What this store did to their customer’s enquiry was absolute genius! A lesson in customer experience for everyone!

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Let me tell you the story about Lily.

One day, Lily Robinson, three and a half year old, was walking around the aisles of Sainsbury’s super market with her mother. When her mother picked up some tiger bread, a popular brand of bread, Lily had a question which comes naturally owing to the curiosity of a kid.

She asked her mom, “Why is this called tiger bread? This looks like a giraffe bread to me.”
Lily was referring to the patterns baked on the bread, which in fact resembled the pattern on a giraffe than that of a tiger. Her mom said, “Maybe you should ask them.” And she did. She wrote a letter, presumably with the help of her mom, to the 145 year old, £798M super market chain of 1200 stores.

“Why is tiger bread called tiger bread? It should be called giraffe bread. Love from Lily Robinson age 3 and 1/2″.

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Now, this letter probably wouldn’t raise more than a couple of chuckles before it went into some file of the corporation.

But Chris King, from Sainsbury’s customer service thought it was a brilliant idea. He wrote back to her.

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“I think renaming tiger bread giraffe bread is a brilliant idea – it looks much more like the blotches on a giraffe than the stripes on a tiger, doesn’t it?” He went on to explain, “It is called tiger bread because the first baker who made it a looong time ago thought it looked stripey like a tiger. Maybe they were a bit silly.”

He included a gift card and signed off the letter, “Chris King (age 27 & 1/3)”

Her mom, put the letters on her blog and in couple of weeks, it struck a chord with many and went viral. There was a facebook page set up, Chris King was celebrated as a legend and the internet stood by the logic of this three year old. In a couple of months, owing to the ‘overwhelming response from its customers’, the 145 year old corporation, changed the name of tiger bread to giraffe bread.

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This story speaks volumes of how Sainsbury’s treats its customers and also exemplifies how each customer deserves to be treated. Unfortunately, not in our everyday lives we come across such incidents where the customer is valued and considered as the pivot point in a business.

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Forget listening to the customers, can you even find where the bread section is in a supermarket without walking around the place three times and asking someone in vain?
We hear or even have gone through nightmarish experiences with these business establishments.

In this age of the customer, where they demand customized, individual care, it is absolutely impossible for any business to sustain unless they start listening to its customers.

Always remember, the customer is king!

By Harikrishnan Menon

Woo Your Customers with Predictive User Experience!

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Today, we are in the midst of a revolution wherein customer experience is the currency by which companies will live or die.  More than ever before, customers are now truly in charge of the power to express their opinion openly and make them count. With the convergence of cloud, social and mobile, the customer can now be an instant expert, instant advocate or an instant critic.

Gone are the days where customers have been just considered as numbers or accounts. It is high time that they are regarded as unique human beings with distinct sets of needs. We need to acknowledge that they now expect more than just a product or service. They expect a relationship that is on equal terms. We need to earn their trust and keep up to it.

Today we are in the midst of ever-connected, always-on, highly opinionated, on-the-move customers.

Not so long ago, every business assumed that the key to delivering great customer experience was only about understanding the need and reacting to it.

But now, customers are expected to be at the center of the world and giving them that special attention would mean empathizing and connecting to them at an emotional level. When we treat customers like individuals, predict their interests & preferences and proactively deliver those experiences, magic happens.

Thanks to the large amount of data that organizations have, it is used as leverage to identify patterns and build new models to predict future actions. While one aspect of using this data can help businesses achieve saving cost, the other most important use of this data will be in delivering superior experiences even before the demand.

This layer of intelligence to deliver a personalized and contextual Predictive Experience (that I may call) is going to be the way forward for businesses to become a customer’s company.

The latest report reveals that only a third of surveyed businesses are already in the game. Successful companies will only be ones that can harness real-time and predictive aspects of analytics and combine it with the user experience.

Here are examples of few such companies that are revolutionizing predictive experiences, making them have a notable advantage over the competition.

Mercedes:
Their effort in becoming a customer’s company is evident with their investment on developing a “Digital Companion”. The predictive experience they aim to deliver, elevates the notion of a car. It transforms from the “best driving experience” to “an old friend” who knows you and you learn to trust.

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Amazon:
The anticipatory shipping initiative by Amazon has set the retail industry on fire. With anticipatory shipping, the idea is to use the data to predict what customers want and then ship the products automatically.

Think of the feelings you get when you see that an Amazon package has arrived at your door — it’s delightful and exciting, even though you know what it is. I bet those feelings are amplified when you don’t know what’s in the box.

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To remain the pioneer in moving the customer experience needle, you need to deliver predictive experiences to your customers that can connect at an emotional level.

And, it is this emotional bond that can turn your customers into loyal advocates.

Share the strategy that has helped you attract and retain customers at every touch point.

 

By: Mohan Krishnaraj
Sr. Director – User Experience
Aditi Litehouse

 

 

“How to Design a Site for International Audiences” – Part 3

We’ve reached part three of the series: “How to Design a Site for International Audiences”. This part will deal with the importance of professional translator, maintaining global branding, privacy laws and trivial details.

So Far We Have Looked At:

First part: Focuses on importance of Unicode, understanding the cultural symbols and their symbolic meanings and the symbolism of color. Click here to read the blog.

Second part: Deals with country specific design patterns and the use of flexible layouts to account for language compatibility. Click here to read the blog.

Use Professionally Translated Text for Local Content

While writing content for your localized sites, ensure that your content has been translated by a professional translator and vetted by a cultural authority for that culture to ensure that no careless or glaring mistakes have been made. While it might be tempting to use Google translate or a local employee to do a rough translation, lack of knowledge of translation nuances can lead to some embarrassing results as shown below:

Pepsi’s ‘Come alive with the Pepsi Generation’ slogan reportedly turned into ‘Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave’ when translated into Chinese.

Germany was not entirely receptive of Irish Mist whiskey liqueur, Clairol’s mist stick curling iron or the Rolls Royce Silver Mist model. This isn’t surprising when you consider that ‘mist’ is German for ‘manure’.

Also be aware that slang is also avoided as much and what might be considered as acceptable words in a specific language might be considered as very offensive slang in another language.

Also note that names might be called differently or might be spelt differently depending on the language. For example Munich (the capital of Germany) is spelt as “München” In German.

Also note that not only selectable text should be translated but also text which is embedded in images to ensure there is a cohesive user experience and uniformity across the site.

Lastly, note that literal translations should also be done carefully while choosing website names as shown by the example of Holland’s hit festival which whose domain name becomes http://www.hollandshitfestival.nl/

Check out this article Ten Tips for Localization and Translation for additional inputs on best practices while doing translations.

Maintain Global Branding

Though care should be taken that the site is localized to reflect local customs and considerations such as color and local symbols are taken into the consideration while doing the site design, the site still maintains its brand identity to increase trust and acceptance across customers.

Be Aware of Privacy Laws

While designing a localized site, be mindful of the privacy laws of that country. For example, Europe has very strict data collection laws as opposed to USA and we must ensure that there is no violation of that as that can have serious consequences as shown as below:

The absolute worst case scenario is that the EU denies US firms the right to do business in Europe where there is any possible human data transfer back to the US. Some examples include:

  • Bar all e-commerce unless data about Europeans is processed in European and follows the new rules.
  • Airline and Hotel firms could not transfer any data about European customer’s preferences such as eating and seating.
  • Medical research data could not combine European and American data sets.
  • Firms that need data about individuals such as accountant, insurers and investment bankers would be severely curtailed.

There are numerous examples of companies who have made efforts to ensure these laws are met. For example, Citibank in collaboration with the German National Railway made an agreement to collectively launch the largest German credit card offering. In order to get approval the two firms had to negotiate for six months to institute numerous privacy protections to satisfy the new privacy directive. Another example is that Anitha Bondestam, the Swedish privacy watchdog instructed American Airlines to delete all health and medical details on Swedish passengers after each flight unless ‘explicit consent’ was given.

Be Mindful of Small Details

A successfully localized website is one that appears to have been developed locally, even when it wasn’t. Since localization mistakes and oversights can be awkward for website users and potentially embarrassing for the company, ensure you get it right. The last thing any company wants is to turn away potential customers from its website before those visitors ever have a chance to experience the product or service. Generally speaking, website localization means giving some extra attention to things like:

  • Dates: Be mindful of date formats used (DD/MM/YYYY vs. MM/DD/YYYY)
  • Time: 12-hour vs. 24-hour time.
  • Currency: Pay attention to conversions and formats.
  • Phone Numbers: Formats are different around the world.
  • National Holidays: Holidays are country and region specific.
  • Metric Units : Be mindful of the metric units being used in that country
  • Website Language Codes: ISO codes are important to know.

Also be mindful of details such as how consumers in your target country access your site. An excellent example is how Facebook customizes its tagline depending upon its target country. The English page says, “Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life.” The Japanese page says, “Using Facebook, you can connect with friends, colleagues and classmates to deepen your connections. Also access Facebook from cell phones and smartphones.”

The thing to notice is that the Japanese page mentions users can access the site with phones, but the English page doesn’t. This is perhaps because this study 95% of the Japanese population is mobile subscribers. To quote the study:

Japan has 125 million mobile subscribers (95 percent of the population), of these 103 million (84 percent of mobile users) are mobile Internet subscribers.

Conclusion

In closing, there is significant research done on the best practices to follow while doing localization on a site. Ensure that you pursue all the research that is available before jumping into a localization problem and follow the best practices recommended to ensure there is little or no embarrassment when the site launches thus driving your site towards greater globalization.

What defines loyalty in the digital age?

Today consumers’ interaction with brands has transformed completely. Long-term customer loyalty is no longer guaranteed. To get deep-rooted perennial brand loyalty, it is suggested that brands should redefine their marketing strategies and propel a knock-on-impact unique program for customers.

In this digitally connected world, customers have easy access to abundant information through smart phones and on-the-move web. It’s a hard-bitten job to engage customers and solidify their loyalty over a long tenure.

Loyalty requires an emotional attachment to the brand. Brands should work on identifying the emotional hook of their customers. They must recognize their customers, create experience for them and innovate intriguing marketing plans to allure them. Learn what people think about what drives loyalty, and use those findings to discover new ways to engage with customers’ hearts and minds.

With innovative approaches and unique marketing tactics, it’s easy to improve customer loyalty and boost sales. One fundamental prerequisite for lasting customer loyalty is a regular customer contact. Individualized communication strengthens consumer engagement and helps to retain them. It is always believed that effective ‘relationship marketing’ help maintain a customer’s loyalty for a long spell.

Walt Disney said, “Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.” Creating trust and love between your brand and your customers can help scale positive word of mouth which is absolutely priceless. As the digital world has shorten the distance between consumers and retailers, it is high time to acquire happy customers and solidify your relationship in a meaningful way. A successful customer is a loyal customer who purchase repeatedly and does advocacy.

Today marketing has evolved from a transactional orientation to one that is based on relationships and community-building. By infusing more interests among consumers and creating differentiated experiences, brands can motivate customers to come back often and involve them in the brand advocacy.

Presently, consumers are empowered as never before in the age of Web 2.0, social media and mobile apps. Companies should start realizing the critical role of technology in this digital age and enabling the power of ‘social commerce’ to increase brand visibility and relevance to the digitally empowered consumers. Transparency, connection, and consistency help consumers deliver their brand promise. It is the personal brand connection which builds trust and loyalty among target audience.

What matters today is “Customer Experience”.

 

Nabanita

Lead – Technical Writer