LEGO's Experience Wheel Reveals the 'Wow" Factor

The concept that delivering a superior customer experience is fundamental to a retailer's success, is slowly becoming more and more apparent to most companies.  However, a revealing study from Bain & Co. highlights what is now known as the experience gap:
  • 80% of organizations think that they provide an exceptional customer experience
  • 8% of their customers agree
This gap is the result of very structured, rational and one-fits-all company approaches to the customer experience.  However, loyalty and appreciation are a consequence of an emotional and spontaneous rapport, which demonstrates the importance of that customer for the company.  Retailers, should go out of their way to impress the customer and go beyond his/her expectations.

Yet, every customer is different and sales associates should be able to recognize those differences and be prepared to tweak the in-store experience so that it is always outstanding and surprising.  Unfortunately, most customer experiences are usually crafted by company executives and are the result of those individuals' experiences, ideas, preferences and positions.  To truly design a meaningful experience for the customer, a store owners need to develop the ability to walk in the customer's shoes.

To achieve that ability, retailers should consider devising "Customer Experience Journey Maps".  LEGO, the Danish manufacturer and retailer of construction toys, uses this exact method to deliver a superior experience in its stores.  Their "Journey Maps" are called "Experience Wheels".

"Journey Maps" or Experience Wheels" essentially try to bring a customer's story and circumstances to life and allow organizations to spot the key moments where they can add value.  The "Experience Wheel" above maps the context of a traveler flying from London to NY to visit LEGO.  It highlights the make or break moments in the entire experience and it pinpoints the requirements to be able to improve that experience and build elements of surprise, which aim to amaze the customer.  LEGO also tests the customer experience regularly, refining the "Experience Wheels" and the elements of surprise associated with it.

Small and large retailers alike should recognize the customer's differences and the importance of developing in-store experiences that are flexible and customizable.  Building and utilizing "Customer Experience Journey Maps", regardless of how detailed or complicated they might be, is the first step towards bridging the experience gap.

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