You Need a Winning Experience Strategy
If 2022 was a year to rethink, 2023 should be a year to reconnect. Meaningful connection is paramount because it leads to loyalty—something we all wish to earn yet are challenged to obtain. Engagement levels have diminished, decreasing loyalty for organizations and businesses across all industries. It has manifested in lower levels of office utilization, patient retention, and guest traffic.
Gallup research reveals that 85% of employees are not engaged at work and are less involved at the office. Similar issues are present outside the workplace, with customers and guests not returning to establishments if their experience is subpar.
When gaps form between the expectation of an experience and the reality of it, our people lose interest. People now seek more compelling reasons to spend time and money and hold higher expectations for their experience within a physical space. Intentionally creating an exceptional experience is necessary as we strive to capture loyalty.
Does the experience move me?
Emotional connections form when an experience has a positive influence on mood. Physical spaces shift emotions and, if configured correctly, encourage the desired response from visitors. In the workplace, engaging spaces motivate employees to come into the office rather than work from home. Hospitality establishments strive for moments of delight and surprise to entertain guests. Healthcare facilities lean into a comforting atmosphere that sets the tone for attentive support. Enhancing several touchpoints within a space to spark positive feelings can ultimately bond people to a place.
Do I feel like I belong here?
The physical space is a vehicle for human connection and meaningful engagement. Shared spaces in offices encourage culture and promote a sense of community. Similarly, hospitality establishments must provide an inviting ambiance and excellent service to ensure visitors feel welcomed and at home in their space. In healthcare facilities, the environment must be curated for visitors to feel at ease and supported in stressful situations. A truly connective space creates an atmosphere to foster a holistic sense of community.
Does the experience leave a lasting impression?
If a visitor’s experience exceeds expectations, it is impactful, and the space becomes irreplaceable in their mind. That impact leaves a memorable impression, leading people back and inspiring a willingness to share their experience with others. So, whether it’s a community hub, a healthcare clinic, or an office, an experience that fosters an unforgettable association with the organization is one that generates the loyalty we are after.
When all three elements are activated, an experience becomes exceptional. This is your competitive advantage—this is loyalty. So how can your organization consistently provide experiences that are emotive, connective, and memorable? Through an Experience Strategy.
You Need a Winning Experience Strategy
Crafting a winning Experience Strategy allows you to maximize the potential of your physical space. It should outline your goals and the tactics needed to cultivate emotive, connective, and memorable experiences for the people you’re trying to reach.
When we work with our clients to create their ideal experience, we ensure that the company's goals are the ultimate driver of the strategy. We review the Ten Business Imperatives to identify the top three objectives most vital to a business. The chosen imperatives are used to pinpoint what should be prioritized. This process helps guide leaders toward solutions that will create the experience they're hoping to achieve. For example, a focus on Technology, Agility, and Innovation will yield a different outcome than one on Talent, Employee Experience, and Inclusion.
Keep Your Ear to the Ground
Experiences can vary from person to person. Have you considered what your space is like from different perspectives? How does staff perceive it compared to first-time visitors? Don’t just assume you understand your space’s experience. I highly recommend physically observing the following.
Items to Observe
What are the facial expressions of the people in your space? Do they seem happy, content, relaxed, or delighted?
Where are people connecting? Where are they gathering to chat, laugh, and get to know each other?
What do people engage with, mention, or revisit the most in your space?
Metrics You Can Count On
Gathering quantitative data is the next step toward understanding how people genuinely feel about their current experience. The more data you can collect and leverage, the more informed your experience strategy will be. I’ve included some sample questions below that could be incorporated into a Pulse Survey to provide solid metrics around your current state.
Questions to Ask
I enjoy being in the space?
I have opportunities to engage with my community within the space?
I am excited to share my experience of the space with others?
Over the coming year, we'll share how organizations have implemented winning experience strategies that created loyalty and achieved their business goals. In the meantime, let me know what you're finding or if you need help building an experience strategy for your business.
Lauri Goodman LampsonPresident + CEO