Asserting a competitive advantage
There is not a single thing that marks out an organisation more clearly from competitors than creating memorable experiences for clients, visitors and employees. As there is often very little physical difference between them.
The concept of customer experience is not well understood by most companies and is often confused with customer service. Because experiences are as different from services as services are from products. All ten finalists for this year's award work for companies that recognise that they must make people feel special to create memorable experiences.
The qualities of an award winning receptionist
I was chatting to Kitija Lace, the 2019 winner of the Corporate Receptionist of the Year Award who works for Rapport Guest Services, about the qualities needed and these include being an excellent communicator with a desire to help others and those around them to succeed, to be a good motivator and to enjoy being part of a team. She embodies all of these in her own unique and very humble way. Yet she speaks three languages (English, Russian and Latvian) and is now a Deputy Client Services Manager.
BEING On the judging panel
As I’m on the judging panel it has been a privilege to meet every one of the finalists, to see their presentations, interview them and watch how they behave in a role play. This is enjoyable because all the judges have different backgrounds and different perspectives, which makes the process robust and rigorous whilst stimulating lively debate.
Three issues holdiNG service-based companies back from greater success
Most service based organisations suffer from the same three issues. Number 1, they provide intangible services which are difficult to package and present because of their ‘intangibility’. Which leads to number 2 or poor differentiation, making it difficult for prospective clients, customers or colleagues to chose to work with them. Number 3, relying on their people to provide these services, these individuals may not all equally well engaged, motivated which can lead to inconsistencies. Read more in Craig Thatcher's book called 'Continuous Branding', on Amazon as an ebook, paperback and audiobook.
“The concept of customer experience is not well understood by most companies - the secret is to create 'memorable' experiences
The way to address these issues is by creating memorable customer, client or colleague experiences. As these are effective ways of competing with bigger and far better funded competitors. You don’t always have to invest a fortune, you just need to focus on what is best for your specific audiences.
Experiences are as different from services as services are from products
I’m not just talking about service here. But experience. Because experiences are as different from services as services are from products. Yet competitors will find your experiences almost impossible to replicate because they appear to be created in an instant by an individual and consumed in the same instant by another.
How do the best companies engineer memorable experiences?
They actually don’t happen by accident, they happen by design. Firstly, they decide on the overall value proposition and the market position that will appeal most to the clients, customers or colleagues they're trying to serve and that fits their business model, too.
Then they design the experience they want their customers to have and if necessary re-engineer their business, people and processes around their customers. Rather than forcing their customers through the convoluted hoops and loops in their own systems. This all sounds easy but is difficult to achieve, yet the rewards are worthwhile.
an essential form of branding
Creating memorable experiences is an essential form of branding. I have a deep involvement with the Corporate Receptionist of the Year Award. In 2019, Craig led the creative team that developed the brand identity and design of the website for the inaugural launch and continue to provide creative services.
ABOUT THE AWARD
Learn why the award was started in the first place.
Want to DISCOVER more?
Contact Craig for an informal chat about how he can help you create and communicate memorable experiences.