Recently, we’ve witnessed a convergence of marketing and experience. Epitomised by experiential marketing, it is great to see marketing come to life. Check out these great examples here – posted by EConsultancy.com. My personal favourite – the “Best Poster in the World” by Carlsberg.

In events, we often forget that our customers’ experience our marketing. Last week, at America’s Customer Festival I was reminded of the importance of customer experience and how closely linked this is to customer service. Melissa Baird, Director of Product and Operations from Bonobos gave a great presentation about on “The store of the future – Leveraging brick and mortar to increase online sales conversion.” Not only has Bonobos revolutionised their in-store experience, they have taken customer service to the next level. This high level of customer service has enabled them to deliver a unique customer experience.

Melissa gave examples of how Bonobos’ ‘marketing ninjas’ enhanced the experience of their customers using their ‘surprise & delight’ budget. The ninjas are given creative control when it comes to customer service. This creative freedom has led to the ninjas sending a Bonobo to a student. This makes me think about how we thank our best customers, or our best assets. Why not make a fuss over the speaker who helped us to shape our agenda? Why not thank the sponsor who helped us to promote the event? Why not celebrate the social media influencer who made our event hashtag go wild?

Too often we forget to say thank you. As we say in the UK, ‘it’s important to mind your p’s and q’s.’

In an interview on eMarketer back in 2012, Bonobos neatly describes the impact high levels of customer service can have on business:

“We have an interesting stat: If a customer has talked to one of our ninjas, he’s actually much more likely to shop again and he’s much more likely to tell his friends and family about us than if he hadn’t talked to our customer service team. – See more at: http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Bonobos-Sales-Staff-Called-Ninjas-Skilled-CRM/1009527#sthash.oANtw6s2.dpuf”

Great customer service leads to customer retention. Customer retention gives businesses a great base from which to grow. It also leads to referral and “word-of-mouth” marketing.

The convergence of marketing and experience is more than just ‘in-store’ or ‘on-site’. Our customers experience our promotion. 

The best example of this – websites. Why is it vital that we as marketers adapt websites to suit the mobile world? Because customers want to experience our promotion at a time, in a place, from a device of their choice.

Customer service must also be remembered when we think of our promotion. Just like in the Bonobos example, customer service can set your promotion, your product and your business ahead of that of your competition. When you send out an email, are you sending it at a time that suits the recipient? Have you written appropriate copy? Have you used clear call-to-actions? Are the instructions clear and easy to follow? Thinking of your customer and ensuring their experience is positive – this is excellent customer service.

The convergence of marketing and experience is enhancing our relationship with our customers. We as event marketers can learn a lot from the customer service excellence demonstrated by Bonobos.

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