5 Articles on Creating Incredible Customer Experiences

The folks at ThreeSixtyEight love to read. So much so that we have a Slack channel called #thoughtleadership in which we regularly share articles with one another and summarize the key points for easy-to-understand takeaways. Since launching this channel we’ve amassed a ton of great content from across the internet, so I decided to compile our favorites and share a bi-weekly blog post that highlights interesting topics. This first edition hones in on customer experience: a subject that all businesses have to prioritize in order to differentiate themselves from competitors.

Marketing in the Age of Alexa:

Read time: 20-25 minutes.

In this article by Harvard Business Review, we learn about the emerging opportunities around voice tech and how it will impact the future of customer experiences. As voice assistants like Amazon Echo’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri grow within the marketplace (according to Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2018 presentation, there were 20 million Echos sold in Q3 and 30 million sold in Q4), brands will need to adjust their marketing strategies to adapt to evolving customers expectations. Expect to see change in customer preference on receiving their goods, services, and information.

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Adobe CEO: People Buy Experiences, Not Products

Read time: 5-10 minutes.

Speaking at Adobe Summit 2018, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen makes this statement: People today are not buying products, but experiences. A big focus for us at ThreeSixtyEight is to constantly improve the customer experience. We turn this value into action with a special committee within the organization that regularly reviews processes and feedback from clients. While the article isn’t very long, it gives great insight on how known brands like Coca-Cola and Tourism Australia put customer experience at the forefront of their priorities. There’s also quotable gems like this in the article: “Think as if you are a subscription model, where people can cancel or grow their subscriptions with every click.”

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How Netflix’s Customer Obsession Created a Customer Obsession:

Read time: 15-20 minutes.

Former VP of Product Management at Netflix Gibson Biddle defines “customer obsession” as a healthy preoccupation with customers’ unanticipated, future needs through a mix of research techniques that put the customer in the center of everything you do, in order to see the product/service through their mind. While externally, organizations may claim that they are customer obsessed rather than customer focused, how can you actually tell? In this article, Biddle explains the differences between the two and shares the processes of engaging in high cadence testing to learn quickly through both success and failure.

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Forum on Leadership: A Conversation with Jeff Bezos

Watch time: 45 minutes – 1 hour.

Over the last few years, the word customer focus has been displaced by customer obsession. Brands like Amazon and Netflix have become synonymous with the term as they create unique experiences for customers regularly while using data to predict customer preferences.  Although this is a talk rather than an article, it gives great insight into Amazon’s view of customers from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Bezos talks about his successes, what Amazon’s version of customer focus vs competitor focused means, and what to do when anecdotes and data disagree (spoiler: go with the anecdote).

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The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact

Read time: 5 minutes | Listen time: 40 minutes

Authors Chip and Dan Heath have created many hits like Made to Stick and Switch. Their newest book The Power of Moments is a new office favorite. The book details their research on how to make memorable “peak” moments for customers and why it’s important to select the right moments in a customer’s touchpoint journey to make an impact. In this article/podcast, the brothers describe what elements pop up time and time again in peak moments and why you should create a culture that encourages customer experience spontaneity.

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