Saturday, March 21, 2015

Customer Experience Trends - Currencies of Change

Interrupting the current series of posts discussing journey mapping to provide another summary of a recent report from trendwatching.com .  In Currencies of Change, the focus is on the role of incentives as part of the customer experience.  According to the report, smartphone apps, in many cases integrated with consumer wearable monitors, will enable companies to enhance the experience by using real-time incentives and rewards to help customers accomplish their objectives.

Some context referenced in the report…
  • 66 percent of consumers feel that their relationship with brands are one-sided, with them as the sole contributors, and brands as the beneficiaries.
  • There is an increasing focus in western society on self-improvement.  This accounts for the popularity of the “Quantified Self” movement, evidenced most notably by robust sales of activity tracking devices.  Paradoxically, however, the report also finds…
  • One-third of consumers who purchased a personal tracking device (e.g. a fitness monitor), stopped using the product within 6-months
  • While 89 percent of consumers surveyed said that taking personal responsibility for health is the best way to stay healthy, 91 percent admit to frequent fast-food snacking.
So, what gives from these seemingly inconsistent findings?  

According to the report, customers are not rejecting tracking devices or self-improvement.  Rather, they’re looking for meaningful incentives to keep them on track in pursuing their goals.  While conventional incentives, such as accumulating points for a future reward, are effective in some cases, many customer experiences require incentives that resonate more positively with customers’ social and emotional needs.  Some examples of successful use of incentives include…
  • Oscar Insurance - the Brazilian company provides its customers with a fitness tracker that monitors daily walking distance.  Customers maintaining a consistent walking discipline are rewarded with lower premiums.
  • Weight Watchers - customers are entitled to reduced fees when achieving weight loss targets.
  • Seda - another innovative Brazilian company…the haircare brand exchanges used shampoo bottles for cell phone credits.
  • McDonalds, Stockholm - citizens of the Swedish capital pay for their burgers by exchanging empty aluminum cans.
 As connectivity between consumer and company increases (look for the advent of smart watches to contribute to this), we’ll likely see this incentive trend continue to establish itself in both the developed countries and in emerging markets around the world.

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