Customer experiences are almost always indirect. You don’t feel good because a company told you to feel good. You feel good because that company set up a scene that had the right feel-good elements.
Every bank wants to think they’re “a different kind of bank,” yet you’re greeted with nearly identical experiences upon entry. (If you swapped out the signage, it’d be almost impossible to know which bank you’re in.) The branches are the same, the phone support is the same, the websites are the same. They’ve put more emphasis on “looking like a bank” than on creating a real experience for their customers.
(One exception to this is BNP Paribas, which calls itself “the bank for a changing world.” Walk into one of their major branches, and you’ll find yourself double-checking to make sure it’s actually a bank. They’re creating a remarkable and refreshing experience that genuinely says something different to its customers.)
You have to stop thinking of the customer experience as a layer of polish that makes your business pretty. Your company’s roots (purpose, core values, etc.) should be evident in every element of that experience, not just in your marketing materials.
Businesses often think about customer experience after they’ve built the core of their business, when that experience should have been the core of the business.
To create a truly evocative and effective experience for your customers, you can’t just talk about it. You have to prove it. You have to live it. You have to show it. It has to be woven into every aspect of your company. You should be as focused on how your staff answers the phone as you are about the new ad campaign you’re about to run (and maybe more so).