In line with the new normal, I am having a ‘Zoom Coffee’ with Julie Roehm, the Chief Marketing & Experience Officer at Party City. I am excited to chat with her about what she thinks is to come next.
Julie, customer experience used to be the way to differentiate your brand among a sea of sameness. In today’s world, the challenge will be to stand out in new, unique ways. How do you think consumer brands will go about this?
“Historically, customer experience has always been an afterthought for most companies. The focus has always been on the brand. What does the brand mean to your customer? Whilst this still holds importance, the notion of the customer experience and mapping out of the customer journey is relatively new. Coming to your question, the term “customer experience” can often be generalized. People use customer satisfaction scores in order to validate the experience they are offering. But each experience is personal to the customer and cannot be ‘cookie-cutter’ to be authentic.
“At the end of the day, this is what we are trying to meld: an authentically branded experience, personalized to each individual’s needs, that elicits a sense of accomplishment, satisfaction, or in the case of Party City — joy!
“How brands do this, must be rooted in their promise. At Party City, our promise is to help customers create joy by making it easy to create unforgettable memories. We aim to achieve this by having a ‘customer first’, ‘people matter’ and ‘it can be done’ mindset and attitude. That is our promise. But how do we know we deliver on this? We use a Customer Effort Score (CES). This lets us understand how easy it was for people to engage with us. This differs from customer satisfaction score because instead of measuring whether you were able to find what you wanted, CES measures how easy it was for you to find those things.
“Moreover, at Party City, we want to know if engaging with us left you feeling like you could trust us with your special moments, whether it was easy to work with us, whether you were inspired, and most importantly, if you felt joy. If we can deliver on this, we would have stood out in a way that is unique to us. I believe every brand has to find a promise which they want to make to their customers. They then need to find a way to measure if they lived up to this promise. Of course, this is different for every brand.
Thank you for sharing, Julie! It’s always great to learn more about your insights.