Shh! It’s a Secret! Experience Design Revealed

This is part one of 13 in the Experience Design 101 series. For links to all the articles in this series click here.

It’s Pop-the-Question Night, the most important might of all nights. Quick—which local restaurant ensures the answer is Yes?


It’s cozy.” “It’s intimate.” “It’s over-the-top gorgeous.” “They treat you like royalty.” “The food is amazing.” “We’ll remember it forever.”

You didn’t have to think long to know the answer in your city, did you? It’s a personal answer, yet a lot of people where you live think of that same place. If a friend asked you, you’d tell them to go there, as if sharing a secret source. They’re at the top of your mind for romance and pampering, and it’s not all about the food.

It’s about the Experience, and the Experience is the difference between being customers’ secret source and being a nobody-knows-about-you secret.

Some companies take years to gradually build a cult following. That’s not the kind of secret you want to be. It seems almost an accident when they become known, and in some ways it probably is. Not everyone had a conscious plan for customer experience, but you can bet that accidentally grown customer experience does have a focused Visionary behind it.

Let’s assume you don’t have years to wait around for growth. Well, other companies throw millions of dollars at a “brand” to get it to the top of their customers’ minds.

Let’s assume you don’t have the millions, either.

Is there a secret formula for True Positioning, positioning so your name comes up first when a customer needs what you do best? No, Experience Design is not a secret.

Experience Design is simply researching, planning, and executing a comprehensive design for all aspects of customer experience: the message, or Vision; the visual, from your physical location to your graphics; the interactive—human-to-human interactions, from telephone to point-of-sale.

When each customer interaction is clear, focused, and in line with every other element, you are able to maximize your company’s powers of persuasion. By reinforcing Maximum Customer Experience over time, your firm becomes top-of-the-mind—your customers’ secret source, with loyal fans who refer their colleagues and friends to you.

The only secret of Maximum Customer Experience is having a pinpoint focus at all points of interaction. In these days of infinite choice, when one or more “touchpoints” fails to communicate your overall message, you’re sure to lose a customer to a competitor whose experience is seamless. That restaurant you’d recommend to a friend? The real reason is because it’s all seamless when you’re there. The restaurant fulfills your needs so neatly, you don’t even notice the lightness of your wallet.

Pinpoint focus = seamlessness = Maximum Customer Experience

What aspects of your customer experience are scattered?

Do you know what needs bring customers to you now?

List all of the ways customers interact with you, and think about ways to bring seamless focus to their experience.

Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson


Next up in the series: Part Two: You really need to get some air

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