How Apple and Starbucks Can Improve Your Customer Experience

Tim SandersA few weeks ago, hundreds of customers came down to San Diego for ACTIVE World, our customer conference. One of the keynote speakers, Tim Sanders, is the CEO of Net Minds and founder of research firm, Deeper Media Incorporated. Tim is also the author of four books and works to improve the intersection between technology and people.

Tim talked about creating an experience around your product or service and used two stories:

1. Less stuff, fewer steps – Steve Jobs 

Steve Jobs was a master of design and user experience. As Apple users know, the technology is intuitive and easy to use. Part of the reason why is that Steve Jobs created experiences with “less stuff and fewer steps.” For example, your favorite app on your iPhone shouldn’t be five steps away from the home screen, it should be one step away, and clutter should be kept to a minimum.

Takeaway: Apply this advice to your registration process. If one of your customers goes to your website, how many clicks does it get to online registration? Take out all the junk and put a button on your homepage for online registration. That will make it easier for your customers to sign up and easier to participate.

Read more: 25 Ways to Improve Your Website Today

2. ‘ing it – Howard Schultz, Starbucks

Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO of Starbucks, set out to mimic Italian coffee shops that had successfully created a third place between the home and work. He wasn’t going to sell coffee, he’d be selling an experience at Starbucks.

One way to stay focused on that was through a concept called, “‘ing it.” Put an ‘ing on the end of every part of the customer experience. For example, people don’t come to Starbucks to buy coffee – they are experiencing the romance of coffee.

Takeaway: Think of your customers and members from this perspective. How can you shift the mindset from “at the gym” to “improving my health at the YMCA” (or rec center, etc.)? Think about your customers actively participating in all you offer.

Both of these pioneers have mastered the experience for their users and any organization can learn from their techniques. How can you use Steve Jobs’s ideas to improve your user experience online? Can you apply Howard Schultz’s in-store experience to your facilities?

Comment below with ways you’ve improved the experience at your organization.