What customers want and expect is constantly changing. To stay ahead of the competition, companies need to constantly be finding new ways to serve customers and enhance the customer experience. These 20 companies showcase the freshest examples of customer experience innovation.
1. Mercedes Launches AR Owner’s Manual
Car owner’s manuals are notoriously big and bulky. Mercedes designed a personalized app that not only replaces the manual but tracks everything about a car and driver. The Mercedes Me service and app showcases a car’s features without having to read a manual and allows drivers to easily see data about their car from anywhere in the world.
2. Singapore Taxis Offer Convenience Stores
Need a snack on the go? Forgot your toothbrush or charger? It’s not a problem at Grab, a line of taxis in Singapore that offer in-car convenience stores. The simple solution shows that innovative ideas don’t need to be flashy as long as they meet customers’ needs. Providing items to customers when they need them most solves a major pain point.
3. Rum Company Designs Connected Bottles
Malibu updated its rum bottles by selling limited-edition connected bottles to give customers an enhanced experience. Customers could scan a QR code to get access to exclusive cocktail recipes and play an interactive mobile game with the chance to win prizes.
4. Tim Hortons Adds Gamification To Loyalty Program
Not all loyalty programs are created equally. Tim Hortons in Canada recently upgraded its rewards offerings by adding gamification elements. Aside from an updated app that makes it easy for customers to track their rewards progress, customers can also participate in games to earn prizes and level up as they visit the coffee shop more frequently.
5. VF Uses AR Mannequins To Showcase Products
The retailer behind brands like The North Face and Vans is using technology to enhance the traditional retail experience. At VF’s new retail space in London, clothing and accessories are featured on avatar-based AR mannequins. Customers can change the settings or highlight certain aspects of the items to get a full picture of how the products could work in their own lives.
6. Uniqlo Creates Pop-Up Experience To Mimic Online Shopping
In an effort to connect its in-store and online experiences, Uniqlo created a pop-up experience that mimics shopping online or through the app. Customers could browse the store and see items as if they were shopping online. Each listing also had a QR code customers could scan for more information or to order the item to have delivered to their home.
7. Ford Personalizes Self-Service Technology
Ford has made it easier than ever to receive personalized service. Each driver’sFordPass app is tailored to information based on their vehicle, including personalized responses and maintenance reminders. The app also allows customers to easily schedule appointments and earn rewards.
8. Cleo Chatbot Offers Personalized Finance Advice
Imagine getting finance advice from a good friend. That’s the goal of the app and chatbot Cleo. Customers can chat with the bot to easily track their spending and budget and get financial advice. Taking it a step further, users can choose to be “roasted” or “hyped” by Cleo for a fun take on finances.
9. Brideside Takes Pain Out Of Wedding Planning
Many brides find it difficult to find a dress that is flattering on all of their bridesmaids. Brideside removes much of the stress by using personal stylists to make recommendations. The wedding party can get together in person at their home or virtually to try on dresses. Bringing dresses to the bridesmaids with professional help creates a stress-free environment.
10. Nike Provides Fast Service For Busy Shoppers
Nike has long been known for its customer experience, but it’s taking things to the next level at its new New York City flagship store. The Speed Shop allows customers to order shoes online and try them on in store. Customers use a special entrance to find their shoe locker, which is unlocked via smartphone. After trying the shoes on, they can check out on mobile without having to interact with a person.
11. Albertson’s Tests Customers DNA For Accurate Prescriptions
Many companies offer DNA testing, but Albertson’s takes it a step further by offering in-store genetic tests. Albertson’s partnered with a medical tech company to offer genetic tests at select store pharmacies. A simple swab can quickly and conveniently help customers find the best antidepressant medication.
12. Whole Foods Chatbot Finds Recipes
Whole Foods created a powerful chatbot that helps customers find new recipes and ways to use ingredients from the store. Customers can chat with the bot to get ideas about certain types of foods or recipes. People who are really in a hurry can send a food emoji to instantly get that kind of recipe.
13. Target Revamps Powerful App
Target has created a number of innovative digital solutions in recent years, including its recently revamped app. Target partnered with Pinterest to use visual search technology that allows customers to take a picture of an item and find it online with other recommended products. Customers can also scan items they wish to purchase and save them in the app’s wallet for faster checkout.
14. BMW App Showcases Entire Vehicle
For luxury car owners, what happens under the hood matters as much as the car’s exterior. BMW’s InSight App uses AR to show customers what happens inside the car. As customers walk around the car, they get a virtual look at what’s happening inside and learn about the innovative technology. The interactive app adds a new dimension to car shopping.
15. Madison Reed Chatbot Helps Users Find Perfect Hair Color
Choosing the right hair color can be a challenge, but hair color company Madison Reed is helping make it easier with a chatbot. Users upload a selfie and the bot Madi identifies the primary and secondary hair tones. From there, the bot recommends hair colors and helps users make the purchase right in the app.
16. HBO Enhances Show With Immersive Experience
Fans of HBO’s “Westworld” got a chance to fully experience the show with an immersive adventure at SXSW. HBO turned two acres into a real-life version of the show’s town, complete with actors, costumes and sets. The experience added a new layer for viewers to truly step inside the show.
17. Beer Company Adds Games To Labels
Rock music has long been a part of SingleCut Beersmith’s brand in Japan, so the company built QR codes into its labels that allow customers to experience the culture. Scanning the code opens a music trivia game and “name that tune” contest.
18. Asos Helps Customers Organize Product Wish Lists
Data at Asos revealed that most customers have dozens of items saved in a wish list. To make it easier to find the right item, Asos introduced sortable boards that help customers sort their items by type, event or price. The new system makes it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for and provides more insights to the company.
19. Glasses Company Uses Technology To Find Perfect Pair
UK glasses company Specsavers recently rolled out new technology to help customers find the perfect pair of glasses. Customers can access Frame Styler on in-store tablets, which creates a 3D model of their face and finds glasses to best suit their face shape. Customers can then try on the glasses virtually before making their final decision. The process makes it easier and faster to find the right frames.
20. Boxed Uses AI To Refresh Orders
Online retailer Boxed uses a feature called Smart StockUp to predict when customers are running low on products they use regularly. The system uses AI to create accurate predictions and recommend products customers might need at the right time. The more customers buy, the smarter the system becomes.
Blake Morgan is a keynote speaker, customer experience futurist and the author of two books including her new “The Customer Of The Future.” Stay in touch with her weekly on her newsletter.