Celebrating Extraordinary Experiences

In the two years that have passed since I released my e-book, Extraordinary Experiences: What Great Retail and Restaurant Brands Do, the retail customer experience has gotten even more important — and more competitive.  The “Amazon effect” has raised everyone’s expectations about how convenient shopping should be.  And nearly all companies now expect to compete primarily on retail customer experience.

To acknowledge the increasing focus on customer experience and celebrate the two-year anniversary of the book launch, this post highlights how some retailers and restaurateurs are raising the bar with new extraordinary experiences and it also announces a special promotion so you can get Extraordinary Experiences for nearly free.

New Customer Experiences

Savvy retailers and restaurateurs aren’t standing by while digital players, delivery services, and marketplaces try to steal their market share.  They’re disrupting themselves and creating brand new retail customer experiences.  Here are some of the more extraordinary developments of late:

  • Apple Town Hall in ChicagoApple opened up a new “store” on the Chicago River, but the company calls it a “town square” for the role it envisions for the location.  With lots of outdoor space, a boardroom to host meetings for local businesses, and a calendar of events and programs co-created with local non-profits and creative agencies, it’s changing the definition of “store.”  (Read more about Apple’s retail approach here.)
  • Starbucks Roastery — Earlier this year Howard Schultz stepped back from day to day involvement in Starbucks to focus on growing the company’s Roastery and Reserve brands.  Starbucks Roastery offers an even more high-end, sensory-stimulating, more-engaging in-store experience.  With plans to open 20-30 locations around the world, the company is ushering in the next wave of coffee experience.  (Check out my video briefing on this new store concept.)
  • Shake Shack “playground”Shake Shack has created an innovation “lab” in one of its restaurants, testing a cashless ordering system (customers order through in-store kiosks or their mobile phones) as well as back-of-house changes to improve delivery speed and packaging.  Like many companies, Shake Shack is using its stores to learn in real-time, in-person.  (It’s been awhile since I covered Shake Shack but I stand by this bullish POV from 2014.)
  • Walmart grocery pick-up and moreWalmart recently announced that shoppers will be able to pick up online grocery orders at 1,000 more stores starting next year and it is currently testing a service in which drivers deliver groceries right into customers’ refrigerators.  It’s all part of the company’s push to leverage its brick-and-mortar capabilities to provide superior convenience over Amazon – and it’s the best strategy it can take.  (See my take on Walmart vs. Amazon.)
  • Lolli & Pops — Forty-store chain Lolli & Pops takes people back in time to an old-fashioned sweet shop, replete with “Chief Purveyors” (general managers) and “Magic Makers” (staff) whose job is to get customers right into the Lolli & Pops experience by offering you samples — all kinds, lots of them.  Generosity, after all, is one of the company’s core values. (Read more about how Lolli & Pops designs its stores to display its core values here.)

Extraordinary Experiences Promotion

In celebration of the two-year anniversary since the launch of my e-book, Extraordinary Experiences: What Great Retail and Restaurant Brands Do, I’m offering it for the special price of 99¢ for a limited time only.  Here are the deets:

Extraordinary Experiences explains how some stores and restaurants break through the clutter, compete with bigger and online competitors, and manage to grow and thrive when so many others fail. You’ll learn from seven case studies, each profiling a powerful, profitable brand that keeps drawing customers into its locations by creatively designing and consistently delivering great retail customer experiences.

Here’s what a couple of leading CX authorities have to say about it:

  • “I love good information backed up with real life case studies. Denise Lee Yohn’s gift of storytelling and insightful analysis make Extraordinary Experiences an inspiring and immediately actionable read.” Shep Hyken, customer service expert and New York Times bestselling author of The Amazement Revolution
  • “How a company decides to behave becomes how that brand shows up in the marketplace. In this book, Denise Lee Yohn enlightens the reader with an essential map for how to become a brand that earns the right to customer-driven growth.” Jeanne Bliss, President, CustomerBliss, and Author, Chief Customer Officer 2.0:  How to Build Your Customer-Driven Growth Engine

Get your copy now before the special offer is over — and thanks for helping me celebrate Extraordinary Experiences!

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