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TRAINING IN THE EXPERIENCE ECONOMY

Tim Millett
Published by Tim Millett
08 October 2013

You might have heard of the term ‘the experience economy’ when looking into customer service training. Pine and Gilmore coined the phrase in their book ‘The Experience Economy’ (1999). It is said to be the emerging economy following on from the agrarian, industrial and service economies. It refers to the feeling a customer gets when engaging with your business and is distinct from the offering of service alone.

To participate in the experience economy, businesses must create a memorable event for their client. These events or experiences become a way in which businesses can add value to their existing product or service, thus giving them an edge over their competitor.

How does The Experience Economy relate to my business?

When looking at service in a contemporary context, The Experience Economy is becoming more and more prevalent in areas outside of the traditional experiential leisure and entertainment industries. A variety of industries are now adopting the concept of creating memorable events for their customers – where their staff become the actors and their customers participate in the experience as the audience, a business is then transformed into the stage, complete with props and scripts.

But it must be more than a bland ‘reading of a script’, as what comes to mind when thinking of call centres and telemarketing. When creating a service experience, a business must aim to have their staff personalise each event to the customer and emotionally draw them in. The customer must be interactively engaging in the event so it becomes a sensational emotional experience for them. It is these ongoing emotional experiences – whether large or small – that will eventually lead to loyalty.

What is the role of Training in The Experience Economy?

In order to successfully deliver a customer experience, businesses must gain a new supplier perspective. They need to see themselves as not just providers of goods or services, but also stagers of events. This new perspective will positively differentiate the product or service from the competition. Differentiation will ensure an exceptional first impression and repeat business.

Training is essential in order to learn and adopt this new perspective, not only for business owners but also for their staff. Many companies offer courses that will educate on the concept of service, but few will be able to take this to the level of service as just part of the overall Experience Economy and its applications.

By training your sales staff to combine their sales and service strategies, you will help them to add value to your business. Training will help them to create an environment that will be conducive to the customer’s buying needs and wants. It will also help them to generate a positive and memorable experience for the customer resulting in maximised sales and return business.

When looking for sales and customer service training, look for courses that will focus on the key elements of The Experience Economy; Entertainment, Education, Aesthetics, Escapism. Look for modules that will break down the information and convey it to your team in clear, relatable terms. Sales training courses should be tailored to your business. They should allow you to select only the appropriate modules for your industry.

Once your team has been trained in the art of creating a sales and service experience, your business will benefit from maximised results and customer loyalty.

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