"To deliver a fabulous customer experience, you have to end in a fabulous way"

Brands need to be able to address the barriers to purchase in the store environment by providing the right mix of brand theatre, says Mandeep Malhotra, President, Mudra Max

e4m by Mandeep Malhotra
Updated: Nov 18, 2013 8:03 AM
"To deliver a fabulous customer experience, you have to end in a fabulous way"

There is a concept in psychology that when people are asked to recall a list of items that are presented to them, they tend to be able to best recall those at the end of the list (the recency effect) and those at the beginning of the list (the primacy effect) better than those in the middle of the list.

Similarly, the shopper experience will also have a recency effect. The last portion of their experience will carry the most weight in their overall rating of their experience. For this reason, you have to be very sure you do a very nice job with all the finer details even when the transaction is over.

There is a grocery store near me. They have great fresh food, excellent selection and other things that contribute to a top notch user experience. Unfortunately, the carry bags they provide have an issue with the handles. On more than one occasion, the handles have failed, resulting in a scramble to keep the groceries from spilling all over the place. This is a crucial aspect to the shopping experience trumping most other shopping experiences.

In our business, we don’t skimp on the bags or whatever the customer takes home from you. It could leave a lasting negative impression, even if you do everything else right!

Marketers today use recency communication all the time. They control the first message that you hear about the product, making sure it’s a positive message and they also control the last message you hear about the product before making a buying decision.

Often, they’ll use contacts in social media, the PR stories written or presented about the upcoming product. For example, I’ve seen countless “news” stories touting the upcoming release of the iPhone 5, as well as the upcoming release of Windows 8. In each case, the goal is to get a positive perspective on those upcoming things into my mind before anything else and, in most cases, it’s worked.

At the same time, they strive to control the last message, too. This makes the last mile communication very important. Today, most of the brands try to engage at the last mile, hence ensuring they create a positive preference towards the brand, thereby influencing the customer’s buying decision. Now more than ever, marketers need smarter information to be able to turn shoppers into buyers of their brands. The brands need to be able to address the barriers to purchase in the store environment by providing the right mix of brand theater, including “retailtainment” and branded environments to create a call to action.

The shopper’s journey in the last mile can be activated with many touch points. As technology evolves, many new touch points exist in the digital and mobile space to drive traffic and activate sales. By building consumer-based promo events, new consumption occasions are waiting to be discovered.

In today’s economy, where we find that shoppers are more fickle than ever, it’s increasingly important for manufacturers and retailers to have more last mile solutions to win the race.

To deliver a fabulous customer experience, you have to end in a fabulous way!

The author is President, Mudra Max. 

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