How do you create a Shareable customer experience? It doesn’t happen by accident. Shareable experiences are carefully and strategically crafted so that customers can’t help themselves but pull out their phones and capture the moment for posterity.
Sharing is often done via social media, but it can also mean telling friends, family, and colleagues in person, on the phone, or via email. Research has shown that people are more willing to share positive customer experiences than negative ones, so it’s up to companies to ensure their experiences are worth sharing.
“Shareable” is the “S” 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.
“Make your products shareable,” advises messaging platform Podium. “This is one of the best marketing strategies because nothing is more personal than a friend recommending something to you.”
Shareable may seem like the most obvious of the WISER elements; after all, who doesn’t want word-of-mouth marketing? Yet businesses create experiences every single day that customers aren’t sharing.
According to marketing consultancy IMPACT, 75 percent of people do not believe brand advertising, but 92 percent believe brand recommendations from a friend. What’s more, word-of-mouth marketing generates twice the sales as paid ads. Yet most companies spend infinitely more of their marketing budget on paid advertising than on customer experience.
Customer experience includes every single interaction a customer has with a brand, so brands must consider how every experience looks when shared. This can range from digital imagery in an advertisement to almost any element of a physical experience.
Consider the two coffee mugs above. One is a plain white mug, situated next to a white notebook. The rustic wood table is kind of cool, but this photo is otherwise dull and unremarkable. The other mug has brightly colored stripes, and while it’s sitting on a neutral-colored table, the bright green blurred background gives the viewer a sense of the outdoors, perhaps on a deck or patio.
Now there is nothing wrong with a white mug. It certainly doesn’t affect the taste of the coffee. But would you rather share a picture of the plain white mug or the colorful striped one?
If you’re not in the coffee business, remember that this is not about the coffee or the mug. It’s about looking at every part of your experience and asking, “Is this worthy of sharing?”
As a keynote speaker, I often remind audiences that there’s no such thing as an “offline” experience anymore.
We used to have offline experiences: an airplane, a subway, an office meeting, a bedroom rendezvous. But now everything we do, everywhere we go, we can pull out our phones, take a picture or video, and turn an offline experience into an online experience.
So with every part of your company’s experience, you have to ask yourself if you want it shared on social media.
This is not just about being afraid of what people might say, it’s about how you design it so people want to share the experience.