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Marketing That Works: Customer Experience

A recent trip to my grocery store got me thinking about customer experience as part of marketing. I was at Albertson’s, who a few years ago, jumped on the member-card bandwagon with everyone else. I didn’t really mind carrying my card, although I recognized the absurdity of creating a club for saving money just so the store could get some demographics.

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But last week, I saw signs everywhere telling me I no longer needed a card to save money. At first it left me feeling stripped. How would the system know how much I bought when there was a product campaign (like the one where I got a cheap pot for spending $500 in several months)?? But then I realized Albertson’s was taking customer experience into consideration. No doubt many people forgot their cards and grew frustrated. So now everyone can save money without the hassle.

A positive customer experience keeps people coming again and again.

A negative customer experience makes people tell others who will not buy from the brand under scrutiny. So it is to your benefit to ask yourself, what do my customers want? What would make their experiences better? It could be as simple as offering a cup of coffee to your clients, making the location of shopping baskets more convenient, or just thanking every customer when they leave.

Here are some other examples I’ve noticed that provide excellent customer experience:

  • POM Tea, I’d noticed, comes in an odd-shaped jar. I bought one and discovered it’s actually a glass! I didn’t even have to pour the tea out – I just drank it straight from the glass. I enjoyed the product and think of it every time I drink out of my POM glass (which is often).
  • Grocery stores like Kroger and Publix let you print stickers for your produce. Other stores like Albertson’s and Wal-Mart let you check out your groceries. Maybe this seems like more work to some, but I enjoy being able to check myself out.
    The Post Office has an automated stamp and package machine.
  • Amazon, the king of all customer experiences, customizes a user’s start page with items they might like based on shopping and viewing experiences.

What sets your company apart? What customer experiences do you offer?

Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, a content marketing firm based in San Diego. She’s written several business books, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, and Cision. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. Bravo! Customer experience is often sacrificed for the sake of collecting detailed customer data. Although this data is quite valuable, there are certainly less intrusive means to collect quality data. Tying purchased items together can provide businesses with buying patterns and habits that can bundled with other available consumer knowledge.

    Let’s hope this move works out well for Albertson’s. Companies in many industries will be watching!

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