Willy Wonka Knew A Thing or 2 About Customer Engagment (More from the Forrester Consumer Forum)

by Marianne Richmond on October 25, 2006

So does Henry Harteveldt. By using the image of the Wonkavator to illustrate that the best digital experiences allow consumers to take their own path to reach you, he moved an over used and under-defined concept, customer engagement, to understandable and memorable.

Consumers, don’t always want to go up in the same direction….let them take the Wonkavator….

“An elevator
can only go up and down, but a Wonkavator goes sideways and slantways and longways and backways
and frontways and squareways and any other ways that you can think of…”

His support: 77% of consumers are on-line now (85% in 5 years); 63% research on line priurior to buying off line;20% use mobile data services and 61% use a kiosk to check in to an airline.

He also instructed on how to get started. Useful “how to” versus “wouldn’t that be interesting if you”; The difference, to paraphrase Richard Saul Wurman,  is that to be conversation, there has to be instruction. Instruction in this case, made the conversation.

Henry said to begin by answering 3 question. And let me just add here that all of the Forrester analysts that I heard speak today used the strategic approach of assessing and defing the situation, assessing your goals and objectives, and looking at what you will have when you get there. Excellent advice.

The 3 questions:
1.How do today’s digital experiences fall short?
2.What is a humanized digital experience?
3.What are the priorites that shoud guide you?

 He gave vivid examples of situations that are disconnects. For instance, if you say you are providing live assistance, don’t record a voicemail message that says to call during regular business hours.

Other great learning:

1.There are three building blocks for an emotionally engaging digital experience:

                     It must be useful; this is the foundation. (value)
                     It must be usable: provide easy access
                     It must be desirable (appeal to emotions)

2.It might seem basic…but as his examples illustrated, there are lots of broken places.

3.What makes a good widget? Available to all, but meaningful to one. Add more initials here: empathetic and engaging, and empowering.

4.Social media allows people to engage. You can add it to your site. Nuff said.

5.Its not how you want to sell, its how your customers want to buy it and where.

6.Explore new technolgies that give consumers more control…support non-linear ways.

7.Don’t over look the small stuff. Literally as demonstrated by increasing font sizes for the over 40 vision challenged

8. Add podcasts, social media and things to share on your
computer…exploit social media. People are already using these
tools…and talking about you. Engage them with you.

And of course, What is a humanized experience? One in which the human benfits are more visable than the technology.

He closed with the wonkavator, sometimes you just don’t want to go back and forth: Remember to build value, use the 3Es and always support non-linear paths.

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