To positively experience or to engage: Are they any different?

Speaking to another marketing industry friend recently, we joked about the overuse of the words: customer engagement and customer experience. The words engagement implies a deeper connection with the customer although the two of us agreed that every customer experience can make a lasting impact on one’s choices and impressions.

Just do it. Make me buy your product. Make me use your service. Make me smile. Make me want to say “thank you so much for making this happen for me.” Here are a few simple examples.
Customer engagement through a
Walking back to the office one afternoon, I passed this Starbucks promotion. Looking to bring patrons back into the store for a midafternoon energy boost, the offer plays to one’s earlier purchase and reinforces Starbucks position as an all day food source. The price point for the treat equates to a chocolate bar. Having been in the store earlier in the day, you would know that the breakfast crowd paid three to four times that price (and, to those snickering, let’s assume that the product freshness is intact).

Make me buy your product!

Positive customer experience -- finally.Our family does not own a car, and we become weekly Hertz customers during the summer. Finding myself in Boston with a customer service problem involving a car picked up at the Boston airport, I first called the Executive Member customer service center. Fail. Then I called our local Hertz store hoping that they would help. Fail. A direct FB message resolved the problem in one hour. All four components of that experience made an impression on me. Make me want to use your services!

The photo below was taken at a marketing conference about a year ago. The artist was quick, creative, and able to distill key points into a visually appropriate sequence. Looking at the infographic, like watching a twitter feed at a conference, served to reinforce my own learning while the visual format highlighted nuances in the presentation. The multi-sensory experience made me smile.

Customer Engagement at a conference!

Walking around Manhattan during the bewitching hour of midafternoon, school dismissals can be most entertaining. The other day, I literally stopped and turned around as I heard the voice of a very young child telling his mother that he splattered paint in class similar to the Jackson Pollack style of painting. It was not surprising when the child then went on to ask his mom about her email follow ups to confirm his weekly play dates.

As a mom, I was mighty impressed with the school’s ability to engage this very bright young child. I could almost hear the mom saying to herself: “Thank you (school and teachers) for making this love of learning happen for my child.”

Customer experience. Customer engagement. Whatever you call it. Just make it positively—memorable.