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Customer Experience

Why Creating An Immersive Experience Keeps Customers Coming Back For More

empty movie theater

Being Immersive means looking at the entire customer journey and ensuring that it makes sense as a whole. The entire experience should be one continuous smooth ride that your customers feel.

Chances are you’ve heard (or even uttered) the word “silo” at your company. So many businesses are siloed, meaning that the organizational structure creates lots of different teams that are in charge of different parts of the customer experience. These teams have names like acquisition, usage, and retention; in a B2B company they might be called sales and customer success.

The problem is that siloed businesses create siloed experiences because every department owns a different part of the experience and the departments often don’t communicate with each other. They create the best experiences they can, but the poor customer is left with really awkward, inconsistent, or disjointed transitions between experiences.

Research company eMarketer calls “lack of single ownership for omnichannel efforts” a “big problem” in customer experience.

“Everyone must align on the overarching goals and visions of delivering the experience,” eMarketer adds.

GetFeedback found that the top obstacle for B2B companies is also silos within the organization. Like their B2C counterparts, the issue is largely a factor of a company’s size: 33 percent for small, 57 percent for medium, and 73 percent for large enterprises.

In other words, “as organizations get bigger, delivering a good end and journey becomes more challenging.”

According to Zendesk, 70 percent of customers expect companies to collaborate on their behalf, and 68 percent of customers are annoyed when their call is transferred between departments.

Being Immersive means delivering a consistent, connected experience so that the whole thing feels right to the customer. It is the “I” in the “WISER” methodology outlined in the new book, The Experience Maker: How To Create Remarkable Experiences That Your Customers Can’t Wait To Share by Dan Gingiss. WISER stands for Witty, Immersive, Shareable, Extraordinary, and Responsive, and it represents the core components of experiences that customers want to talk about.

One way to accomplish this is to always ask where the customer came from before they arrived at this part of the experience and where are they going next. Then make sure that those transitions are smooth.

An Immersive experience takes all that into consideration and is a journey that remains consistently smooth.

It also helps to get customers feeling the experience more deeply.

Related: Why Customer Experience Trumps Traditional Marketing

If you have kids, you’ve probably seen The Greatest Showman, and if you haven’t, please stop reading and go watch it right now (but don’t forget to come back!). It is a terrific movie with great music and a positive message. I highly recommend it.

If you have a young daughter, you’ve undoubtedly seen Frozen—also a terrific movie with great music and positive messages.

These movies have one other thing in common, which has remained rare in the movie industry: After a successful first run in theaters, they came back for a second run. The second time, though, they were billed as “singalong” versions.

Dan Gingiss singing The Greatest Showman

This may or may not be Dan Gingiss singing the theme song to The Greatest Showman during one of his keynote presentations.

Think about the typical experience of going to a movie theater. You’re told to be quiet and not talk. You’re told to turn off your phone. Basically you’re just supposed to sit there and silently watch the movie.

Now think about this singalong experience. This time, you can stand up and belt out song lyrics with the movie characters, with everyone else in the theater doing the same thing. What an Immersive experience!

These films took a typical moviegoing experience and shifted it to be so Immersive that viewers felt it in their bones. For those like me that had these soundtracks running in the house 24/7 so that we all knew every word to every song, that created a memorable and lasting experience.

Is it any surprise that two of my now-teenage daughters’ favorite movies are still The Greatest Showman and Frozen?

Exclusive excerpt from The Experience Maker: How To Create Remarkable Experiences That Your Customers Can’t Wait To Share (2021: Morgan James Publishing). Reprinted with permission. The book is available on Amazon and at other fine retailers. Dan Gingiss is a customer experience keynote speaker and consultant. Main image by Alfred Derks from Pixabay.

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