The Softer Side of Customer Experience

It’s election season in the U.S., and you know what that means. It means I stop by the recycling bin in my garage before entering the house with the contents of my mailbox. A couple of weeks ago, I was doing my usual direct mail purge when I came across a piece from The Container Store®. This piece would have gone straight to the recycling bin, but the title stopped me: Learn what WE STAND FOR!

Under full disclaimer, I’m probably a “frequent flier” at The Container Store. One can never be too organized! Now, back to the direct mail piece. I opened it to discover that The Container Store has taken their customer experience beyond “a shopping experience that makes you smile” to giving customers more insight and transparency into how they feel about their employees, the vendors they partner with, and the communities they live in.

The direct mail piece included several employees showcasing a skill, hobby or talent with their photo and a personal note that used one word to describe what these employees believe The Container Store stands for. I do not recall the last time I read through an entire piece of direct mail. But this time, I pored over all the comments and photos.

Summer, a salesperson, believes that one word is PASSION. Thomas in distribution center inventory systems chooses the word ACTION. The list goes on to include MATCHLESS, FUN, FAMILY, LOVE, and EMPOWERMENT. The Container Store is running a contest asking you to tell them what nonprofit organization you stand for. Anyone can submit their favorite nonprofit to win cash, products and services from The Container Store.

Don’t forget about the softer side of customer experience. With many organizations working feverishly to transform their business into being more customer-centric, it’s easy to get caught up in processes and technology. Focusing on people and social responsibility often falls behind and becomes a lower priority. Keeping people and social responsibility at the forefront is crucial. Your customers will use your processes and technology, but they will see or hear your people and feel their passion. The latter is what they will remember most about your brand.

I’m sure there are many other great examples of the softer side of customer experience. Please share your examples in the comments section.

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