Enhancing Customer Experience: Pry into the past

Wawa Inc., a highly popular convenience retail chain in the USA, recently announced that they would become the first in their line of work to adopt the Coca-Cola freestyle machines at all their outlets by May 2015. The move comes solely with the aim of enhancing customer experience and thereby establishing their foothold in the industry. Whilst the effort is definitely appreciated, it’s definitely not the most disruptive innovation ever. In fact, it needn’t be.

Coca-Cola Freestyle, was originally an idea of the Coca Cola company way back in 2009 where, a touch screen dispenser offered 100 plus flavours, the highlight being, a great user-interface — making it an instant hit. The users found it extremely fun & exciting to use this pseudo-robot. Now, that’s what you call a great customer experience, freestyle!

And now, another retail chain is adopting the same strategy to improve customer experience. While innovation is one way of doing this, adopting strategies that already work is another one.

The Wawa story teaches us many things of which, the most important takeaway is that it is delivering a great customer experience alone that matters and nothing else.

What is even more important is that falling into the desperate trap of overthinking and overdoing, may not necessarily serve the purpose. In a dynamic and an ever-changing business environment like ours, time is a huge constraint. R & D is time-consuming. Customers don’t prefer the hippest but the most comfortable and non-sophisticated experience. So, you need to study their preferences and tailor the experience in a manner that delights them.

Additionally, a lot actually depends on context and relevance as well. Even Customer policies that have been berated in the past, could help turn your business into a cash cow, provided you get it right.

A lot of data needed to drive such decisions, is available right in front of you, when your customers are with you. So, whether it is an idea that is new or testing an already proven method, all you need to do is ask your customers and act based on their feedback. It is the preference of the customer that matters at the end of the day and a strategy that resonated well with your customers is exactly what you need to be doing.

Just like Wawa Inc. you may want to adopt a learning from the past and enhance your customers’ experience & thereby set a precedent for somebody else to adopt. Wawa, #IamDelighted

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