Can you think of a recent experience you had with a company or brand that was seamless, unified, and memorable? Did that experience set your expectations for engaging with other companies?
If these questions immediately made you think of a recent brand experience you had that stands out above the rest, that experience has likely registered as your last best experience.
Everyone has a last best experience, a golden experience that sets the standard for experiences they have with other companies, regardless of the industry they’re in or the products they sell. For Avtex’s Chief Experience Officer, Kurt Schroeder, that experience was with Sears Imports, a Mercedes-Benz dealership.
What Happened During Kurt’s Engagement with Mercedes-Benz?
Before visiting Sears Imports, Kurt had never purchased a luxury car before, so he didn’t know exactly what to expect. However, his expectations were high considering he was purchasing a luxurious car from an esteemed brand.
When he arrived for his appointment, he was greeted by name, ushered back to a beautiful staging area, and cared for by a friendly representative. The representative spent more than an hour with Kurt illustrating the car’s technology, pointing out cutting-edge features, and ensuring Kurt was comfortable operating the vehicle.
After the introduction to the car, Kurt was escorted to the business manager’s office to sign the papers and make the purchase official. To his surprise, there were no papers. Instead, the business manager tapped her desk to reveal a tablet. All the necessary signatures were collected digitally through this tablet and the entire transaction was completely paperless. Kurt happily finalized the transaction and drove away from the dealership extremely satisfied.
For the next two weeks, the team at the car dealership called Kurt to check-in and ensure he was still satisfied with the car, knew exactly how to operate it, and understood all the features and functionality available to him. From the moment Kurt scheduled the appointment, to two weeks post-purchase, the team went above and beyond to deliver an exceptional experience to Kurt.
What Made This Experience So Great?
The reason this experience registered as Kurt’s last best experience is because the experience really reflected the essence of the Mercedes-Benz brand. He bought a high-end luxury car, so he expected a high-end, luxurious experience - and that is exactly what he received.From the technology of the car, to the technology integrated within the business manager’s desk, and the care the dealership showed following the purchase, the experience felt luxurious. The dealership showed Kurt they valued his business, wouldn’t waste his time, and wanted him to truly love the product he purchased.
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Why Your Experience Should Match Your Brand
Branding is no longer just about your logo, font, or color palette. Although aesthetics are still important, your brand is largely defined and perceived by the experiences you deliver.
For years, brands differentiated through product or price. But in 2020, customer experience surpassed both product and pricing as the key brand differentiator. Most organizations know that in order to differentiate themselves from their competitors, they must deliver exceptional customer experiences.
Brands like The Ritz-Carlton, Apple, and Starbucks provide memorable experiences that are in line with their brand promises. Employees at The Ritz-Carlton follow three steps of service and treat their guests with respect and dignity, amounting to an exceptional experience. The moment you step into an Apple store, you step into the future. Everything feels high tech and you know exactly what kind of experience to expect. No matter what Starbucks store you frequent, you know the barista will ask for your name and that your latte will taste exactly the same as it always does. That’s the power of delivering an experience that matches your brand.
Delivering distinct, memorable experiences allows your business to produce phenomenal results. It’s all about meeting your customers’ expectations. If you are a high-end, luxury car dealer, your customers are going to expect white-glove service.