This Christmas season I have experienced many wow worthy moments from some of my favorite brands and some of my favorite people.  It got me thinking about what I can do better about creating that same wow factor for my own customers and yours.    

Here are a handful of customer experience ideas for you to consider implementing for your own brand as you look to 2022.

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  1. Keep it personal – This week I received a Christmas gift from my virtual assistant at The Collaborate VA. Now we’ve all had our fair share of gift baskets, chocolates and other food gifts from clients and vendors. But this gift was different. Why? Because it was thoughtfully curated. She handpicked a beautiful scarf and handmade leather notebooks just for me and included a lovely handwritten card.   Handmade leather notebooks from Italy? She was speaking my love language! When I thanked her for the gift, she said she really wanted to find something special and didn’t want it to be generic. 

    It made me really think about my own customer experience.  Customers today are so used to receiving automated emails and communications.  To the point where companies are forgetting how important it is to be personal.  How much time and care to I put into taking care of my customers and giving them something special and thoughtful? Christmas time isn’t the only time to give gifts. Think about your most valued customers. What could you curate and send to them that they would love?  

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  2. Add a little extra – I’m a sucker for a well-made leather bag. You know, one where the leather has that certain patina over time and ages beautifully. The stitching is immaculate, and the interior of the bag is just as beautiful as the interior. I recently got back from a trip to NYC and made a trip to one of my favorite leather goods stores. Not only did I find a beautiful bag to bring home, but my experience in the store was also extraordinary. They had an in store complimentary coffee and hot chocolate bar for all guests. This was a special touch – completely unrelated to their products and brand but made my experience that much more memorable.

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  3. Broaden your reachStranger Things. One of if not the most popular original series produced by Netflix. If you’ve seen it, chances are you can understand why. So imagine my delight when I discovered that there is a Stranger Things store in Manhattan. Of course I went! The design and layout of the store was experiential marketing at it’s finest. Expanding beyond the medium of television to create an immersive, experience that made me fall in love with the series all over again.

    You can broaden your reach by exploring other marketing channels for your business. This is a powerful way to create increase brand loyalty and create more brand advocates.

    How can you do this?
      1. Make a list of the current marketing channels you use now.
      2. Survey your customers and find out where they like to go both digitally and physically.
      3. Experiment with at least one other marketing channel.

    Do this and your brand will benefit from an increase in brand salience (a fancy way of saying how easy it is for your customer to recall your brand) and make your happy customers even happier by giving them more places to engage with you.

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  4. Go for Nostalgia – When I was walking through the Stranger Things store, I couldn’t help but help but feel like I was in Hawkins, Indiana, in Will's House and living in the series with the main characters. In Will’s living room was a bookshelf filled with 80’s paraphernalia. There was one item in particular on one of the shelves that made me stop in my tracks - An 80’s cassette tape. I hadn’t seen a cassette tape in at least 20 years and physically touching and seeing the cassette tape brought back a flood of positive feelings and memories.

    Don’t underestimate the power of nostalgia for your brand. Most people delight in reliving the “good old days”.  Coca Cola's famous "Holidays are Coming" advertisement exemplifies this concept beautifully.  The original ad was launched in 1995 and still runs in some form at Christmas time.

    How can you create this feeling of nostalgia in your customer communications? Are their stories from the early days of your company or shared experiences from your customers' youth that you can share  that will help them feel the positive emotions that come from reliving times past and associate those feelings with your brand?   
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  5. Surprise and delight – When I first arrived at my hotel in New York it was a chilly afternoon and I had been traveling by car, train and taxi for half a day. I was ready to put my feet up in the room and relax before going out again. Imagine my delight when a member of the hotel staff personally welcomed us to our room and offered to bring up a hot cup of peppermint tea. Yes, please! This was just what I didn’t realize I needed. I would have never thought I needed a cup of tea at that moment but when it was offered to me, I lit up like a Christmas tree. On top of that no hotel I had ever stayed before offered this to me before.

    How can you create a similar experience for your customers? Something completely unexpected. This can be as simple as sending a handwritten thank you note with their order or inviting your customers to attend a special event.  Or making a personal phone call to your customer when their order arrives to make sure everything is in order.  To make this even more special get to know and document the details of your customers lives. What’s their birthday? What are their hobbies? What food do they like? Find these details out and document them in your CRM. Make them feel special by noticing what they love most.

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  6. Create a feeling of anticipation – This year I ordered a 24 days of Christmas tea calendar from David’s Tea. When it came in the mail, I opened up the box to find 24 beautiful little compartments of loose-leaf tea and the smell of cinnamon, orange, rooibos, hibiscus. Heaven in a box. David’s Tea had created a feeling of anticipation, something to look forward to every day.

    What can you do to instill the same feeling of anticipation for the future? What can your customers look forward to when they work for you? Help them envision what this future looks like by being transparent and clear about your process. You can do this by creating a visual that shows them the journey.  Build celebration milestones into your projects so that when important goals are met you take time with your customer to celebrate before starting your next milestone.


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  7. Try a little something new – I’m saving the best for last because this one is from my 6-year-old daughter. We were doing some Christmas baking and she decided to get creative by sticking mini marshmallows on top of Hershey’s kisses and placing them in a bowl of sugar. Mini marshmallows and Hershey kisses are amazing on their own, but this completely new concoction melted my heart. It was simple, effective, and delicious. Each one perfect bite of puffy sweetness and chocolatey goodness. The best part? Her very heartfelt note - "I love you. I hope you like it."  Two simple sentences that showed me how much she cared about me and that she wanted to make me something I would love.

    This sweet gesture was a tender reminder to me about what is truly most important for every business owner. Forget the spreadsheets, financial reports, revenue goals, administrative headaches for just a moment and remember why it is that we do what we do every day – Because we love our customers, and we want to create something magical for them. Place this at the center of every decision and you will never go wrong.