Italian espresso and CX

Many people know me as a coffee junkie and it is true that I will at least have one or two cups of coffee before noon. Well, do you know that espresso and CX have something in common?
Before we start, you need to know how Italians have their coffee. More specifically their espresso. You see, we are familiar with the American style which is exported globally by Starbucks. That has another CX story but for now let’s focus on the Italians. Italians drink their espresso in store. They never have their coffee “take-away” or “to-go”. There is a ritual and experience that defines the Italian coffee drinking so it’s more than just the product now. It also can help us see what we need to do for customer retention.
CX has many levels and it’s not just good or bad CX When we interact with a brand, at the minimum, the brand must meet our need. A bank makes it easy for us to save and withdraw money for from example  A telco let’s us make calls or provides internet accesss. Those are needs. The needs are usually easily duplicated by a competitor. The CX focus then must be on the customer wants. For telcos, this may be how easy or simple to use or sign-up. Instant rewards or add-ons. Even accurate billing. It does depend on the industry.

However, these are some things we want beyond meeting our needs. In an era of everything instant and everything to go, the experience is what keeps customers coming back for more. In Italy, coffee is a ritual. First you have quality, both in the beans and craftsmanship of creating the drink. You can tell Starbucks liked this idea so much they labeled a lot of their drinks ‘hand-crafted.’ So, the Italian coffee shop now provides the experience, the aromas, the espresso machines and the art with the milk and cookies at the side. Then you have the interaction. The barista chit-chat. A lot of this experience is unique to specific coffee shops.
The analogy here is that there is something a customer needs and there is a customer want. They will need a latte or espresso but the reason they keep going to certain places is because of a want. The want that is mostly wrapped up in the emotional or experience part. Take a moment to consider which services and products you frequent  and you will realize many times that the want usually overrules the need. A lot of people need a hair-cut, a credit card, a phone service but the want will decide where they go to get them.
So, if you have relatively imitable products like credit cards, telcos and even coffee, it pays to invest in the people and the experience. The goal here is to create the “want” for your brand, service or product. Even if your product is unique at the moment, it is important to focus on creating the experience – maximize the first-mover advantage since the disruptive economy can produce a competitor overnight.
Not sure how to start or need focus on which key areas you can work on to maximize impact to your Customer Experience? We will be more than happy to discuss how we can help.

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