Begin with the end in mind

"All for fun and fun for all." Does this appeal to you or would you rather go on a heavy metal cruise? Would you like to go on holidays with a cruise company who is really clear on what to expect? Let me take you on a cruise and learn about Customer Experience in the meantime.

The slogan "All for fun and fun for all" appealed to me and my 17-year-old daughter when we wanted to take our first cruise ever in 2016. We had some ideas that cruising was for older people, senior fellow humans, to be honest. But when I dived deeper into the world of cruises, I found out there is much more to it. From Disney cruises to heavy metal cruises, from classy to fun and party cruises. That's what we wanted, a fun cruise, on a boat in the sun where at least we could pay a visit to the Bahamas.

The booking of the cruise, the information I received, the boarding (which was the moment I dreaded the most in the customer journey), the cabin, the logistics on the cruise ship, the trips on the islands, the employees... This cruise was a best practice when it comes to customer experience. Not only as a guest, I enjoyed it to the max. But also as a customer experience professional I couldn't stop smiling. Cruising the Caribbean and experiencing a brilliant CX journey. It couldn't be better.

So, let's cruise this CX best practice. What was so brilliant? When I look at a simple (but very effective) strategy, the transformational CX model comes to mind. Companies that want to become customer centric, work on the 3 strategies of the model with determination and fun, will make customers happier, earn their loyalty, their spending and end up with raving fans.

The three strategies of the transformational CX model

  1. Brand Delivery in the Customer Journey
  2. Voice of the Customer
  3. Employee Ambassadorship

Let's take a look at Carnival Cruises and their promise "All for fun and fun for all". For me this is the start of all good customer experiences. No, let me correct myself, for great customer experiences. As a company or as a brand, you probably have a purpose, a mission, even a vision. But what do you want your customers to experience? Elements that are crucial here, are customer promises, or maybe even a brand promise like the one from Carnival Cruises. Because when you know what you want your customers to experience, you can start reverse engineering.

Begin with the end in mind

This is what I mean: begin with the end in mind. What do you want your customers to say, to feel, to tell their friends and family when they did business with you? If you know these words, these feelings; you know what's needed in the customer journey to deliver these experiences daily. Where can you make a difference, what are moments for up and cross sell, what are great moments to listen, what's needed from the employees?

So, begin with the end in mind when it comes to customer experience. At Carnival Cruises they go for Fun. They offered fun from their booking emails to their cabin experience in the towel folding. They had upsell packages at the moment of boarding "Faster to the fun". I could board earlier than other guests, if I paid some extra dollars. What a smart way to use the brand promise, make me happy as a customer (because who likes waiting?) and increase revenue at the same time.

Now it's me who's curious. What are companies that are spot on when it comes to customer experience? That begin with the end in mind and shine in daily delivery? Share your best practices in companies with outstanding customer promises, so we can all learn and dive deeper into the magic behind these great customer experiences.


** Nienke Bloem is an expert in Customer Experience (CCXP), both as Trusted Advisor, Keynote Speaker and co-founder of the customer experience game. Do you want to receive regular updates? Subscribe to her monthly CX Greetz and don't miss anything! **

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