedback. Everybody's trying to collect feedback. I don't know about you all, but it's real - the fatigue of this - is real for customers. Survey response rates are going down. Customers are not willing to give feedback as much as they used to. We've all been involved in the other side of this, where it gets gamified by the people involved and they're like, "Give us a 10. Give us a 10. If you don't give us a 10, you've got to tell me before you mark it down. I think I shared my experience of the guy at the Jeep dealership who was like. The dealerships are the worst about it. I know they're not using it the way it should be. I think we really need to think about what is the real incentive for customers to give us feedback, because a lot of them feel like I've been giving you feedback for 10 years and I haven't seen anything. You have not even replied to me. You haven't done anything for me. That just adds to the fatigue. This is a really interesting idea. It's a company called Voto, and shout out to Kiah on our team because she's the one who found this for us. Yay, Kiah. This is all about basically incentivizing feedback with a social cause. What I mean by that is Voto, for instance, said it's a mobile app, and they said help us pick our logo. If you actually voted. They said we will donate $2 to the Calgary Food Bank every time you vote. This is clearly leveraging this wonderful combination of micro- donations, which are really big, and this idea that as a customer, if you're asking me for something, I might feel really incentivized by this. You don't have to send me a coupon, you don't have to gamify it that way, because then you're probably going to get more honest feedback this way, too. Yeah, I really like this approach. I think it could do a lot of good for the world, frankly, and it would be such an interesting way to invest in something that your organization believes in and is a social cause that you want to put out there. That's telling your customers something about your values and everything else, but it's also allowing your customers to feel really good that by voting they did that. Then you can add things so that if you want to add to that, as a voter, there are ways to do that too you can say, "yes, I want to give my money too. It's just a win-win. That is really interesting.Paige Flenniken:
Yeah, it makes you feel like twofold, you know, like as the customer, like, ooh, I kind of helped pick out their logo. Yeah, like that little squiggle right there, that was a little bit special, like you have like a relationship with that brand, like they care for you, and then also you feel good about the donation. Yeah, very smart.Jeannie Walters:
Exactly, and we're hearing more and more how customers want their personal values to align with the businesses that they interact with, and so what that means is they have to see your values, and you can't be kind of afraid of putting your values out there, and so this is just one way to do that, and if you are participating in this, like the food bank, is a great example. Or you know, if there are social causes or maybe regional things in your area, or cultural, this is a great way to say we're putting our money where our mouth is on our values, too, which customers feel really, really good about. There are some stats on this site, like when consumers think a brand has a strong purpose, they're 4.1 times more likely to trust the company. Eight and 10 executives feel that businesses have the scale, speed and acumen to solve today's most pressing problems. Wouldn't that be nice? Okay, so I just think all three of these examples of things that are happening right now really show how we can't kind of put our customers in a box forever. We can't say like this is who they are and this is who they'll always be and I've used this example before, but I mean there were, there were many, many organizations who literally said out loud, publicly, "well our customers will never use the internet, right? Okay, buddy, yeah, why would they? They get to come in and talk to people and they love the people that they talk to here. And it's what I always say is your customers are loyal until they're not. There's nothing keeping them loyal. They're loyal because you're serving a purpose, because you are helping them achieve a goal, because you are providing a more convenient option, because you are adding a pumpkin spice latte to the curbside order. Whatever, it is. Go, Target. It's really about making sure that we're staying on top of these customer expectations and making sure that we're respecting our customers enough to treat them as, like, the whole people that they are. So that's what I have to say about CX in the news today and our CX Pulse Check. People give us pumpkin spice. That's right, that's right. So, yeah, we we have a couple of things to talk about as far as what's happening here at Experience Investigators. First of all, we've had such a great first group with CXI Flight School™. It has really kind of exceeded my expectations the quality of people that have been involved and, for those of you who don't know, CXI Flight School™ is really like a private mentorship group with me, and so what we do is we help you build the foundational pieces in what we call CXI Ground School™, and then we take off and we, we just go through every tool in your toolkit as a CX professional and give you the tools, the resources, the learning. We talk to each other twice a month with a webinar or a workshop that I do, and then I do a live Q&A as well. And so, Paige, you've observed some of that. Any feedback on that? Anything you want to add?Paige Flenniken:
Yeah, it's been it seems from the outside, looking in, like really quality courses and access to you, obviously, because, as we talked about in our last webinar about it, there's so many options with like DIY. You know, I can find some resources, even our own learning center. We have so much that you can take away. But putting that into action in a way that is long term, that is strategic, that is a solid framework, is tricky. So the other option is okay, I'm just going to hire a bunch of consultants, or I'm going to hire something, but maybe your company's not quite ready for that, maybe you need to have some metrics in place to be able to support that investment. So Flight School is a really great way to kind of learn the landscape with a professional, with an expert, without diving head in. I would say. Yeah.Jeannie Walters:
Yeah, it's. It's really a way to kind of customize things for your organization too, and that's some of the feedback we're getting is that it's giving people the language to really speak to their leaders, to get the investments they need, to get the resources they need, and if they are ready for that consulting stuff, they can call you, Paige right?Paige Flenniken:
Sure can. I would love to talk to them. We can talk about pumpkin spice lattes. Halloween's coming up, it's my favorite. Oh, there you go, there you go, I'd love to talk to you.Jeannie Walters:
So, yeah, so, if you, if you want to check it out, we actually have a webinar today when this comes out. But go ahead and go to CXIFlightSchool. com. We are accepting applications until the end of this week, so go ahead and let us know if you want to be a part of that next one. And then, really, we just want to congratulate all of you for 2023 and all the work you're doing and all of the things that CX leaders continue to do. It is not an easy position to be in, and I know so many of you are really just fighting the good fight every day, and so I just want to say thank you for that. Thank you for listening to Experience Action and being a part of our workshops and webinars and all of that at Experience Investigators, and next week I will be back to answering one of your questions. So, don't forget, you can leave me a voicemail at speakpipe. com/E xperienceA ction. I can't wait to hear what you have to ask and I can't wait to really just hear from you in general. So thanks so much for joining us. Thank you, Paige, for being here. Yeah, always happy to come. All right, and we will see you next week. To learn more about our strategic approach to experience, check out free resources at experienceinvestigators. com, where you can sign up for our newsletter, our Year of CX program, and more. And, please follow me, Jeannie Walters, on LinkedIn.