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The 6 Principles of Building a Memorable Customer Experience

“Sometimes [business] rules change—often in very significant ways.” – Andy Grove, former Intel CEO and founder

Change is good. It stimulates growth. We learn from it. But occasionally change is forced upon us in difficult ways (take for instance, the entire COVID-19 pandemic).

The last year has been cited as the source of many changes, but the changes that have occurred with regards to the customer experience have been simmering for a while now.

More and more companies are viewing the customer experience as the added value that sets them apart. And with this renewed focus on creating more individualized experiences have come a variety of new marketing strategies aimed at building lasting relationships between customers and brands.

Whether your brand has fully taken your customer experience digital, added new elements to adapt, or is playing a bit of catch-up, it’s important to take a moment and look at the customer experience from the most important perspective: the customer’s.

In that vein, we’ve compiled the six core principles of customer experience you should be using to build a memorable, lasting relationship with customers.

A Memorable Customer Experience in 6 Steps

In our newest guide, we dive into the psychology behind a memorable experience. Specifically, we focus on how to relate to your customers at a human level.

The brand-customer relationship is no longer one-sided; it’s a conversation with a conversational tone. The six principles detailed in the report come from Robert Cialdini, expert and scholar of the psychology of influence.

For the TL;DR, it’s easier to get people on your side and see your point of view if you know which levers to pull beforehand. Spoiler alert: the guide has all six principles of a better customer experience.

But for now, here’s a taste with the first one: Reciprocity.

1. Reciprocity

Reciprocity is the idea that if customers feel like they “owe you something,” they’re more likely to, say, make a purchase. For example, Cialdini points to the higher lifts in sales at Costco when samples are offered.

But unfortunately, reciprocity isn’t always that simple. To be as effective as possible, these “favors” need to meet two criteria:

  1. They must be meaningful and unexpected
  2. They must be customized to the individual person

Translation? If a person doesn’t drink coffee, you’re probably not going to influence them with a Starbucks gift card.

To see how reciprocity can play out for your brand, let’s look at the following rewards email from fast-casual chain Chipotle.

Reciprocity - Rewards email from Chipotle

Fast-casual chain Chipotle rewards a customer for trying its delivery service. Source: Really Good Emails

Thanks to technology, reciprocity is easy to apply in your customer messaging if you have personalized information about their activity. Here, the Chipotle team knows that this customer tried their delivery service. As a token of appreciation, they’re offering 50 bonus points to their loyalty account.

Assess Yourself Before You Wreck Your…Experience

In the interest of reciprocity, we wanted to help make this guide a bit more personalized for you. After seeing how each of the six principles plays out in action, we’ve provided a self-assessment worksheet for you to complete.

It’s purely for your own edification—and definitely not homework. It’s four simple questions to ask of your customer experience, after which you’ll be able to identify where your customer experience excels and possibly where you can improve. Nobody’s perfect, after all!

Download the guide and give it a try—and after that, let us know how you did! As mentioned above, the customer experience isn’t one-sided anymore. We would love to hear where your customer experience stands today and how you plan on using these six principles—or even how you use them today—to personalize the experience for your customers.

Schedule a demo, tweet us, tag us in a LinkedIn post, carrier pigeon, skywriting—whatever fits your style and budget! There’s always something to be learned from a reciprocal relationship.


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