Your Executive Briefing or Customer Experience Center is up and running. Meetings are scheduled. Prospects are visiting. Sales should be on an upward trajectory, but your organization isn’t reaping the rewards that you expected. You’re likely asking yourself, “What is going wrong?” Typically, the answer lies within the decisions that were made when designing your Experience Center. Were your goals part of the technology and content planning? Did you set out to create an experience that your customers would remember months or even years after their visit? Too many times, the answer to this question is “no.”
With all the noise and distractions demanding your customer’s attention every day, being memorable is essential. Overlooking this one key objective – creating a lasting impression – can negatively impact the success of your Briefing Center. If you find yourself in this position, or want to avoid this dilemma in your Customer Experience Center design, there are five key steps you can take.
1. Involve your Stakeholders
Senior stakeholders, be it the CEO, CFO, VP Sales or whomever, want Briefing Centers that are successful at developing long-term client relationships and driving sales growth. When executed well, these Centers create customers that rave about your organization and the experience they had. In order to create that level of excitement, the experience must be unexpected, unique to your organization, and unforgettable. What are the key takeaways and experiences that your stakeholders want clients to remember three months after their visit? Your brand management stakeholders might have different impact priorities than your sales or product marketing stakeholders have. How can you achieve multiple objectives? Involving stakeholders to set clear, measurable objectives as well as provide resources to accomplish them will be key to the Center’s success.
2. Never Underestimate the Power of a Feeling
Many of us connect to an organization or brand because of a feeling we’re left with when we interact with that company – either using their product, going to their website, or visiting their store for example. Companies that are intentional in designing and delivering a positive experience, or feeling, for their customers, drive sales by creating loyal, repeat customers. The same analogy is true with Customer Experience Centers. Outcome-based experience design can drive results here. Consider what feelings you want clients to recall as well as facts, because the feeling is often more durable in our minds than the facts. The more memorable and personalized the experience is, the stronger the connection to your brand, the more loyal the customer becomes.
3. Personalize the Experience
An Executive Briefing shouldn’t be viewed as just hosting a meeting. It should be viewed as an opportunity to create a sensory experience that is customized to each individual client. The experience should be personalized from start to finish. Enlisting the help of all teammates that have relationships with the visiting client is key to create the personalization that is needed. Questions like these can be helpful in crafting the personalized messaging and experience.
- What is the goal of the briefing?
- What is the history of relationship with this client?
- Where they are in the sales process?
- What topics do we definitely want to address?
- Are there any conflicts or topics to be avoided?
- Personal information about the client
- Where are they from?
- Do they have a favorite sports team?
- What are their personal passions or hobbies?
- What are their professional goals?
- Do they have a spouse/partner and any children?
- What are their favorite foods and beverages? Do they have any food allergies?
- What is their flight schedule?
Answers to these questions help drive personal connections.
4. Provide Unforgettable Hospitality
Details matter – especially when creating an experience you want your clients to remember long after they leave. The details of each client’s experience should be mapped out in advance of their visit, allowing for a personalized experience to begin as soon as they enter the door. Be very conscious of the geo-demographics of your guests. How many are coming in from your immediate region? State? Country? International? How can you acknowledge and incorporate their needs into the experience? The hospitality provided from start to finish of the briefing should be unexpectedly welcoming and unforgettable. Think of creating the Disney experience where every visitor is a ‘guest’.
When your “guest” enters your organization, they should be welcomed visually with their organization’s name displayed as well as verbally by one of your teammates as they enter. The greeter should address them by name, ask how their flight from California was, for example, and if they caught the Lakers or Warriors game the night before. Designated rest or work stations should be available for guests whose flights arrive hours before the briefing begins, which is especially important for international guests. Those arriving on-time should be provided with details about the day’s agenda. Meals, snacks, and beverages should be some of your client’s favorites, music playing in the background could be from their favorite band, and content shared throughout the day should be customized to your client’s needs and goals. Every step of the day should feel very intentional and personalized to “wow” your guest.
5. Create a Visual Experience
Customer Experience Centers exist not only to facilitate dynamic, relationship-building discussions, but they also should tell a visual story about your brand, your organization’s history, and demonstrate why your client’s organization would be crazy not to partner with you now and into the future. Sure, you could verbally present that information, but stories and images together are much more engaging and memorable. Visitors should interact with your brand, read, and hear about your organization and its accomplishments and capabilities through a variety of mediums throughout the briefing. The higher the level of engagement and participation, the more intriguing and memorable the information and experience will be.
Evaluate the investment in your Center based on the objectives of creating memorable experiences that your clients still talk about months later. Technology assets and program elements that enable a memorable experience and align with the outcomes prioritized by your stakeholders should be considered during the design phase.
Mechdyne has been consulting with organizations for over twenty years to create innovative solutions that create memorable experiences and loyal customers. Let us help you create a Customer Experience Center that your clients won’t forget.
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How Executive Briefing Centers Impact You – Part 1: Closing the Deal
How Executive Briefing Centers Impact You – Part 2: Show Your Brand Story
How Genesis Systems Group’s Executive Briefing Center Became a Success