In October 2020, Gartner released its Top Strategic Technology trends for 2021.
Of particular interest to us was the mention of Total Experience.
So what is Total Experience and why must brands take note?
Firstly, as a brand, if you think just selling good products/services would keep you in business, you may need to think twice. That you sell great products/services may not be the (only) reason why customers are spending their money on you.
Of course, while quality is non-negotiable, customers are equally keen to have a great experience during the purchase/after-sales journey.
As studies show, even a single bad experience can prevent you from retaining a customer. According to studies done by PWC, 1 in 3 customers will walk away from you if they have had even 1 bad experience (in the US). If you are a LatAm business, that number is 49%!
Take a look at these stats –
Here are some more interesting facts -
- While it is brutal that customers switch so easily, they do not also mind paying a premium when the experience is great. So, this is both a curse and a blessing for brands, depending on where you are on the spectrum. (source)
- It is not just about what you offer now, it is about how you offer that matters as much. (source)
- We are in the experience business, no matter what we sell. And it is no surprise that over 90% of organizations today have a designated CX department/head. (source)
With the Covid-19 restrictions still in place and brands being forced to embrace the new normal, the experience factor has only become bigger and more important.
The experience game is shaping up to what is called Total Experience.
So far, organizations treat each of these entities (Customers, Users, Employees) as separate silos and various programs have been built around them and for them. Total Experience combines Multi-experience, customer experience, employee experience and user experience to provide a seamless, enjoyable experience for all stakeholders.
The Definition of Total Experience
Dominos – An early adopter
An early adopter of Total Experience is the pizza delivery giant, Domino’s. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, Dominos was ahead of the curve when it came to pushing the envelope on Digital Transformation programs.
While Domino’s (like the rest of the world) did not foresee the pandemic, these transformation programs, at their heart, enhance customer experience, employee experience and user experience. Possibly because Domino’s has been listening. Really listening. (Look for “Dominos pizza turnaround” on YouTube. The videos are worth a look).
So what did they do?
Dominos facilitated over 15 different ways to order pizza, including sending an emoji on Twitter to a voice command on Google Home / Alexa (removing friction is a key take-away for Total Experience). (source)
Similarly, they introduced “Pizza Pedestal” – A small, card-board extension on which pizzas are placed to avoid contact. Or the other time when they introduced “hotspots” – which meant customers could get their favourite pizza while lazing out on a park bench or on the beach.
As you can see from the few illustrations above, Total Experience enhances the points of interaction between customers and employees, helps improve customer experience and benefits both parties. The employees follow safety protocols, working efficiently with systems that ensure their safety as well as assure their customers that they are doing everything they can, to make sure they are protected as well. And customers are happy – there is an increase in customer satisfaction as life is much easier thanks to these changes. And they feel safe from unnecessary exposure to any risks.
The benefits of happy customers and happy employees do add up. US same stores sales grew by 11% during the quarter (2020) and 11.5% annually. (Source)
Total Experience is clearly a differentiator for brands that care to do it right. In fact when every system, process and strategy that backs customer engagement is connected and integrated, customer relationships can be elevated to a whole different level, making Total Experience a reality for brands and their customers.