What is a Customer Experience Pyramid?

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  • 0:04 An Example Scenario
  • 0:53 The Customer…
  • 3:31 A Real-World Example
  • 4:10 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

If your brand isn't meeting needs and making buying easy and memorable, you're probably not following the customer experience pyramid! In this lesson, we'll discuss the customer experience pyramid and how it relates to your buyers.

An Example Scenario

Imagine this scenario: You didn't sleep well last night and barely flinched when your alarm went off. Running behind, you pull on some clothes, run a brush through your hair, and catch the last train headed into the city for your office job. You arrive at your desk to discover not one, but two important deadlines that have gotten away from you. You keep your nose to the grindstone all day and are glad to see the clock change to 5 p.m. so you can head home.

What do you do for dinner on a day like this? Your most complicated culinary dish? A recipe with ingredients you'd have to run out to the store to get? Most likely, no. Instead, you're probably focused on something that satisfies your hunger and is quick and easy.

You can draw parallels between this frantic day's dinner plans and the experiences that consumers have when they're thinking about and making purchases. Experts sum up what a customer is looking for in a geometric analogy known as a customer experience pyramid.

The Customer Experience Pyramid

We're all consumers, even if we're also marketers. We go to restaurants, buy cars, and shop for groceries and household furnishings. And we remember those experiences: the unpleasant hours spent at a car dealership or the delightful meal we shared at a small bistro on our anniversary. Most likely, we use our experience to remind us whether or not to dine at that restaurant again or buy from that auto dealership a second time. We tell our friends and family about our experience, possibly influencing their decision about checking out a store or skipping it altogether. We might even brag about it or complain about it on social media, impacting hundreds or even thousands of acquaintances and strangers.

That's why the customer experience is so important. From a business perspective, it can make or break not only whether that person becomes a loyal customer for life, but also whether the people in his or her sphere of influence do as well.

Building a good customer experience doesn't require any type of sorcery or rocket science. For the most part, it's a common sense approach to delivering the best service and products you possibly can.

That's where the customer experience pyramid comes into play. Let's start with the base, or foundation, of the pyramid first.

The base of the customer experience pyramid is meeting the needs of the customers, which is the most basic element required to set you on a path toward a good experience. Think about this example: If you leave work and need to pick up a newspaper at a gas station on the way home, but the gas station never has newspapers when you go into the store, how likely are you to continue returning to the same location? The odds are pretty small. After all, you have one basic need for stopping at the gas station, and that's to grab a newspaper. If the gas station can't meet this basic need that you have, you will probably cease to be its customer. It's that simple. To deliver a good customer experience, you must first be able to meet the need.

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