It is no surprise that the ultimate customer experience (CX) is a vital aspect of business success in today’s competitive market. In fact, According to Forrester, brands with the best customer experience generate 5.7 times more revenue than lagging competitors. That’s a huge customer base to miss out on!
However, achieving this level of success requires a focus on delivering customer experiences that delight customers. But how can you take your CX to the next level?
If we take a look at brands like Apple and LEGO, we can all agree they are leading the CX Industry. You will also notice their brand communities play a vital role in this.
But what is their secret?
Lets take a look at what this word actually means.
What is the ultimate customer experience?
The ultimate customer experience starts with understanding the concept of “TCE”. This basically means creating a significant impact in your customers’ beliefs and behaviors. For example, creating feelings of ecstasy and happiness.
TCEs create a sense of belonging and shared identity among customers. As a result, customers are more likely to become brand advocates!
Lets take a look at a few examples of TCEs:
- emotional intensity
- newness of the experience
- extreme enjoyment
- the extreme focus of attention
- testing of personal limits
In short, Apple and LEGO have hit the TCE sweet spot, when it comes to their CX!
Why Does Apple have leading CX?
Undoubtedly Apple is among the best CX companies in the world. Thus their Net Promoter Score (NPS) went from 47 in 2021 to 72 in 2017. This is mainly due to Steve Jobs, who seeded the company’s obsessive commitment to building the ultimate CX.
Jobs led the way with his marketing persistence. Subsequently having a lasting effect on Apple’s CX strategy.
Apple’s guidance under Jobs became a spectacle to behold, even after he died. So much so that iPhone announcements had an air of mystery and a touch of magic.
The events were carefully scripted and aimed to change the way people thought about technology. Not only that, but the events served as a place for people to interact and build communities. It was often said that people went away feeling increasingly loyal to Apple.
How does Apple create great CX?
In short, Apple understands the power of a community.
But what actually makes them different from other companies? Well lets have a look:
1. An “us vs. them” mentality
This practice of comparative advertising allows Apple to position itself as the innovative leader in its field. Hence, Apple creates a distinct image for itself in the minds of its customers. Ultimately, this helps to build a community of loyal users who feel invested in the success of the brand.
2. Values, values, values
Apple has a clear sense of direction and identity. Their values, such as a strong commitment to privacy, serve to rally specific communities around the brand. It is crucial to choose your values carefully and integrate them into every aspect of your organization. In this way, you can foster a sense of purpose and identity that resonates with your target audience.
3. Intense empathy
The leading e-commerce players excel in empathy, and Apple is no exception. They do not have just a surface-level understanding of their customers. But deeply understands and prioritizes them. Every aspect of Apple’s approach revolves around solving customer problems. If you aspire to build successful communities, developing strong empathetic skills is essential.
4. Never stop measuring touch points
What sets Apple apart from its competitors is its ability to provide exceptional experiences at every touch point of the customer journey. By measuring the customer’s entire experience, Apple can ensure that they don’t lose customers due to negative word-of-mouth.
5. Sharing with front-line.
At the Apple store, customer feedback is highly valued and actively considered by employees. They are fully aware of their NPS and receive real-time data sharing. In fact, Apple compensates its employees based on this feedback.
The Apple Store and the “Town Square” CX
The Apple Store has been very important for the company’s success worldwide. It has more than 500 stores in 25 regions that serve millions of customers. These stores provide a welcoming environment for customers to learn about Apple’s products and receive expert help. Over time, the Apple Store become a thriving brand community.
Furthermore, Apple introduced the “Today at Apple” program in May 2017. This initiative offered educational opportunities to the community, with a special focus on teachers, entrepreneurs, and creatives.
Apple has set a new standard for providing free educational resources related to its products through the “Today at Apple” program. These sessions cover a wide range of topics, from photography and music to business and coding.
Over the past decade, Apple has shifted its focus in its customer experience strategy to make its stores a community meeting place, aiming to transform them into a modern-day town square. Apple CEO Tim Cook has even questioned whether the term “store” accurately describes their retail locations, as they have become much more than just a place to buy products.
Apple stores have also played a crucial role in fostering a community of evangelists. Companies looking to build a loyal following should take inspiration from Apple’s careful attention to customer feedback. Ignoring customer sentiments can quickly lead to negative consequences, making it essential to closely monitor customer reactions and feedback.
Apple Worldwide Developers Conference
Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is a perfect example of how the company values customer experience in its communities.
During the WWDC, developers come together to learn about the internal process of iOS and macOS. This event has contributed to the growth of the developer community, which is vital to the app economy and much of Apple’s success with its products.
The conference allows developers to connect with experts, leading to the strengthening of relationships among them. It also showcases the work of leading developers and announces new platform functionality, which serves as a springboard for new apps. This has helped to grow the Apple App Store community, with over 2 million apps and consistent revenue growth since 2016.
Overall, WWDC demonstrates that building a healthy and thriving community is a critical driver for achieving high-return TCEs.
What customers are buying when they buy LEGO
Like Apple, LEGO created a strong community. They went so far as to involve their communities in the design process. Even gifting them with a 1% royalty for doing so. This approach built strong bonds among community members, beyond typical product relationships.
LEGO showed us all the power of community-driven innovation and customer engagement.
How to create the best customer experience strategy like Apple and LEGO
To create transcendent experiences, like brand communities, it’s crucial to prioritize listening to customers. This can be achieved through systematic touch point programs, such as wide-scale Voice Of Customer (VoC) and NPS programs.
To learn more about how leading brands are building world-class customer experiences, reach out to Resonate.cx. We specialize in helping companies take a systematic approach to measuring and scaling customer experiences.
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