Space for an Engaging Experience

Click, click, click. Your brand, company or organization may attract one million or more visitors to its website annually, but how do these visits eventually turn into revenue?

I think that conducting quantitative or qualitative research on customer experience is a fundamentally critical factor in turning the organization’s website visitors – be they passers-by or returning – into customers and later on into brand advocates.

Using this approach has the benefit of being able to better anticipate customer needs and desires and adopt to the mindset of the customer. Customer experience, in short, is the cumulative impact of multiple touchpoints over the customer journey, which result in an emotion-based relationship feeling, or lack of it. Now that the numerous different digital services have multiplied the potential touchpoints, lack of proper customer experience management may have disastrous results for the brand.

“Customer experience … is a fundamental dimension of how a company competes”, says Joseph Pine, who has coined the term in 1999 in his book entitled “The Experience Economy”, co-authored by James Gilmore. Pine underlines the importance of the shift from service economy into experience economy. This shift may be as remarkable as or even more important than the shift from selling commodities to making and marketing goods.

The importance of research cannot be overrated here. It is precisely getting to know your customers and having a discussion with them that helps you better understand their journey.

Once you have the results from the research, be it extensive quantitative material or in-depth interviews with selected few, it is possible to start mapping and managing the customer experience.

This can be done, for example, by creating customer profiles. The customer profiles may help in identifying the customer journeys that really matter, and vice versa.

Creating a customer journey canvas can also be a useful tool here.

What the customer of the 21st century expects now when purchasing a product or using a service, is, most of all, to have an engaging experience.

I think that creating this kind of emotion-based experiences should be the main area of expertise in the Museum Industry for these institutions to keep attracting customers in the future. Most major art institutions have indeed been very successful in creating an environment where this kind of engaging experiences take place. However, when it comes to their online services, not so many museums seem to have put so much effort in creating a space for exceptional engagement.

How to make the magic happen online?

I have no easy solution for this one, but creating digital customer profiles based on extensive research may be the best starting point in creating a composed customer experience. Having a streamlined digital strategy and implementing it throughout the organization is also needed.

Author: Iiris Konttinen

I am a digital service design and digital marketing professional based in Helsinki, Finland.