Delivering Remarkable Experiences Is How You Win More Customers Equip your team to make a lasting impression.

By Sonia Thompson

entrepreneur daily

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Increasingly, great products aren't enough to win new customers. As markets become more crowded, and consumers are exposed to countless stimuli vying for their attention, it is becoming more difficult for companies to cut through and stand out over the long term.

But there is one strategy that continues to show promise in helping you break through -- consistently delivering remarkable customer experiences.

Data shows that customer experience will soon trump both product and price as the key brand differentiator by the year 2020. That same study also showed that 86 percent of buyers will pay more for a customer experience.

When you deliver unexpected experiences that shock your customers out of the status quo, not only will they be drawn closer to you, but they'll be so delighted that they'll tell their friends and family about it, so they can be a part, too. Whenever I encounter a business that wows me, I can't shut up about it.

Related: Long-Term Customer Loyalty Starts (or Ends) With Your Earliest Interactions

That's why companies like The Ritz-Carlton, Nike and Goop have incorporated customer experience as a core part of their marketing mix.

This approach can work for you no matter what type of business you are in. Here are three examples of companies who've effectively used experiences to win more customers. Follow their lead so you can do the same.

1. The Ritz-Carlton mobilizes its team to deliver wow.

Part of the motto of The Ritz-Carlton is to deliver an experience that "enlivens the senses, instills well-being and fulfills even the unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests." The company carries out its vision by empowering its employees with both the autonomy and the resources to do so.

It does that by providing its employees with the ability to spend $2,000 per day per guest. A senior account executive explained their rationale for this approach on the company blog: "Employee empowerment means being able to use my natural ability to create a lasting memory for guests or resolve a guest issue and have the confidence that my company supports me 100 percent in my effort. Sometimes the most delightful "wow' moments happen in the blink of an eye. If employees are not empowered, and need to cross layers of approval, these moments could be lost forever."

Set your intention about how you want your customers to feel after interacting with your business. Then equip and empower everyone on your team with the resources they need to execute your vision.

2. Nike creates events that make you want to be a part of them.

The iconic brand launched a new running shoe, the Nike React, a few months ago. Instead of just plastering ads everywhere, the brand produced "House of Go" pop-up houses in select cities around the world.

These houses were filled with fun activities designed to demonstrate the various attributes of the shoe, such as sponge pits to showcase how "spongy" the shoes are. The fun atmosphere made visiting the house a fun thing to do on the weekends when it was open, as evidenced by the numerous social media posts people made sharing about the joy they were experiencing at the house.

Related: How Do You Get Your Customers to Advocate for You?

The cool and unintimidating atmosphere attracted both runners and non-runners alike and even encouraged product trial. When I visited the House of Go here in Buenos Aires, the friendly staff somehow convinced me to try on a pair of shoes and run around the block with them on!

Deliver experiences that are worth talking about and that have a clear business purpose. Your objective can include creating a must-attend event that introduces new people to your brand, demonstrates your product features in a unique way or even getting consumers excited about trying your product.

3. Goop uses insight to deliver content its audience wants to devour.

In 2017, Gwyneth Paltrow's 9-year-old company tripled its revenue. It attributes much of its growth to the content it delivers.

Contrary to popular belief, you can deliver remarkable experiences to your customers digitally. Elise Loehnen, Chief Content Officer at Goop, told me they do it by "talking to our readers the way that we would talk to our smartest friends and giving them all the context, all the information that they would need to feel like they're making a great decision or a great purchase."

Talking to their customers like friends has enabled them to develop deeper, more emotional connections with their customers. That deeper connection fosters loyalty and helps the company serve its customers better with high-quality content with unique insights that are hard to find elsewhere.

Related: Want to Know What Your Customers Really Think? Try Working Side by Side With Them to Solve Problems.

Loehnen told me the company recently started a podcast, and is investing in doing more video. Those moves into these other mediums came as a direct result of requests from customers who feel comfortable enough with the brand to tell them what they want.

The relationships you build with your customers can serve as your unfair advantage. When you have a deep degree of intimacy with your customers, you can use what you know about them to deliver the types of experiences you know they want to receive from you.

You deliver an experience to your customers with every interaction. Take the opportunity to deliver remarkable ones, rather than forgettable ones. Create experiences that draw your customers closer to you. Get them so excited about your business, they want to tell all their friends about you.

When you do, like the companies above, you will win more customers. Consistently.

Sonia Thompson

Marketing Strategist, Consultant, Author

Sonia Thompson spent nine years as a marketer growing healthcare brands around the world. She is a marketing strategist, consultant and author. Thompson writes about how the entrepreneur's mindset, company culture and diversity help businesses deliver remarkable experiences that win more customers.

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