CLIENT EXPERIENCE CENTERS: 5 ESSENTIAL CONCEPTS YOU CAN'T IGNORE

Reevaluating your current CEC can help improve future iterations: it’s about time we begin to think in perpetual beta.

When creating an experience for our clients—whether to share our vision or secure their partnership—we often develop and evaluate our entire approach right from the beginning. What we forget, however, is to reevaluate what we’ve created once our work has been put into action. Hindsight is 20/20, and here are a few ideas that we’ve learned are key to getting client experience right:

1. FOCUS ON THE GROWTH.

There’s no doubt that a company’s vision carries power, and sharing that through an experience makes the story tangible and relatable to future partners. But that connection only translates into a business transaction when we relate stories to a solution, and link that solution to your company’s ability to drive growth. Woven into the narrative must be a clear link between what you provide and what long-term objectives it can address for your client. If you’re missing that key connection, you’ll miss the mark with your future clients.

If you focus on growth, this also means your content needs to evolve in accordance to growing and changing state of your business. Amid evolving business verticals and capabilities, adjusting content will help you provide the most relevant data to your future clients. This is why digital integration is key; it provides opportunity for adjustments and pivots along the way, without the hassle of an installation do-over.

Catepillar Inc. Experience Center
Hy-Vee Inc. Headquarters

2. ADD THE HUMANITY.

If the only human element of your client experience center comes from the people guiding the tour, we can guarantee that you’ll have a hard time connecting with your audience. And while our era of digital content might seem in direct contrast of in-person connections, we can utilize interactive elements in your space to bring in new perspectives and ideas from outside individuals to our clients.

Technology integration can become a powerful force in our overall experience, and by adding touchpoints of outside storytelling throughout the space, we can better appeal to the emotions of our clients and contextualize our offering. Rooting our people-first stories in our technology also opens the door to data capture, and software tracking can help us better understand what stories resonate with our clients and what content we may need to adjust — this becomes key for future iterations of our spaces.

3. COMFORT IS KING.

Sometimes getting back to the basics is the best way to ensure your clients come away satisfied after visiting your facility. It’s easiest to think of your experience like going to the movies. While the films are undeniably the most important part of a ticket holder’s experience, their impression of your theater can still be affected by how comfortable their seats are, the amenities you offer and the cleanliness of the facility. In this same vein, potential clients in your space are showing up to hear your message but can be turned off by discomfort.

It’s important to have discussions early-on that support this idea: Do we have ample seating? Is our flooring material cushioned? Is our space accessible and inclusive? Taking care of the little details like this can have some of the biggest impact on your success; they become the perfect packaging for the message you’re sharing.

4. TAKE THE 50/50 APPROACH.

They say too much of a good thing is a bad thing, and when it comes to mastering the balance between storytelling and data, that couldn’t be more true. Too much data can feel stale or disjointed, while storytelling alone can be subject to scrutiny on whether or not the idea can be supported by actual results. As we evaluate the content of our experience, we need to maintain a 50/50 balance between narrative and data, using one to support the other and vice-versa.

STORIES WITH DATA CAN RECEIVE UP TO 34% MORE ENGAGEMENT AMONG VIEWERS.

Courtesy of Infogram Engagement Study, 2018.

Diving further into our data, we must also focus on striking the right balance between both quantitative (numerical) and qualitative (non-numerical) data. Both of these information types can serve different purposes and complement each other in strengthening our conclusions and ideas. Quantitative is great for proving out profit and growth, while qualitative helps supplement our storytelling in a tangible, focused way. Building this arsenal of information in combination with the company’s vision then becomes a relatable and relevant experience.

Ash Grove Corporate Office

5. FOCUS ON THE LAST WORD.

The way we craft our experience and story has the capacity to shape the final headline our visitors leave with. If we don’t start by talking about our end result, we may find ourselves on a path that achieves different objectives than those we started with. Think about it this way: as the client exits your door, what will be the first sentence they say when they get back into their car?  We need to ensure that they walk away feeling like you heard them and are speaking to it. Your content should convey your ability to meet their specific business objectives (and not just a general industry). Whatever that end goal is, it must be infused into every part of the experience, both overtly and covertly. If we get that right, the chances of securing a new client partnership is exponentially strengthened.

If you’d like to continue the discussion on how to develop or evaluate your Corporate Experience Center, please reach out to Abby Hines, Corporate Practice Director, via email at ahines@dimin.com.